Underground Pick #5

November 16, 2009 at 1:07 am (Uncategorized)

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON by Ricardo Cortez Cruz, 1992.

straight outta compton

This guy’s one of the only writers I’ve ever found that’s got the same way of thinking as me in terms of making hip hop with literature.  While digging through the internet I  came upon about a hundred 50 Cent novels – all co-written (and none of the co-writers seem to stick around for more than one book) – and wondered why the idea exists that gangsters & violence is the same as hip hop.  And finally I found Ricardo.  Check his novel out.  And let him describe to you what exactly he does: 

“During the writing process, I imagine myself as a DJ, and I get down, mixing records while they around. Curt White, my mentor, told me about ‘the infinite play of language.’ It’s a concept I have always liked – the idea that, with experimentation … every story contains an endless number of possibilities. There is no closure with with/in the short story, only effects. Like graffiti, words become a source of empowerment, a way of claiming property, operating under erasure because language is strong and metaphoric…. Words are samples from the get-go is what he meant; they belong to a larger composition, a referential system where words merely refer to other words. Sampling is the act of foregrounding intertextuality, which is taking bits and pieces of preexisting text and using these bits in your own cultural work to provide society with something more global. There’s no such thing as ‘original’ fiction. This is what I most enjoy about fiction: the art truly depends upon creativity, not production. In other words, as an artist, I don’t make the building blocks. I merely reorganize them to construct a variation of the theme, something that stands out as effective/affective spectacle.”

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