With the proliferation of street novels coming out it’s getting hard to separate the trash from the jewels. You got Teri Woods Publishing putting out books, Triple Crown publications, and a handful of other independents trying to get theirs. Just like the rap game, the book game is blowing up. Going primetime and emerging from the underground. Hip Hop fiction is the new genre and all the craze these days. Books are coming out in all shapes and sizes as authors are trying to come up and make their mark. Shannon Holmes, who wrote “B-More Careful” and “Bad Girls” even recently signed a $400,000 publishing deal with Atria Books. But I gotta keep it real, a lot of the books coming out are some garbage. I mean there’s a few good ones like Nike Turner’s “The Hustler’s Wife,” Joe Black’s “Street Team,” and Kwame Teague’s “Dutch”. And of course “True to the Game” by Teri Woods set the trend and ignited the frenzy but there aren’t any Donald Goines or Iceberg Slims emerging. And those two were the godfathers of the street novel genre.
Just like the rap game you got a lot of studio and cardboard gangstas in the book game putting their mack down. Like they’re authentic or something. But they’re putting out secondhand information or are just reporting the daily headlines from the hood and turning it into fiction. Very few are the real deal or have any sort of pedigree in the drug game. They just faking about experiencing the twists and turns of the game, which they write about. And even less are incarcerated or have even been to prison. So they write some pure fiction, you know what I mean? They’re fake, fronting with pen and paper like they’re gansta. Just like all those fake rappers out there.
I mentioned Donald Goines above, the godfather of the street novel. Well, I believe I have found his successor, the man to take up the title Donald Goines held, and this cat is the real deal. He’s Donald Goines homeboy, straight outta the mean streets of Detroit. He’s also in the feds doing a natural Life sentence. Meet Robert Booker, Sr., the author of PUSH, a story of crime, sex, loyalty, and murder set on the streets of Detroit.
“PUSH is based on a street story about the fastest growing drugs in our times, Viagra and Ecstasy,” says Booker who is currently incarcerated at FCI Gilmer in bumfuck West Virginia, a long way from Detroit. But Booker don’t sweat it. He’s bidding, you know, since 1994. He knows how to do this. He says of doing time, “I’m a giving person, down to earth, but I can be deadly if need be.”
Because that’s how life goes in the pen. You gotta be ready for whatever. But Booker tries to avoid the drama and spends most of his time honing his writing skills. “I started writing in 2000 after I read Teri Woods ‘True to the Game’,” Booker says. “I knew my stories was way better then hers, cause I was living in the streets.” And this cat ain’t playing. His book, PUSH, is hot. It moves on multiple levels incorporating unexpected twists and turns. It reads like a rollercoaster ride and the sex is off the hook.
The characters do their thing- hustle, love, and die as the game is spun from the lower levels to the highest echelons. High paid hustling, drugs, and brutality. The story mirrors what is really going on in the streets right now. Death b4 dishonor, you heard. The code of silence and all that. PUSH will have you speed reading from start to finish as you find you can’t even put it down. Ain’t no faking it Robert Booker Sr.’s PUSH is the truth. “My writing skill is raw,” Booker says. “Straight from my mind unto paper, like a rapper doing freestyle on BET’s Freestyle Friday.” And for real if this Detroit cat was rapping he’d be the next Jay-Z. But don’t take my word for it, Check out PUSH yourself. It’s available at www.trafford.com.
Don’t be fooled by the fakers, read the real. And watch out for Booker’s next novel “Deep in da Game”, which will be out next year on Hampstead Publishing.