Tag Archives: Hip-Hop

Is Urban Fiction Novels On a Decline?

What is happening to urban fiction? That seems to be a question that I am coming across a lot on Facebook. A question was posted the other day asking what people are tired of seeing in urban fiction and quite a few things came up that I’ve been saying since I first came on the scene.

  • Grammatical Errors
  • The same story-lines again and again by different authors
  • Authors using the same models for their covers
  • Kindle Unlimited
  • Hip-Hop and R&B song titles/lyrics as Book Titles

Just to name a few. And those were answers that were coming up more than once. Let’s address these issues.

Grammatical Errors

When I first came out with A Thug’s Redemption, I ordered 50 paperback copies. How embarrassed was I when I was reading it after having sold damn near all 50 copies as well as a few that was given away for reviews and promotional reasons not to mention the hundreds that were sold on Kindle, only to see that I had given the wrong PDF file to the printing company I was using which had MAD errors in it. Oh nigga I almost died. I wanted to crawl under a rock and DIE! I corrected that shit real quick and apologized to my readers for the mistake. I will admit that I was so excited to get my work in print that I confused one file with another. (AThugsRedemption1 was sent instead of AThugsRedemption1a) With my books after that, I scan through them with a fine tooth comb and have a back-up set of eyes (beta reader) to check for what I may have missed. So far so good. But man, I’ve read books where the author used hear instead of here (how sway???) didn’t know when to properly use there, their and they’re (how sway???) had two different names for one character and I don’t mean on some the character had multiple personalities and those were their names, just a complete rookie move on their part. Indie Authors are too busy trying to put out a large quantity of work instead of making sure they are putting out QUALITY work and it’s not a good look.

Same ass tired story lines! Example-

  • Hood chick snags big time drug dealer for boyfriend and lives the glamorous life until he is tragically killed.
  • Kingpin of whatever city is betrayed by his workers and doesn’t know who to trust
  • Project Chick is abused by her mom and meets prominent drug dealer who rescues her. She falls in love only to find out he has another family
  • Chick is molested by father, uncle, whoever and grows up to be a stripper with low self esteem sleeping with any man who pays her a compliment
  • Chick takes over drug business for slain or incarcerated drug dealing boyfriend

I’ma just stop right there. How many times are the same damn stories going to be told? Why are the same damn stories being told? Where is the originality? Where is the thought and effort in putting together a well thought out plot for an engaging story? Where, damn it? Where?

Authors using the same model for their covers

Whooo this one right here is grinding my gears and is the reason why here on out I’m using my own models or no models at all. When I first did the cover for A Thug’s Redemption back in April 2012, I specifically wanted a black guy in a hoody. When I came across the young man I’m using, I scanned the urban fiction section of Amazon Kindle to make sure nobody was using him AND THEY WEREN’T. Now all of a sudden I’m seeing his ass on so many different covers its a damn shame. And the only reason why I haven’t stopped using him is because number one, I used him first FOH with the rest of those covers and for two he fits my character Jamal to the letter.

Here are all of the covers that I have him on and he will be on the next cover as well.


Something Thuggish This Way Comes
Something Thuggish This Way Comes

















These are all of the covers that I’ve been using him on since April 2012 when I first began prepping to release A Thug’s Redemption. Now his fine ass is everywhere. Ya’ll gotta fucking chill! Let me be GREAT!! Maybe I should find him and pay for custom photos that only I have the rights to use…

There is also a light-skinned chick with curly hair that is overly used in urban fiction. I’ve seen that chick on so many covers it makes me not want to read the book because my take on it is, do your research first! If you see another author using a person on more than one of their book covers, (whispers) use another person. It’s really that simple.

Kindle Unlimited

Man I’m not even going to get into that again. Go back a couple of blog posts and you’ll see my take on that. We’re getting raped. Period.

Hip-Hop and R&B song titles/Lyrics as book titles.

This is just lack of creativity and originality, period. If I can look at your book title and start rapping or singing a song, you’re dead wrong. I don’t know about some of these other authors, but I don’t want to be remembered as the writer who was too corny to come up with her own shit so she combed through the latest hot songs and used the titles or lyrics as the title of her book. Before I pick a title, I Google it to see if there are any other books with the title I have in mind or songs. If there are, I scrap it and go back to the drawing board. I had to change the title for Love’s Deadly Masquerade four times before I finally came up with Love’s Deadly Masquerade and honestly it fits better than the other titles I was thinking of. I’m at the start of a legal battle right now because I have to trademark A Thug’s Redemption since some chick decided to use that as her book title too. Oh hell no the fuck you will NOT! I changed that book title 3 or 4 times as well nine years ago when I first went with Publish America and was originally going to use A Thug’s Life but that was too Tupac-ish and I believe there was either a song or another book with that title. Any author who strives to be creative and original with their work would take offense with that fuckery as I did. I’ll update y’all soon on how this turns out because I do not like the idea of my books being confused or associated with hers especially after seeing some of home girl’s reviews. Not only did she STEAL my title but she had the nerve to use the same guy I used on her cover. Dick eating shit. This is what I mean when I say do your fucking homework because had she done so, a simple Google search would have shown her that my shit was EVERYWHERE. Who knows, maybe she did and just didn’t give a fuck. Well, she’s about to learn the hard way. I can’t get her for copyright infringement because titles aren’t protected under copyright law. But because my book was a series before her book came out and I also have merchandise and am working on the film for the book, A Thug’s Redemption will be trademarked and she can either take that shit down and change the title, or get ready to pay up.

Back to the matter at hand though…

There are still so many things wrong with urban fiction that is keeping it from being the well respected genre for African Americans. Urban Fiction is losing its flare because too many hacks (yeah I said it) are jumping into this field with poorly written novels. Blatant grammatical errors, authors being unoriginal with their titles, STEALING titles from other authors, hip-hop and R&B song titles and lyrics, and telling the same damn story again and again. It doesn’t take much to be original, to think outside the box, and to tell a story that has not been told before instead of remixing story lines and rehashing the same shit that was written time and time again. How many different ways can you tell the same story about a poor black girl who falls in love with the notorious dope boy only for him to be killed? We are so much more than strippers, dope boys, trap kings, and trap queens. There’s a beauty to our culture that is being left untouched because too many “writers” are putting out bulllshit because it sells.  The beauty of our culture is being overlooked by the ratchet shit.  Sadly, urban fiction is becoming stale like today’s hip-hop and R&B because not enough writers are being original, they are just hopping on the bandwagon for what’s selling at the time being. The mistake that too many writers are making is thinking that urban fiction is only about drugs, sex, money, designer clothes, bags and shoes and crime. Think outside the box for a change! There are readers out here who won’t touch an urban fiction book because they are worried it’s going to be the same shit, different toilet. We’ve gotta do better or soon White people are going to take this shit over too.

Yani Speaks on “Empire” A Rose by Any Other Name

Cookie & Lucious
Cookie & Lucious

If you didn’t see last night’s episode of Empire, HUNTY you missed a treat! Last night, shit definitely went down! The show opened with Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) being introduced as the new CEO of Empire (Oh Lucious finna buss a cap in his ass over this for sure!). After answering a few questions by the press and making them leave, Cookie lets the young Lyon know that he better do as he agreed if his ass wants to stay alive. And then, like the bomb Black mom that every misbehaving child fears, she slapped the bullshit out of that young man LMAO. I swear to God that was the slap heard around the world!

Then it was the drama with Jamal and how his daddy spread the word that he and Skye were “screwing” and he’s into girls now. You know the gay community was going to comeFlip-FLop for his ass and sure enough as he and Becky are heading out of Empire’s headquarters, they are surrounded by a group of very…uh… flamboyant (giggle) gay men all carrying flip-flops, giving a very Weird Al Yankovich’s-like- spoof version of Hakeem’s song “Drip-Drop” singing “Flip, Flip, Flip Flippity Flop”. That was some cold shit there, bruh. LOL! Jamal hit the nail on the head when he found out that Lucious was the one who started and was helping to spread the rumors about his “flip-flop” behavior when he said Lucious did it to tank his  chances of winning song of the year since they both were nominated. Didn’t I tell y’all Lucious is the damn devil! That’s a cold bastard, boy! Jamal is so much like me I swear to God he is. When kids used to pick at me in school, before they knew it I had put pen to paper and chopped their punk asses down to size with some heavy bars. And Jamal dropped some heavy shit with a song he did in response to how his father was trying to sabotage him. I don’t know which part was colder, when he called him a snitching ass bitch or when he let everybody know that Lucious Lyons isn’t even his real name. Woooo!!! You better get ‘em Jamal!

Now let’s back up for one quick sec. Why did Hakeem lil punk-ass go New Empire Logoand change the Empire logo from having it at Lucious’ face, to having it as his??? Lawd, he really want Lucious to put two in him and have him swimming with Bunky out there in those cold waters LOL. He better start sleeping with one eye open because Lucious just strikes me as the type to invite that boy over for a celebratory dinner and as Hakeem thinks everything is all gravy baby, Lucious pops two in his stomach. Maybe that’s just my little twisted imagination LOL. But like I said, Lucious is the devil so I wouldn’t put it past him.

The smartest thing Hakeem did this season thus far was making that sex tape of him and Camilla and sending it to Mimi. Hunty, she started dumping her shares of Empire stock faster than a man dumping his chick after running her hoe-fax. Cookie went to share the good news with Lucious to let him know everything was handled. Next thing you know, Lucious is recording Camilla as she is trying to clean up the evidence where she done offed Mimi! Camilla Had the bitch laying dead in the bubble-bath filled tub. Ooooh Naomi Campbell, yo ass cold busted now. Lucious taunted ol’ girl so damn bad, before you knew it, she was pulling those pills she used to poison Mimi back out of her pocket and popping them in her mouth. While it definitely caught me off guard, it seems like that situation came to a head a little too quickly. Of course I wouldn’t have wanted them to drag it out, but it still seems like it all happened too quickly. I am going to trust that Lee Daniels has something hot up his sleeves before the end of the season because this can’t be it. From the looks of it judging by the previews to next week’s episode, it seems like Lucious is trying to frame Hakeem for the shit. Yikes!

jamal&hakeemAnd finally, the last part touched me on a personal level. Andre and his wife Rhonda lost their baby when she was pushed down the stairs by that bitch Boo-Boo Kitty. As Andre was telling his business associates to buy up the stock that Mimi was dumping with his son’s trust fund that he began setting up when he found out that Rhonda was pregnant, it began to sink in that the baby was gone and he snapped. So Jamal and Hakeem took him into the studio and performed a song that they wrote for him in regards to his loss called “Good People”. Hakeem’s rap was on point with everything he said. Back in 2010, I lost a baby on September 10th. The miscarriage nearly killed me. Who would know that four years and 1 day later I would be blessed with a healthy baby girl born September 11th, 2014? So indeed I was a bit Andre from Empirenostalgic during that scene. The pain in Andre as the tears flowed while his brothers sang and rapped for him, job well done Trai Byers. He plays the role of a man suffering from Bi-Polar disorder very well.

If you missed last night’s episode of Empire, you can stream it from fox.com or if you have a hulu account, you can watch from that site as well. And if you don’t have hulu, take advantage of their free trial, the $7.99/month is definitely worth it. Empire comes on Wednesday nights on Fox 29 at 9pm EST.

Tonight is TGIT and you know I will be tuned in to Grey’s Anatomy as well as Scandal and will give my take on both shows tomorrow. If you are on twitter, follow me @urbanlit_goddes and join the TGIT twitter party starting at 8pm EST with Grey’s Anatomy. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. Until next time loves! Muah!

Yani-Speaks on Fox’s Empire Episode- Death Will Have His Day

EmpireOkay love’s, I am a little late with this post because I was a tad busy handling some book business. And then Verizon wanted to be acting like a total dickwad, so I missed the first 30 minutes of the episode. As you can imagine, I was pissed. But I made sure I caught up on it on Hulu about an hour ago so YAAAAASSSSS!!! Here’s my take…

Boo-Boo Kitty needs her ass whipped, immediately. The way she shoved ol’ girl down those steps like that was just FOUL! I’m not going to  lie to y’all, the close ups they did on her face as she was somersaulting down the steps had me DYING!

I know I’m dead wrong for that but, my imagination is just twisted like that soooo.
Now let’s get to Cookie beating that ass with that broom. Yes, Hakeem seriously needed that ass whipped handing over the Empire to some “Half-Lesbian” (Cookies words, not mine LOL) just to spite his dad. I would have done more than beat his ass with that broom. I would’ve taken my boot off and did damage.  Naomi Campbell looks damn good though! Looks just like she did when she kidnapped Detective Williams’ (played by Malik Yoba) son on New York Undercover. For you youngins, you don’t know anything about that. That show had Thursdays lit long before Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy came on the scene.

I was looking forward to seeing Alicia Keys in another episode. Hopefully, that won’t be the last we see of Skye. (Just don’t turn her into a stalking ass scorned lover. Boo-Boo Kitty already has that down to a science with her crazy ass.) I will say, that dress and cardigan that she had on when she went to “offer her condolences” to Rhonda (eye roll) was major slayage. It’s hard to hate on the “bitch” she is portraying on Empire when she slays like that. WORK! And as Rhonda is boo-hoo hooing her eyes out about the loss of her baby, this chick says “Some things just aren’t meant to be.” I pray before the end of the season, Cookie beats the shit out of her with her trendy broom. HA!

Now let’s get to that suit Hakeem was wearing.Hakeem Lyon What in three hells was that? The nigga had the Classifieds, the Editorials, and Breaking News up and down his ass in that hot fashion mess. Ugh! I was so irked when I saw him, like who dressed you this morning? Bet money some young dumb ass is going to try to rock that to their prom or to a party. Epic Fashion Fail!

Jamal gotta decide what team he wants to play on. Are you  a sausage sucker or a deep sea fisher? Which is it? And while he was right that it’s nobody’s business, once you become a public figure, your business is everybody’s business like it or not and he’s causing some serious confusion. Judging by the previews, it looks like his lover Michael (who was getting his dick sucked by the photographer on the sly- oops) may be back. Don’t fall for it, Mally! You don’t know if your licking another man’s ball juice from ole Mikey’s lips. LMAO!

How many of y’all thought Lucious was going to blow Hakeem’s back stabbing ass away? Did Lucious Frames Hakeem?I said “Oh Lord, he finna have his ass swimming like Bunky.” LMAO. I have a plot twist in mind for the wonderful writers of Empire. How dope and conniving at the same time would it be if Lucious had Hakeem touch the gun he used to kill Bunky so he could later frame him?! Woah, that would be a crazy plot twist. And use that as a means to take back Empire. Now I know some of y’all are probably saying, that’s pretty fucked up. But this is Lucious we’re talking about. That man is the devil. He let his baby-momma go to jail for 17 years while he moved on and created this Empire, only to replace her with the younger and lighter skinned Boo-Boo Kitty. Then he killed her cousin in cold blood and THEN we find out that the baby that Raven Symone’s character Olivia (hah that was her name on the Cosby’s… I wonder…) allegedly had by Jamal was really Lucious’! Wooo! So yeah, that would be a hell of a plot twist. Think about it, Empire Writers. And you can thank me later. Muah!

Empire, starring my man Terrence Howard, the beautiful Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollet, Byshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Grace Gealey and Kaitlin Doubleday comes on Wednesdays on Fox 29 at 9pm EST.  It was created by Lee Daniels and the music is produced by Timbaland. It’s a hot show that will have you laughing your ass off one minute and then sitting with your mouth hanging open, not believing what you’re seeing the next minute. Don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself! Stream Season one and catch up on season 2 on hulu. See you guys next time. MUAH!