The Global Appeal of Hip Hop
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BOOK SUMMARY: A 17-year-old intern must choose between trusting an irresistibly suave dance instructor—or her instincts. SINS07 is a series featuring lighthearted tales that explore each of the seven sins in order, beginning with lust.
My most recent publication is a YA novel titled, 1: The Intern, part of a SINS07 "seven deadly sins" series. My original vision for the series was for it to contain a global appeal, without going overboard on the subcultures/cultures presented (such that it would alienate general readers who might not be very familiar with the subject matter).
"Hip hop" seemed to be a natural choice, for the first story which focuses on the theme of lust. In the book, it's the dance instructor's favorite type of dance, as it "moves [his] soul the most.”
Hip Hop's influence is amazing -- while it originated in the 1970s in the inner city African American, Jamaican and Latino American community of NYC, the artistic sub-culture has since exploded worldwide. Its influence can be seen in the progressive Korean pop (also known as K-Pop) music scene, the fierce French hip hop/rap scene, and breakdancing competitions which take place from California, to European capitals such as Ljubljana, Slovenia, and all the way across Asia.
Millions of hip hop/rap albums are sold in foreign countries. In countries where English isn't the native language, people still listen to these songs and manage to memorize the lyrics, even if they cannot translate what it is they are actually saying.
Dance and music are forces that break down the social, political, and racial barriers that separate humanity. It's not just a matter of appreciating and/or enjoying different types of dance and music -- it's about celebrating unique cultures through diversity. And once a person begins to recognize similarities between different cultures, the "differences" might just, at the same time, start to become less significant.
As the protagonist in 1: The Intern says in Chapter 13, I've learned that hip hop is "more than being dressed in baggy outfits with chunky accessories, white Adidas sneakers, and baseball caps." What started out as a past time (surfing around on YouTube looking at dance videos), turned into something so much more.
It is therefore my hope, aim, and intention, to incorporate this element of "unity in diversity," via the SINS07 series. And I have Hip Hop to thank, for this vision.
Jess’s literary work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, such as Word Riot, ITCH Magazine,
and The Battered Suitcase
. She was a research assistant for the 2010 Jossey-Bass/Wiley publication,My Lie
. She is currently working on the SINS07 series, as well as an urban fantasy project featuring cyberpunk elves. Her novella, The Devilin Fey
, hit #1 in Amazon’s “Hot New Releases in Bargain Books” in July 2010.
SINS07 Website: www.sins07.wordpress.com