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The Sixth Element of Hip Hop inspired Harlemville…

July 28, 2019

A blog scribed by a new writer chronicling his journey writing a first novel. And along the way sharing helpful tips, referrals and ideas or suggestions which improves writing for myself and others.

Release of my first novel, titled, Harlemville is tentatively set for December 2019.

When it comes to ideas for storylines inspiration can be drawn from everyplace imaginable. Most times life’s experiences are a basis for stories, or a weird daydream starts you plotting a tale with, ‘what if’? Maybe a conversation you ear hustled while standing in line at the shopping center caused you to laugh, and you figured others may find it comical as well. There is absolutely no restrictions limited to the imagination for inspiration in crafting a story.

I want to be specific with the inspiration that prompted me to write Harlemville. It touches close to a synopsis, but no cigar.

Growing up in a NYC housing projects in the ’70’s offered me a full social existence, as compared to a suburban upbringing. My closest neighbor was next door, not the next house over. My best friends lived in the same building as opposed to the next block, or three houses over. And if that wasn’t enough, there were eight other buildings where our friends lived, so my choice of acquaintances was wide.

Growing up poor wasn’t unique to my situation. The projects geographic location placed me in one of the poorest areas or sections of the Bronx. At a young age, I didn’t know poor. The neighborhood center provided opportunities to travel on trips, I participated in day and summer camps, and a selected few, like myself went to Disney World when it opened in 1971.

Always with a label attached –disadvantaged youth. Now my mom worked, everyday, but there never seemed to be enough. As a young male teen, hormones raging and eyes open gaining a perspective to my surroundings, I recognized my role models.

In hindsight most young men in the 1960s that were drafted into the Vietnam War, most all came back hooked on drugs, or experienced mental issues. That situation placed a limit on men in my neighborhood that would be positive role models. In that era a generation was literally taken away. Who remained were the number runners, drug dealers and hustlers, which were impressive with their dress, money and overall swag.

As my teenage years came about, drugs were prevalent, Hip-Hop hit the scene along with DJ’s, Mc’s, B-boy’s, Graffiti & Fashion The five elements that are widely recognized as making up that scene.

My characters make up the Sixth Element. The least talked about or associated with Hip Hop. The focus was always money. The parties weren’t free. The Sixth Element provided the substances for an enhanced enjoyment of that new scene in our lives.

We were the ones posted up on the wall by the bathroom — fresh cut, two finger rings, chains hanging wearing brand new everything head to toe. The ones that provided the all white powder, the smoke and whatever else was needed to stay in the groove. On the scene for the new music, fly girls, but most of all to make money.

The background I revealed is the basis of the era and situations my characters represent.

We represented the Sixth Element in Hip Hop. The Hustlers. You heard right. How can one forget they we were part of that scene. DJ, MC, Graffiti, BBoys, Fashion and yes, Hustlers. It leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, and is not the most popular aspect, yet it is just as prevalent as the music itself. Without it, that bass would not have the super thump, most boys probably wouldn’t have the courage to speak to a chick without it.

I grew up without shit, but the basic necessities. I wanted more, and saw much especially during my escapades downtown to Harlem. Individuals in my age group, wore designer clothes, were well groomed and something small as buying food from outside to eat was a regular. That was my reality.

And in real life, like in Harlemville, a main character, Jitt Black is motivated to enter the life simply because he wanted a pair of premium sneakers that his mom was unable to afford to impress a Harlem fly girl he fell in lust with.

The means leads him on a path and deepens his involvement in an organization that plays the game for keeps.

I’ll end the tease there.

Harlemville will be going to full edit in October. Currently the work taking place is patching any holes, if you will. This is my first novel. I’m proud of my progress.

More writing references next week., until then…

Writers Write…., Farewell til Forever…

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