Monday, April 16, 2007

Gangsta Rap

Gangsta Rap is about a boy called Ray who has problems both at home - he argues constantly with his father, and at school - eventually he is "permanently excluded" i.e. no longer allowed to go to school.

He and his friends, who have also been excluded get into trouble and are arrested.

They are then encouraged to attend a special alternative education program dealing specifically with music. As there is only one love in Ray's life - rap music, this seems like a perfect opportunity. With his friends, Tyrone and Prem, he forms a group called Positive Negatives which very quickly gets swept up into the music industry as they have a meteoric rise to fame. But they soon encounter problems and realise that life as a star can be just as difficult as the lives they had at the start of the book.

This is an interesting novel, especially if you are into music and want to know how the industry works. Not one of Benjamin Zephaniah’s best books, in my opinion, but is well worth a read nonetheless. You might want to read Face or Refugee Boy, by the same author as well (or instead).

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