Platinum by Aliya S. King, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble


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by Aliya S. King

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You only think you want this life . . .

Alex Maxwell is planning her wedding to up-and coming music artist Birdie, ghostwriting video vixen Cleopatra Wright’s memoir, and she’s just been assigned the story of the year by her editor in chief at a major music industry magazine—an article about the glamorous lives of women married to


You only think you want this life . . .

Alex Maxwell is planning her wedding to up-and coming music artist Birdie, ghostwriting video vixen Cleopatra Wright’s memoir, and she’s just been assigned the story of the year by her editor in chief at a major music industry magazine—an article about the glamorous lives of women married to platinum-selling hip-hop artists. Alex has been interviewing celebrities and hangers-on long enough to know all that glitters isn’t gold, so she’s determined to get the real scoop. Still, it’s not going to be easy to get past the wives’ gilded cages. . .

Beth Saddlebrook, wife of aging rapper Z. They have three beautiful boys and a seemingly endless supply of cash. But Beth spends her days trying to keep Z off drugs and fielding calls from women hollering she’s just a “small-town white bitch” and claiming to be carrying Z’s baby. Only one person understands what she’s going through. . .

Kipenzi Hill, multiplatinum-selling R&B artist and Beth’s best friend. Her relationship with rap star and record label president Jake is an open secret in the industry. She knows Jake loves her, but he’d rather break up than publicly acknowledge it. Now she has learned that the newest (and much younger) R&B sensation Bunny has been signed to Jake’s label.

Josephine Bennett, wife to Jamaican singer and überproducer Ras Bennett. Josephine doesn’t just want to spend her husband’s money, she wants to contribute. Her fashion company is finally starting to get media attention when her husband admits to something she’s suspected all along—he’s fallen in love with another woman.

Cleopatra Wright, every man’s dream girl, a video vixen with a story to tell and scores to settle. Cleo’s got that thing no one can put a finger on and no man (or woman) can resist. Some would call her evil or misguided or both, but Cleo always moves with a purpose and she’ll stop at nothing to get what she wants. . .

Alex realizes she may have more in common with these women than she’d like. What if this is a glimpse of how her life will be if Birdie finally gets signed to a major label? Stuck between her loyalty to this newfound sisterhood and her obligation to write the truth, Alex is forced to rethink everything she knows about work, friendship, and love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An entertainment journalist and coauthor of memoirs by Frank Lucas and Faith Hill, King presents a satirical fiction debut thick with multiple plots and lightly fictionalized celebrities. King's heroine is Alex Sampson Maxwell, a freelance entertainment journalist who's covered some of the era's biggest names, currently booked solid preparing to marry a well-known rapper named Birdie--divorced, with a young daughter--while ghostwriting the memoirs of infamous home-wrecking groupie Cleo. When she's assigned an additional story on rappers and their relationships, things get really precarious--as difficult as her relationship is already (especially in dealing with her stepdaughterto-be) Alex's new story teaches her the multiple ways that fame can cripple a relationship, if not kill it outright. This fast-paced melodrama occasionally overreaches and leaves a number of plot lines dangling, while the thinly veiled versions of actual celebrities (Jay Z and Beyoncé Knowles, Chris Brown and Rhianna, etc.) can be distracting, as readers will have no choice but to line up real and fictional events in their heads. Still, an entertaining mix of sex, betrayals, high drama, and tragedy will keep the pages turning. (July)
From the Publisher
"A juicy ride through love in the hip-hop fast lane. The plot twists will make you wince and squirm, especially when you try to imagine the real-life characters who may have suffered such indignities!”
—Erica Kennedy, New York Times bestselling author, Bling

“A perfectly delicious, devilish brew of a tale that is absolutely addictive—I triple-dog dare you to try to put it down before you finish drinking in all that gossipy, backstabbing, juicy music industry goodness.”
—Denene Millner, New York Times bestselling co-author, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and The Vow

“I know the life Aliya writes about. An incredibly captivating read, Platinum is a dead-on depiction of how love and hip-hop aren’t always able to co-exist peacefully, if at all.”
—Faith Evans, New York Times bestselling author, Keep the Faith

“Platinum is on the money—and behind the music—and rich with the heartbreaking politics of sex and exciting and authentic new voice in fiction."
—Danyel Smith, author, Bliss and More Like Wrestling

Platinum tears the roof off of what goes on behind the closed doors of hip-hop celebrity relationships, from the jaded wives, cynical journalists, and bitter jump-offs, and how they all interlink. It's a hard, harsh look at our industry—one that's impossible to put down."
—Cheo Hodari Coker, author, Unbelievable: The Life, Death and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G.

“With her award-winning reporting skills and superior writing, Aliya S. King's Platinum proves why she's one of the best storytellers of our generation."
—Mimi Valdes, Editor-in-Chief, Latina Magazine

Platinum makes it clear that true loves goes beyond platinum albums and McMansions in the suburbs. True love can be tested by the industry. But not destroyed: It's forever; firm, indestructible and solid-just like platinum. You don't want to miss this book. And you won't want to put it down.”
—LaLa Vazquez, co-owner, Crossover Entertainment

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.14(d)


Meet the Author

Aliya S. King is an award-winning journalist and the author of Platinum. She is the co-author of Original Gangster and the New York Times bestseller Keep the Faith. Her work has appeared in Vibe, Giant, Uptown, Essence, King, Ms., Us Weekly, and Teen People, among others. Please visit her at

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Platinum 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
MissyMe More than 1 year ago
What starts out as an assignment quickly becomes more as Alex Maxwell ghost writes a story for Cleopatra Wright, known as Cleo. Cleo claims to have slept with 90% of all rappers in the Tri State area and she's telling her story via a novel titled Platinum. Inside the book are the sexcapades of Cleo with several known husbands, fiancé's and boyfriends in the industry. As Alex writes Cleo's story she's also planning her wedding to music artist Birdie. When she learns what the novel is about her first question to Cleo is "if Birdie is in the book". Her answer sends her on a quest for self discovery and personal redemption. Cleo is like the black widow spider she spins a web that has loosely woven threads. In the middle is a tunnel in which the spider sits waiting for its prey to become trapped. Cleo is doing the same with this book. Along with Alex's help she's spinning a tale that is sure to capture a few insects and cover others in her venom. Along with writing Cleo' story Alex is asked by Vibe editor in chief to write from her perspective a story titled; The Secret Lives of Rappers Wives". The story covers three of the most prominent wives; Beth Saddlebrook wife of rapper Z, they have 3 male children and Beth is pregnant with a fourth. Z tells her that this one better be a girl. Beth spends her time trying to make sure this unborn child is a girl as well as keeping Z off drugs and minimizing his groupie damage. With only one person able to understand Beth's predicament, Kipenzi Hill a multiplatinum artist and Beth's best friend. Her relationship with record producer Jake is not in the open yet and Jake would rather walk away then for anyone to know about them. As she struggles with retiring a new star is on the rise; Bunny and Jake is about to sign her to his label. Lastly is Josephine Bennett; wife of singer and producer Ras Bennett. With life taking a turn for the worse Josephine reminisces on the time before the cars, homes and money. As Alex spends more time with Cleo she realizes how toxic she is but also the more time she spends with the rapper wives she sees more and more of her life in theirs. She questions the trade off; money, power, fame and respect over love, time, and personal respect. Platinum is a well written story about the behind the scenes look at the hip hop industry. If you are interested in reading the lifestyles of the rich and famous, keeping up with celebrity news and in this case trying to figure out who the characters are then this is the book for you. Missy Readers Paradise 4 book marks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I havent heard your side of the story. What happened ith my brother eclipse?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ThatDamnJonesGirl More than 1 year ago
This Was A Very Good Book!!! You Reallly Get Into The Lives Of The Characters!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had the pleasure of meeting the author at a book signing and was very excited to get home and begin this book. 2 days later I was disapointed at the fact that I'd finished the book so quickly. I felt like I was watching the story play out in front of my eyes. Unfortunately the author doesn't think she'll do a part 2...I hope she reconsiders...
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WrittenBeauty More than 1 year ago
Alex Maxwell is a well-known entertainment journalist given a heavy assignment from VIBE Magazine's editor-in-chief on "The Secret Lives of Rappers Wives." It is up to Maxwell to get the gritty details behind the glitz and glamour lifestyle of the wives and girlfriends of the famed rap artists. While Maxwell hunts for exclusive interviews, we discover that she carries secrets of her own including ghostwriting for Cleopatra Wright,whose claim to fame is sleeping with over 90% of the rap artists in the Tri-State area, and also her own secret relationship with up-and-coming artist Birdie. Meanwhile, Maxwell is also scoring exclusive interviews with the wives of high-profile artists. Beth Saddlebrook, wife of rapper Z, is pregnant with her fourth child whom she prays is a girl for the sake of reviving her marriage. In addition to raising her three other sons, Beth is also fighting to keep Z away from the drugs that are now having a negative impact on his music career. Luckily for Beth she has a strong support system in multi-platinum artist and best friend, Kipenzi Hill. Kipenzi is ready to ditch her glamorous lifestyle and settle down as the wife of big-time artist Jake; however, to Kipenzi's disappointment, Jake would rather keep their relationship a secret. Josephine Bennett is the wife of the heavily sought after producer Ras Bennett. While she probably has the most stable relationship of the three women, she prefers the more subtle lifestyle that they once had and seeks to have her own identity in her fashion line. King does well in interweaving the characters and keeping the readers in suspense about which characters reflect real life artists. The authenticity of the story is what makes it appealing instead of just another tell-all book about celebrities. Anybody who is interested in entertainment or closely follows the lives of hip hop celebrities will find this book a compelling read.
Reads4Pleasure More than 1 year ago
If you're old enough to have been reading in the early 80s, you'll remember all of the hubbub over Jackie Collins' Hollywood Wives. Just in case you're not familiar with it, it's the beginning of her steamy series about what goes on in the lives of some of the most rich and famous, but of course, names have been changed to protect the innocent. Part of the fun in reading her books was trying to figure out who was whom. With Platinum, Aliya S. King has become the millennium's version of Jackie Collins. Think Hollywood Wives then replace it with the world of rap. Think west coast and then replace it with the east coast. Think scheming and conniving characters, then...think scheming and conniving characters. Freelance writer Alex Maxwell is engaged to an up and coming rapper. She's covered some of the biggest names in the industry. An assignment from Vibe finds her interviewing the wives, fiances and girlfriends of some of the most famous men on the east coast. Beth Saddlebrook, wife of aging rapper "Z", has been with her husband since she was 15 and he rescued her from her impoverished life in West Virginia. The mother of four, with another on the way, she's lived a pretty spectacular life. That's if you don't count the verbal and occasionally physical abuse, along with the cheating and drug use. As Z's career begins its descent, his behavior becomes more sporadic and Beth is sure he's using again. Kipenzi Hill is Beth's best friend and a star in her own right. Working in the industry since she was 3, Kipenzi is more than ready to get out of the game and marry her long time boyfriend Jake. The elegant Josephine Bennett is married to the hottest producer in the game. Josephine has everything she ever wanted in Ras. She's happy with her home and her design business. She'd be even happier if she was able to conceive. And finally there's Cleo Wright. Cleo's not married or dating any high powered men. She merely sleeps with them for blackmail purposes. Every man that's ever used her is about to have his life disrupted. She's about to score a big payday with her tell all novel co-written with Alex Maxwell. What did you like about this book? This is the perfect beach read. Though there are some disturbing moments here and there, the story never gets weighed down by them. What didn't you like about this book? There's been a lot of speculation on the web about whom the characters in Platinum are based on. With few exceptions, I didn't like the characters enough to even try to figure it out. What could the author do to improve this book? Though I didn't particularly care for some of the characters, I can't help but to think that was the author's intention. I would still be interested in reading a sequel because King does a great job of leaving the reader in suspense.
OOSABookClub More than 1 year ago
Aliya S. King's "Platinum" is nothing short of brilliant. It centers around Alex Maxwell. Alex is a writer and master at her craft. She's given the assignment to pen an article about hip-hop wives. As Alex delves deeper into the wives' lives, she listens to their heartfelt stories and she begins to feel a kinship with them. Alex herself is engaged to an up-and-coming rapper and begins to wonder how close the women's lives mirror her own. Meanwhile, Cleo, the ultimate groupie, prides herself in the fact that she has slept with the majority of entertainers in the hip-hop world. Cleo decides to write a tell-all book and Alex is hired to be the ghostwriter. Cleo names each one of the artists she's slept with and this bombshell threatens to bring the hip-hop world to its knees. Cleo has rappers running for cover. As Cleo's book continues to create havoc and aware of the repercussions once the book is released, Alex begins to wonder if working on the book was such a great idea after all. She also can't help but wonder whether her fiancé's name will be among the men Cleo has slept with. King skillfully shows the downside of show business. With non-stop drama and realistic characters, she showcases her considerable talents in this electrifying book. "Platinum" is a must read. Reviewed by: Anna
harstan More than 1 year ago
Entertainment reporter Alex Sampson Maxwell has gained recognition for her coverage of some of the most prominent people of the past decades. She is engaged to single dad Birdie the rapper and ghostwriting the memoirs of notorious man-eating groupie Cleopatra "Cleo" Wright. Cleo tells her tale of sleeping with over 90% of the rapper recording artists in the New York metropolitan area. Her approach to relating her sleeping prowess with a who's who and more is through a novel Platinum. As Alex begins to write Cleo's tell all "memoir", she wonders if her Birdie slept with a toxic relationship breaker. At the same time Alex is working a magazine article The Secret Lives of Rapper Wives starting with Rapper Z's spouse Beth (and their three kids with one coming), The fun in this exciting contemporary drama is figuring out who the characters are in real life, which can detract from the well written story line focus on will fame spoil rappers (and Rock Hunter). Still Alex keeps the three prime subplots focused as the audience obtains a deep look at what goes on behind the closed door of the famous. Harriet Klausner