Unsigned Hype: A Novel

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Overview

You are about to enter uncharted Terror Tory . . .

I'm Tory Tyson, but you can call me Terror Tory because I bring terror to all producers and DJs. I'm from the hood side of Mount Vernon, which is right next to the Bronx. I'm fifteen and I already met my future wife. I just have to get her to see it that way.

Did I mention that my beats and turntable skills are sick? This summer I'll be spinning at a block party in my neighborhood on Friday ...

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Overview

You are about to enter uncharted Terror Tory . . .

I'm Tory Tyson, but you can call me Terror Tory because I bring terror to all producers and DJs. I'm from the hood side of Mount Vernon, which is right next to the Bronx. I'm fifteen and I already met my future wife. I just have to get her to see it that way.

Did I mention that my beats and turntable skills are sick? This summer I'll be spinning at a block party in my neighborhood on Friday nights. You should come through. It's going to be hot (pun intended). Me and my partner Fat Mike are going to enter the Unsigned Hype demo contest on New York's Power 97, "the nation's number one station." If we win, my whole life will change. But there's always somebody hatin'. I'm trying to stay focused, but every day it's different drama.

Man, I just want to make it . . .

"A great story. . . . [Tory's] life, music, and personal situations were stepping-stones to becoming someone great in hip-hop music. That's a beautiful thing."--Pete Rock, legendary hip-hop producer and DJ

"This story is long overdue. It shows that even bad neighborhoods can produce good things. Tory keeps it real, but he also keeps it right."--Robert Teitel, producer, Soul Food, Men of Honor, the Barbershop series, Roll Bounce, and Notorious

"A story that anyone growing up in the urban landscape can relate to . . . A fresh account . . . of the heart of a young teen wrestling with what it takes to become a man."--DJ Essence, hip-hop producer, DJ, and CEO of Lamp Mode Recordings

". . . flashes strong street cred . . . . Firmly rooted in hip-hop lore, it will have huge appeal for urban teens."--Library Journal

Booker T. Mattison is a writer and filmmaker whose films and music videos have aired on Showtime, BET, MTV Europe, the Gospel Music Channel, and TBN. Mattison lives in New York. This is his first novel.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fifteen-year-old Tory Tyson knows that finishing high school isn't going to help him launch his hip-hop career as “Terror Tory” or vault him into fame and fortune. He doesn't understand why his mom is pushing him to finish school and to get him to understand the Christian faith she discovered five years ago. All he wants is to get a record deal as a rap music producer—so he pins his hopes on the “Unsigned Hype” demo contest at a local radio station. What he hasn't bargained for is all the attention he starts receiving after his beats are played, when only his family continues treating him the same, and that the one girl he truly wants isn't impressed by his newfound celebrity. This debut novel has an authentic voice, taking readers into the world of New York City hip-hop through the wide eyes of a kid who's still refreshingly innocent. Tory's Christian conversion is telegraphed from the very beginning, but readers will come to love the characters who mentor him along the way, despite the novel's didactic moments. Mattison's is a fresh voice in Christian YA fiction. Ages 12–up. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800733803
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 13 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Booker T. Mattison is an author and filmmaker who wrote the screenplay for and directed the film adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's The Gilded Six Bits, which aired on Showtime. His films have been screened at the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress, the Directors Guild of America, and Harvard University. He has written and directed music videos that have aired on BET, MTV Europe, and the Gospel Music Channel.

Mattison's first novel, Unsigned Hype, was published by Baker Publishing Group in June 2009 and is already in its second printing. He is now working on an adult novel.

Mattison has taught literary criticism at the College of New Rochelle and film production at Brooklyn College. He received his master of fine arts in film from New York University and his bachelor of science in mass communication from Norfolk State University.

He lives in New York with his wife and four children.

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Read an Excerpt

UNSIGNED HYPE

a novel
By BOOKER T. MATTISON

Revell

Copyright © 2009 Booker T. Mattison
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8007-3380-3


Chapter One

Somebody's banging on my front door and it's rocking the house harder than the beat I'm laying down in my bedroom. If I didn't know better, I'd think the jump-out squad was knocking the door off the hinges with a battering ram.

When I peek through the peephole, I see Fat Mike bouncing around like he's about to wet his Red Monkey jean shorts. At eighteen, he's three years older than me, and if you saw him on the block, you'd swear Biggie had been born again.

"Open the door, son!"

When I do I get bum-rushed. Fat Mike is out of breath, and sweat drops pop off his forehead like a thousand little balled-up fists.

"They chose my demo, son!" he says, working hard to catch his breath. "And you know what else? Mixmaster Magic told me I had some banging beats!"

Now I'm officially floored.

For those of you who've been living under a rock for the past fifteen years, Mixmaster Magic is THE radio DJ in hip-hop on "the nation's number one station," Power 97. Not only is Mixmaster Magic a hip-hip pioneer, he's a hip-hop institution. Every rapper who's had a hit record in the last ten years has premiered their song on his show, Magic Hour, which is syndicated on 530 radio stations across the country and simulcast online.

"Yo, son. He said your beats sound like a cross between Pharrell, Swizz Beatz, and Just Blaze all rolled up in one! Round one is this Friday at 7 p.m.!"

I've never seen Fat Mike run before, but he's already gone. Now all I see is his back—and rolls of sweaty, jiggly flesh as he barrels up the block.

The 40 bus stops on the corner and burps a cloud of white smoke. My moms gets off and waves to Fat Mike just as he hits the boulevard and melts into the chocolate people parade.

Moms will be forty on her next birthday. She's not all secretive about her age like a lot of women because, according to her, "Each year you live is a blessing to be celebrated." That might be true, but I think it also has to do with the fact that she doesn't look a day over twenty-five. My friends always tell me how fine she is with her "mocha china-doll face" and "matching coffee-colored hair and eyes." It's my sonly duty to act offended, but as long as they're respectful my fuss is just a front because I know it's all true.

Moms is not even halfway in the house before I'm up in her grill like charcoal and cheeseburgers.

"Unsigned Hype picked Fat Mike's demo!"

She gives me that plastic, parade-float smile she uses only in family photos.

"Tory, that's great for your music, but you know how I feel about Power 97."

I didn't mention that Moms is real religious. She thinks you shouldn't listen to, watch, or read anything that goes against the Bible. Translation: don't entertain anything that could possibly be entertaining.

"Moms, a lot of hip-hop isn't supposed to be real. It's the rapper's imagination. No different from a movie or a video game."

Now why did I go and say that? She starts quoting Scripture, saying something about casting down imaginations and making thoughts obey Christ. Man, I wouldn't know how to do that even if I wanted to. Sometimes it's like she's speaking a foreign language. And I'm kind of disappointed because I thought she'd be happier for me.

She rubs my head and pulls me into a hug. "But I'll follow the competition as long as you're in it, because you're my modern-day Mozart and I love you."

* * *

I've never been a saint. The only saints I know are the names on churches and schools around my way, like St. Ursula, St. Peter, and St. Something on the abandoned building at the end of my block. I'm the youngest of three brothers, and I never knew my pops. He died when my moms was still pregnant with me. He was coming home late from work one night, and according to my moms it was a botched robbery attempt. They didn't get any money because my dad fought back. That part makes me feel proud, but in the end I guess he still lost.

My older brothers, Corey and Devin, say they remember him. They were three and two, so I guess they would.

Because I don't have any actual memories of my dad, I've created my own out of stories I've heard and pictures I've seen. In my mind these memories are as real as the ones that Corey and Devin have. I've always wondered if Dad really is somewhere looking down on us or if that's just something people say to create the illusion of an afterlife.

My moms is the executive assistant for a partner at Lufkin, Kravitz, and Klume, a law firm in New York City, so we have it better than most kids on my block. She found religion five years ago, and anytime I say that, she goes into this "it's not about religion, it's about relationship" thing. How can you have a relationship with somebody you've never seen? She actually talks to God like he's going to answer and calls him "Father" and really means it. She even told me he can be the father I never had. Okay, Moms. Right.

But I'm cool with the religious stuff because she doesn't yell as much anymore. It's only when she tries to push it on me that it becomes a problem. I still remember her drinking White Zin and going to the club with her girlfriends one Friday a month. Now she hangs out at church on days besides Sundays. And she won't even do the Harlem Shake when I play one of my beats for her. And she's the one who taught me how to Harlem Shake!

I'm in tenth grade now, but after school lets out next month, I won't be going back. I'm dropping out because I know what I want to do with my life, and what they teach in school (if you want to call it teaching) isn't preparing me for my vocation. Geometry can't show me how to make music, and being in the school band is not going to get me a record deal.

I guess since I've been talking to you this long I should tell you my name. It's Tory Tyson. But I go by Terror Tory because I bring terror to all producers and DJs. And when I blow up (pun intended), I'm not taking sides, I'm taking over—terriTory, that is.

I've been into producing music since I was like ten years old. I started deejaying at friends' birthday parties in my neighborhood in Mount Vernon around the same time. Mount Vernon is a small city right outside of the Bronx. I mean small like 68,000 people.

My dad left behind a huge record collection. I'm talking hundreds of records. I have popular stuff and rare stuff with songs you can't get off "best of" CDs. I make more money when I spin at parties for older folks in their thirties and forties than I do at parties for people my age. So those old records do come in handy.

The older folks' parties I do are mostly for my moms's friends, which means they knew my dad. They're always telling me my DJ style is just like his was, and that I look just like him. It doesn't seem right that these people have actual memories of my dad and I don't. I wonder what the guy in the sky who made my moms a widow has to say about that.

But enough of the sentimental stuff.

My record collection is also where I get all the hot samples you hear in my beats. I'm ready to come out with my own record instead of spinning everybody else's. I've been saving all my money from my gigs so I can stop recording in the bedroom I share with my brothers and record a professional-sounding demo in a real studio. That's when I'll start sending my stuff around to record labels in the city.

Now I'm going to tell you why you should be glad you're getting to know me now instead of later. One day I'm going to produce songs for all the top hip-hop artists. That's where Fat Mike comes in. He's the best emcee in Mount Vernon, and he also works in the mail room at Power 97. I met him through my brother Devin's friend Cheryl—she's Fat Mike's sister. That's how I found out that Fat Mike was looking for beats. He became my first client when he paid me $100 to produce the three songs on his demo. I charged him another $7.25 an hour to record in my bedroom. I know, you're wondering how I came up with $7.25, right? That's minimum wage in New York. Talent fees can be negotiated, but studio time is never free. Fat Mike said that's what the rap stars say when they come through the station.

Because Fat Mike is always hanging out at Power, even on his days off, he knew about the Unsigned Hype demo contest before it was even announced on the air. The contest has three rounds, so if he wins, I win, because my music will be heard all over New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut at least three times. Even better than that, the winner gets a recording contract with Vantage Records, the hottest hip-hop label on the planet.

Fat Mike already told me that once he gets signed he wants me to produce everything he does. After that happens, all I need is one hit for my production fees to go through the roof. Then I can charge as much as $30,000 for each song I produce. So by the time I'm eighteen, I'll get a Lexus SUV. Then I'm getting out of Mount Vernon and buying me a crib in Harlem, where my dad used to teach. One thing my moms taught me is that we don't rent, we buy. Our two-bedroom house might not be the greatest, but it's ours.

Simply put, once I come out I'm going to be the man. Watch me. I have it all figured out.

My best friend, Boo Boo (I've known him since kindergarten and I still don't know his real name), just got home from juvenile detention last week. He was sent to Woodfield for six months for breaking all the windows out of our band teacher's F-150. We're the same age, but I feel a little older than him now because his life was on hold for half a year while I was learning a lot of things on the outside.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Boo Boo asked me to go with him the night he trashed Mr. Pisarcik's truck. I told him he was crazy. My moms is a lot nicer these days, but she'd still kill me for doing something like that. And to tell you the truth, even though Mr. Pisarcik is always giving me and Boo Boo detention, sometimes for no good reason, messing up his truck didn't seem like the right thing to do. A better way to get back at him would've been to take his loud, jingling key ring and lock him in the band room at the end of the day. It would've been awhile before anybody knew he was in there since he's usually the last one to leave school. And even when he got out, he wouldn't have been able to start his truck because he keeps all his keys on that same ring. But the best part would have been Mr. Pisarcik waiting for a tow truck in this part of town at night.

In case you couldn't tell by his last name, Mr. Pisarcik is white. And the only thing over here that would have looked like him at that time of night would be those spanking white cross trainers he wears with those colorful ties and striped shirts. Nothing would have happened to him, but I know he would've been spooked out of his mind, for real.

Since Boo Boo's been out, he's joined up with a group called the Young Warriors. Yancy and Carl, the two men who run the group, are in their twenties. They're into helping people my age stay out of trouble and off the streets. They're some pretty cool dudes, and not just because they bought and reopened the recreation center that's been closed down for as long as I can remember. They drive nice cars, but not all tricked out with rims and tinted windows. Yancy has an Accord, and Carl has a Camry. They dress nice too, usually a sports jacket and slacks and a crisply ironed shirt. No ties or pointy-toed shoes because that would be wack. Just some casual leather shoes they could rock with jeans if they had my style.

Wait, I haven't even told you my style yet. I'll start by telling you what it's not. I'm not into looking like no gangster (not that my moms would allow me to do that and live in her house anyway). But braids or stuff on my teeth? That's not me. Tattoos are also out. I can't see myself being a wrinkled old man explaining to my grandkids why I have words and pictures painted all over me. Plus, how's the artwork going to look on a shriveled-up old body anyway?

I think some people would do anything no matter how crazy it looks, just because they've seen it on TV or in a magazine. Followers. That's something I'll never be.

But as far as my clothes go, I like jeans that fit me and a nice shirt. Like Kanye West or Jay-Z. They don't look all hard, but they still look cool. That's me in a nutshell.

In a short amount of time, Yancy and Carl have been able to get all kinds of people involved in the Young Warriors, from teenagers to schoolteachers. The first thing they put together was a community barbeque where everybody helped remove the graffiti from the building. They'd heard about my DJ skills, so they hired me to do the music. They even paid me as good as the older folks do—$150 for the event. Another cool thing they started is a basketball league. Now most of my friends go up there after school to play ball. They're also planning on having block parties once school lets out, and they told me they want me to spin for those too. It's looking like it's going to be a good summer.

There's something else I wasn't going to tell you, but I might as well since I'm spilling half my guts anyway. I saw this fly young thing at the barbeque. She looked like a teenage version of Beyoncé, minus the tight clothes. I'd never seen her before, and that's surprising because Mount Vernon is only four square miles. She didn't look at me or anything, but I still think she could like me if she actually saw me. I was trying everything to make her notice. I did my best scratching, mixing, and cross fading, but she wasn't moved by anything I did or played. Then she left before it was over. The next time I'll put on Jimmy Spicer's "Adventures of Super Rhymes." That's an old-school song that's thirteen minutes long. That should be enough time for me to introduce myself and get her number.

* * *

In school, the week leading up to Unsigned Hype is off the chains. The whole school has heard about the contest because everybody and their momma listens to Power 97 (well, everybody except my momma). People have heard that Fat Mike is going to be in it, but nobody knows that I made all of his beats. So I take it upon myself to anonymously leak that bit of information, because Moms says you should let other people praise you instead of you praising yourself. And the praise comes quick and thick.

A girl I don't even know corners me in front of the "Shhhh!" sign in the library. She sucks her teeth, puts her hand on her hip, cocks her head to the side, and whispers loudly, "So you're the one whose music is supposed to be on Power 97?"

I nod my head, and her face lights up like Times Square. She covers her mouth and unleashes a scream that crescendos. "That is tight—tight—TIGHT!"

Another guy asks me, "Those were your beats I heard on Fat Mike's demo?"

When I tell him they were, he removes his Yankees hat out of respect and covers his heart with it. He gives me a pound and shakes his head. "I got one word for you, my dude. Phat-tacular."

By the end of third period, the word on my beats has spread around the school like hot butter. And now it's on like popcorn. Even Mr. Pisarcik congratulates me. As he's talking, I can't help but stare at his key ring. I feel guilty for thinking about locking him in the band room.

Then at lunch, Gessie Johnson sits next to me. She's the prettiest girl at South Side High School, and she's only a sophomore. I feel like Biz Markie in that old-school song "The Vapors." People catch the vapors when they start acting different toward you once you make it. I haven't even done anything yet, and people are already catching it. So how are they going to act when I really blow up? Maybe that's why Gessie Johnson sitting next to me isn't as big a deal as I thought it would be. Or it could be because she was the prettiest girl in the whole world—but that was before I saw that girl at the barbeque.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from UNSIGNED HYPE by BOOKER T. MATTISON Copyright © 2009 by Booker T. Mattison. Excerpted by permission of Revell. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 4, 2010

    AAMBC Book Reviews

    I had the pleasure of meeting Booker T. Mattison in person and his charm shines through his writing. Unsigned Hype was one of the most hilarious, family orientated, and realist novels I have read this year and that's speaking from a lot of books I have read. Mattison wrote with such ease to me and the dialogue seemed the most natural out of any other writer I have read. I felt as if the characters were real people and I was reading a letter written directly to me. The story line consists of a teen boy named Tory who has the musical talents that is rare among those in the industry today. He has the talent to develop great music and he was also a talented DJ. His journey to success in producing music was not a fairy tale and in this book you witness the realism of success. What glitters ain't always gold. This book comes from a Christian stand point but I honestly didn't realize that I was getting a biblical lesson; it's just not that obvious. Which is a good thing because I dislike books that are preachy. Mattison wrote this book in such a way it was so entertaining, real, and came from the streets that you have no idea that it will teach you some life lessons.

    This book is for all ages and it will be one I will keep in my collection and never forget.

    Tamika Newhouse
    AAMBC Reviewer

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2009

    Music Was Visible In Unsigned Hype (Reviewed by TheBookworm)

    Unsigned Hype
    By Booker T. Mattison
    Pub. Date: July 2009
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    PG-13 - Violence, Brief Profanity, Drug Abuse, and Sex Mentioned
    Recommended

    At the young age of 15, Tory Tyson aka "Terror Tory" already knows what he wants to do for the rest of his life. While he is known for his unbelievable turntable talent and hot DJing for both young and old in the community, the music industry has yet to discover him. Hopefully, that is about to change. Fat Mike and Terror Tory partner up to enter the Unsigned Hype demo contest ran by the Nation's #1 Station, Power 97. With Fat Mike's lyrics and rapping and Terror Tory's beats and producing rolling through the radio speakers everywhere, fame and fortune no longer seem so out of reach. As Tory struggles to stay down to earth and focused, opinions and friendships alter and street fights hit to close to home. Why is it that whenever there is a lover, there is also a hater?

    Unsigned Hype astonished me. I was amazed at how someone so culturally different than me could actually be relatable and REAL. It further impressed me with a mature teenager, Tory, as a main character.

    This book was heavily based on character and integrity. Tory was faced with many moral decisions along his journey and his inner battle between selfishness and selflessness was clearly depicted. A battle which every teenager faces. He didn't want to become stuck up and self-righteous or prideful of his humbleness and his less than impressive neighborhood. More than anything Tory wanted to keep his outlook grounded. As Robert Teitel said, "Tory keeps it real, but also keeps it right." Because of his ongoing fight to do what's right, he is a positive role model for teen boys (and girls).

    The producing of rap beats is completely foreign to me. Yet, every stage of the process described in the book was amazingly clear. I could see the overlaying of old tracks. The addition of everyday noise, like rain or trains, seemed effortless and flowed from one raw beat to the next. It was full of depth and power. Music was visible in Unsigned Hype.

    At times, I stumbled over some of the dialogue. It was written in, how do you say, a lighter dialect of street talk (like Moms instead of Mom), but by page 3 I had my footing again.

    Unsigned Hype uniquely illustrated a rapping world full of fame and fortune through the eyes of a level-headed talented guy who wished to do what's right.

    Date Reviewed: June 6th, 2009

    For more book reviews and book information check out my blog at www.inthecurrent.blogspot.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    Something for everyone

    Unsigned hype is not what I thought it would be but that doesn't stifle the fact that I very much enjoyed this book. First I must admit, I am not a hip-hop virtuoso but the story kept me hooked. For me some of the 'hip hop speak' made it a bit slow, but I loved the story's second register that ran throughout the book. Second, the author has a unique gift of vividly making situations that are hilarious, serious; and those that are serious, full of humor. Sometimes you laugh when you may or may not think you should and you are hit by something serious that is characterized as funny. Either way, this makes you step back and think about the circumstances as they relate to real life. If that sounds a bit "deep" it is...but there are a GANG of great music flashbacks in there too, that even someone who is not a hip-hop head like me can definitely appreciate.

    In a nutshell, Unsigned Hype has something for all ages, music lovers, and people who want to live out their dreams.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Thomas

    Hey tori

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This book deserves the HYPE

    I loved everything about this book by Booker T. Mattison, award-winning film writer and maker, award-winning novelist, professor and family man.

    The story is told through the voice of fifteen-year-old Tory, who has been fatherless since he was a small boy. His dad was murdered while coming home from tutoring a student. Moms had done her best to rear her three sons with good moral values and manners.

    Tory inherited his dad's love of music and of being a DJ. He has his dad's old record collection of over 800 discs. When Tory mixes the music for a friend of his who has hopes of being a rapper, they enter a contest and win. However, a big producer picks up Tory but leaves his friend behind.
    Tory catapults to instant star status and is surrounded by people with no scruples: sexually promiscuous, drug dealers and users, and those involved in other dangerous activities. It's easy to get taken in when the big money starts coming in and thousands of people are shouting your name.

    Moms fears that Tory, screen name Terror Tory, will lose his footing and she enlists the help of Mr. Lord who taught with her husband and attends the same church she does.

    Tory is be-smitten by Mr. Lord's daughter, Precious.
    "Precious Lord is really her name? You've got to be kidding me."

    With Moms' love, the attention and influence from Precious, and the fatherly advice from Mr. Lord, Tory learns the true meaning of integrity and truth.

    I wish every teen would read this book ... and their parents too.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Keeping It Relevant and Real

    4.5 Rating

    In the words of Etta James - At Last!

    At last there is an author willing to write a book that is not only relevant, but dares to challenge the mantra of 'keeping it real' within a genre in desperate need of a diversity transfusion.

    Tory Uncharted Terror Tory Tyson has inherited his father's love for music. Using what is in his hand, he wins a coveted radio contest. His belief that he has made it is challenged by a chain of events that will reshape what be believes to be his pre-planned future.

    Whether endowed with street wisdom or somewhat shielded by suburban life, neither demographic will find it hard to follow the storyline, language or examples set forth in this impressive novel. Both demographics will be able to identify with the fact that following the rules will not always insulate you from the predatory practices of others.

    Unsigned Hype by Booker T. Mattison is not the quintessential story of a teen's love for the Hip Hop culture. What it is is a well-written and entertaining ministry that opens eyes to the necessity of moving through life with faith and a lifestyle rooted in true integrity.

    Reviewed by Dr. Linda Beed
    On Assignment Reviews

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  • Posted June 17, 2009

    A different sort of book

    "Terror" Tory is a young man of 15 who think he is going to be the next best thing in the hip hop industry. He makes music spin out its own beat as he throws different kind of hip hop music together. He thinks all he needs is that one big break and he can quit school and be just like all the other hip hop producers spining his musical beats for rappers.

    As he starts getting popular, he learns a lot of life lessons. His mom is worried about him and since he doesn't have a father, she sets him up with sort of a father figure. Mr. Lord helps him build character and understanding, talks to him about the bible.

    I could tell this book was definatly for teenagers and lovers of hip hop because I had a hard time getting past all the music references and teen lingo. I think it is a great book for young adults to read it has a lot of great life lessons to learn with in the pages. Booker T. Mattison is great with spinning out words that would make young people take the time out to read a book.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great story! I was totally inside this teen's head!

    Unsigned Hype pulled me into the head of a young man who attends an inner city school and is quickly getting recognition for his musical talent. For me the sign of a truly great novel is when the story transports you to a world different than your own. This story does just that. I didn't want to do anything except read this book. And not because it was full of junk, but because it felt real to me. Obviously "keeping it real" doesn't need to include a bunch of trash because a lot can be said without being said. If you are street smart you know what the author means. I think that is the main reason that Unsigned Hype will appeal to urban youth. It doesn't hurt that the author has credibility from his own experiences in life either.

    This story clearly shows the slippery slope that one must travel when fame and recognition comes your way. The more naive you are, the harder it is to stay clean. Mr. Mattison did an excellent job showing how teens can still keep their heart right in the midst of temptation and how even the best kids can get hit with the worst knocks if they're in the wrong place at the wrong time or hook up with the wrong people. I loved the young girl in the story, Precious Lord. Yeah, that was her name. Cute, eh? She was great for Tory and so was her father. The strength of family and love from people who have integrity and good character shines brightly throughout this novel. I found it very inspiring when contrasted with the emptiness of what the world pushes at young people. For that Mr. Mattison gets high marks from me! I hope to read the next book in his series. If it's half as good as this one I'm in for a treat!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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