Did you know R. Kelly published a memoir back in June? I sure didn’t hear anything about it, but if the excerpt below is a demonstration of what I’d have to look forward to, I’ll walk right on by when I spot it in the clearance bin at my local bookstore. I can’t tell you how many bad excerpts I’ve read from this book. Here’s one from the “Yo Pac! Yo Biggie!” chapter:
It was 1996; I had just left the lobby of the Hotel Nikko. (We called it the Hotel Negro because so many rappers and music business folk liked staying there.) I was standing out front, waiting for my ride to arrive, when I looked up and saw Tupac Shakur driving by in a bad-ass Bentley. He was alone, and I though to myself: “Man, this nigga got some balls to be rolling by himself like that.”
“Yo Pac!” I yelled at the top of my voice.
He made a U-turn and jumped out of the car.
“What up, baby?” he asked.
“Just wanted to holla at you,” I said. “Just had to tell you that I love everything you do.”
“Hey, man,” said Pac, “coming from you that’s a helluva compliment.”
“Lots of cats say rap and R&B live in different parts of the planet, but I don’t see it that way, Pac. I see us all coming together. You feel me?”
“Been feeling the same way. It’s all the same thing. Beats, words, stories.”
“Man, we need to do an album.”
“Would love it.”
“I’m talkin’ about a whole album. A whole concept. A big game-changing record.”
“You got it, Kells. Tell me what studio and when to be there.”
“Gonna send you some tracks,” I said.
“Don’t need no tracks. Just need to know you wanna work with me. That’s enough. We’ll just let it do what it do.”
“God is good.”
“All the time,” said Pac.
We hugged and Pac went on his way.
Sigh. And yet this was published while thousands of writers receive rejection notices each day. I won’t even post the rest of the nonsense I’ve read from this book online, but feel free to take a view for yourself. I recommend hiring a ghost writer next time, but what do I know? 58 people on Amazon gave the book 5 stars. Interestingly enough, while I once read that R. Kelly was illiterate, his memoir describes him as having a form of dyslexia that makes reading and writing a severe challenge.
Pick books that matter. I know I read Rick James’ memoir, but . . . well . . . that’s different!
Happy reading, y’all.