Nineteen Forty-Three: A Novel

Harlem is anything but civil in 1943. – KINDLE | PAPERBACK


The crowds screamed with excitement, the bass-drum hitting that rhythm which unlocked that primal; the eternal fire which resides in the heart of anyone submitting to the magic of Hip Hop. The deep sub-bass followed each pound, and with that the speakers trembled, sending those vibrations into the crowd further encouraging their roars. There he stood, upon the stage, one microphone in his hand, and the other hand swaying back and forth.  His shoulders rocking back and forth with a swagger earned through practice and experience. The DJ kept his hand upon the record, skipping it from time to time to provide that well-known scratch effect, and after the fourth one, he reset the beat. Letty kept his rhythm intact though. The unprepared and inexperienced would have lost their cadence, or even their place, but he was far from such. He spent nearly a decade perfecting the art of rhyme, starting as a young eight year old, after hearing that classic Jay-Z Blueprint album.

The soulful samples chopped with such beauty, like the master chef in a five-star restaurant preparing a ten course meal. Especial care taken in each song; and continuity unmatched. This album was his inner-soundtrack as the crowd watched him perform with exceptional and entrancing charisma. The words rolled off Letty’s tongue with ease; his diction clear and defined. The bari-tenor voice offered a slight difference when juxtaposed with his main influence. His patterns similar but his voice rang out with more power. The crowd was no doubt into it, their ears entranced by the flow. Their necks under the will of the beat’s pocket, and the accompanying flashing blue lights seizing their vision. What was only three minutes felt like forever. Not in the forever sense where a person just wants it to end but more in that way that freezes time. In the way two lovers feel when they gaze into the eyes of the other, seeing right into their soul. Time stopped in such a manner when he was on stage and when those three minutes had passed; the DJ faded the beat out.

A silence filled the area, before a loud thunderous roar followed. The crowd raised their hands in admiration, offering Letty an exceeding amount of praise and Letty basked in this. He dropped the microphone and that caramel brown hand lifted into the air, two fingers erect, offering the universal sign known to every human. The peace sign held high, and then that same hand balling into a fist to pound his chest with a confidence. Women screams were noticeably higher, their tones carrying not only admiration, but flirtation. No doubt these women had been subdued by the spirits. A few shots of vodka did well for their souls. Unleashed that inhibition and released from their subconscious those thoughts we all wish not to expose in any other setting. But this was not ‘that’ setting, in fact, this was the perfect setting.



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