Tiffany D. Jackson, author of YA thrillers Monday’s Not Coming and Allegedly, is back with Let Me Hear A Rhyme, a book that combines a thriller, Brooklyn, 90s rap music and three kids running a scam on a bunch of adults.
From the publisher:
Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their best friend Steph’s music lie forgotten under his bed after he’s murdered—not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party.
With the help of Steph’s younger sister Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: the Architect. Soon, everyone wants a piece of him. When his demo catches the attention of a hotheaded music label rep, the trio must prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.
As the pressure of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only, each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, they need to decide what they stand for or lose all that they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.
I really enjoyed this story. The voice was very recognizable as 90s-era slang, which it’s sad to say could be considered historical fiction now.
This was much more enjoyable than Jackson’s first two critically-acclaimed books. These three kids are running a scam on all of the adults and it’s fun to watch them try to pull it off.
There are some serious undercurrents woven into the story (poverty, the constant temptation of involvement in the drug trade, the justifiable fear of police and snitching) but it was overall much more lighthearted.
I don’t think you need to be a fan of 90s rap at all to enjoy this book.