Hip-hop literature

Hip-hop literature

In the 21st century, fictional stories and non-fictional accounts that incorporate and reflect Hip-Hop culture are defined as Urban Literature or “ghetto books.” Urban Literature is a branch of African-American Literature, which is any literary work written by an author of African descent. The incorporation of literature into Hip-Hop culture can be dated back to as early as 1994 with No Disrespect by Sister Souljah. Urban Literature is celebrated throughout the United States with national book clubs such as Black Expressions and with book festivals such as the Harlem Book Fair which takes place every July in Harlem, New York. The monthly magazine Essence also features a book-list of the top five Urban Literature fiction books and the top five Urban Literature non-fiction books in every issue. Currently four major Urban Literature publishing companies are recognized. At this point they all have an equal share of the Urban Literature market.Although Urban Literature publishing companies exist, they are not the only publishers of Urban Literature. Over the last ten years, larger publishing companies have created imprints. An imprint is defined as “a name, title, or other designation by which all or certain specific books of a publisher are identified.” For example Strebor Books International which is an Urban Literature publishing company founded by Zane, an Urban Literature erotica author, in 1999, is also an imprint of Simon and Schuster, Inc.

Urban Publishing Companies

Teri Woods Publishing

Teri Woods Publishing [www.teriwoodspublishing.com] was founded by author Teri Woods in the late 1990’s who started with virtually no capital, selling books out of her car. A self-made millionaire, Teri Woods has developed her publishing company into one on the top publishing companies for Urban Literature. Books published by Teri Woods Publishing include True 2 the Game by Teri Woods, The Dutch Trilogy by Teri Woods, Deadly Reigns by Teri Woods, Triangle of Sin by Nurit Folkes and B-More Careful by Shannon Holmes.

Triple Crown Publications

Triple Crown Publications [www.triplecrownpublications.com] began in 2001 with the debut novel Let That Be The Reason by Vicki Stringer. Over five years and 25 authors later, TCP is the world’s leading publisher of Urban Literature. Books published by TCP include Let That Be The Reason by Vicki Stringer, Dime Piece by Tracy Brown, Sheisty by T.N. Baker, Flipside of the Game by Tu-Shonda Whitaker and A Hustler’s Wife by Nikki Turner.

Urban Books

Urban Books [www.urbanbooks.net] was founded in 2002 by author Carl Webber. Their slogan is Urban Books: ‘Where Drama Meets the Streets.’ Books published by Urban Books include A Gangster’s Girl by Chunichi, Street Life by Jihad, Around The Way Girls Series, Girls from the Hood Series and Drama Queen by LaJill Hunt.

Q-Boro Books

Q-Boro Books [www.qborobooks.com] which is stationed out of Queens, New York was launched in 2004 by Mark Anthony. Since its start as an imprint of Urban Books, Q-Boro Books has grown to compete with some of the top Urban Literature publishers in the country including Urban Books and Triple Crown Publications. Books published by Q-Boro Books include The Last Chance by Darrien Lee (also author of All That and a Bag of Chips and What Goes Around, Comes Around), King of Spades by Kiniesha Gayle, Drama in the Church by Dynah Zale, Obsession 101 by Michelle McGriff and My Skin is my Sin by Dejon.


Urban Literature has often been critiqued for its glorification of sex, drugs and violence in the Black community. Many African-American literary scholars believe that Urban Literature is taking the place of classic Black Literature and erasing parts of Black history while, projecting a negative image of what life should be like for Black people [salon.com] .


[http://www.teriwoodspublishing.com/site.html] [http://www.urbanbooks.net/best_drama.html] [http://www.triplecrownpublications.com/catalog.php?p=5] [http://www.qborobooks.com/bio.htm]

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