Photo credits: Michael McLeer
This fall, a former music industry executive-turned-author will be releasing a children’s book, which uses the alphabet to teach the essence of America’s most popular song genre.
According to Vibe Magazine, author Howie Abrams is putting out a book for children titled The Hip-Hop Alphabet. Abrams used to be an A&R manager at In-Effect Records, an independent music publishing house owned by Relativity Records. Abrams forthcoming book is illustrated by Michael McLeer.
McLeer is a nationally-known graffiti artist who has performed graphic design duties for a number of notable hip-hop acts. The foreword for The Hip Hop Alphabet is written by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, a member of the legendary rap trio Run DMC. McDaniels’ prominent message at the beginning of the book partially reads as follows:
“[The Hip-Hop Alphabet is a combination of] the wit and words of hip-hop with the artistic mastery of graffiti (our art) to provide a creative educational experience for the young and old alike. It’s solid proof that hip-hop, as well as all of the arts, are powerful tools for learning and educating our children!” (Lesser Gods Publishing)
In the book, each chapter will chronologically use a letter of the alphabet to explain a crucial person, art, or place, which is synonymous with hip-hop culture. For instance, the letter “D” will give an explanation of what DJing is. The book is written in simple language that children can easily identify with.
In addition to teaching children the genuine meanings behind the true essence of hip-hop culture and how it first came about, The Hip-Hop Alphabet was developed to contribute to a truly valiant cause. Money made from the book sales will go toward the Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music.
This nonprofit organization is named in honor of Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, Run DMC’s late legendary DJ. Mizell passed away in 2002. The foundation named after him is dedicated to helping the arts become more accessible to low-income children who live in impoverished communities.