Here's Why You Shouldn't Have Your Kids Help with Your Book About Hip-Hop
[In his column Serrano Time, award-winning writer and goofball Shea Serrano writes about his life and times.]
Notorious B.I.G., ready to die.
I am working on a new book.
I cannot say too much about it yet, other than:
1. it's with the same company that published Bun B's Rap Coloring And Activity Book.
2. it will be a real actual book with real actual words, and illustrations and charts and stickers and all sorts of other neat stuffs.
3. I have until November to finish it, which means that every day until then I will be overcome with infinity pressure, which means that sometime around July I'll place my head in an oven and never be heard from again.
It is very cool but also very intimidating. My editor is considerably smarter than I am, and I am certain I am the least important person that she (or anyone at her office) talks to, so our correspondence is mostly just me saying "yes, ma'am" a lot and trying to make sure that I don't turn in anything late.
While I worked on the rap coloring book two of my three sons, Bay and Meechy, helped out where they could. Mostly they just sat by my desk and bothered me with ALL the questions while I drew pictures or wrote captions. It was neat, but something I'd hoped to avoid if I worked on another project.
Alas, here we are again and here they are again, asking and needling. I am of course proud and happy that they are proud and happy of the work that I do -- I'm told they told their teachers and classmates to buy some copies -- but were it up to me, I'd just as soon work in peace.
I mean, I love them dearly and whatever, but they're six. Six-year-olds don't know shit about shit. I asked Bay to bring me some Double A batteries from a drawer in the kitchen once and he brought me back a page of fish stickers.
"Dude, what are these?" I asked. "Where are the batteries?" He scrunched his face. "I couldn't find them, Daddy. Can these work instead?" HE THOUGHT FISH STICKERS WERE AN ACCEPTABLE REPLACEMENT FOR BATTERIES.
So a week or so ago, when I sat down to do some book stuff and they eventually made their way over and asked if they could help, I made up an assignment. I printed out some pictures of some of the people I was researching and handed them to them. "I need you guys to draw these for me," I said. "Can you do that?" I asked.
They of course agreed. I handed them the pages and told them to sit at the kitchen table and draw them. I assumed I'd get back seven well-drawn pictures of Biggie, OutKast, Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Tupac, Public Enemy and NWA. Instead, I got these:
This is supposed to be that very famous picture of The Notorious B.I.G. Mostly, it looks like an egg. Kids have no respect for history.
Drawn by one of my sons, though I'm not sure which
OutKast is one of my favorite rap groups and, in general, one of the greatest all-time rap groups. I'm very excited for their 700 scheduled appearances later this year. I actually got to meet Big Boi several months back. We talked for a brief moment on his tour bus after a show, though when I say "we talked," I mean to say that he said hello and asked me how I was and I just stared at him with my mouth open while making this strange humming noise. Such is life.