The Hip Hop Kids: Author Chris Bivona Creates Book Series That Helps Introduce Children to Hip-Hop Culture | The Urban Twist
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The Hip Hop Kids: Author Chris Bivona Creates Book Series That Helps Introduce Children to Hip-Hop Culture

These authors needed a way to introduce their love of hip-hop and its culture to their children and the book series “The Hip Hop Kids” was born.

Brennen Jones

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The Hip Hop Kids

Everywhere you look, Hip-Hop is there.  It’s ingrained in almost every culture around us.  It’s hard to avoid it.  You can’t avoid hip-hop even if you wanted to.


Hip-Hop’s in the clothes we wear.  It’s in the language that many of us, especially our youth, speak. It’s in almost every television commercial (especially McDonald’s) we see.  Our favorite professional athletes embody its essence.  And of course, it’s in the music that we listen to.

And it also has its fair share of controversy.  Some of it is warranted and some of it isn’t, but it’s fair to say that a lot of its content isn’t what the original founders of the  genre had envisioned upon its conception some 30 plus years ago.

From sex to drugs.  Misogyny to violence.  Money to crime…to more sex.  These are some of the common themes that captivate the airwaves, and many would obviously deem to not be appropriate for children.  In fact, many claim that this kind of music is poisoning our youth and few would argue that it isn’t.

It’s so easy to forget at times that Hip-Hop wasn’t always this way, in fact it has lost its way.

There’s a reason why Common used to love H.E.R.  And this is the same reason why Chris Bivona and his partner Gustavo Angel created “The Hip Hop Kids”, which is a series of children’s books designed to introduce the Hip-Hop culture to kids properly.

The characters in the series of books each represent one of the four elements of the Hip Hop culture. They will use those talents to teach children basic fundamental skills. After all, who is better to teach kids about rhyming words than an MC?

I got a chance to sit down with “The Hip Hop Kids” co-founder and co-creator  Chris Bivona, and he explains the concept and some of the core principals for why he choose to start this type of series for kids.

Brennen Jones: How did you and your partner, Gustavo meet?

Chris Bivona: We actually worked at the same company for a few years before we realized our common love of Hip Hop. We’ve been collaborating on various projects ever since.

BJ: Besides wanting your kids to become more involved more in the Hip-Hop culture, what other inspirations helped lead you to creating this series?

CB: Writing a children’s book was always something that I thought I would do at some point. I love reading to my kids, and especially enjoy any Dr. Seuss books. Once Gus and I began discussing the basic ideas for “The Hip Hop Kids”, everything came together rather quickly.

BJ: It’s actually refreshing to see a lot of positivity coming from this in a time when rap or hip-hop music is bombarding our youth with negative images and stereotypes. Is it safe to say that this series of books represents that sort of safe haven for your kids to kind of slide in to the hip-hop music genre without them being subjected to those images?

CB: That was exactly what we had in mind. We wanted to create a safe, fun way to introduce kids to not only Hip Hop music, but the entire culture of Hip Hop. Unfortunately, the negativity is unavoidable at times. But if we can teach kids about the positive side of the culture, hopefully the beauty of Hip Hop will persevere for future generations. There’s a famous KRS One quote that has been our unofficial mission statement. “If Hip-Hop has the ability to corrupt young minds, it also has the ability to uplift them!”

BJ: What are some of the hip-hop artists out now that you would let your kids listen to?

CB: Honestly, my kids can listen to whatever they like. It’s my job to try to put it all in perspective for them. I’m not foolish enough to believe that they will love the same artists that I grew up with. But, I will make sure that they are exposed to those artists, so they can have a greater appreciation of the history of Hip Hop music and its evolution.

BJ: What are your future plans with this series? When reading the sample that you sent over to the office, the book kind of has that Nickelodeon/Disney animation feel to it. I can definitely see some sort of cartoon spin-off from these books. Was that in the plans?

CB: Yes! We definitely see big things in the future for “The Hip Hop Kids”. We have discussed animation, toys, music videos.   We honestly feel that the possibilities are endless. But, now our main goal is to make the book series available to the masses. We don’t know anyone over at Nickelodeon or Disney, but we figure if we grow our popularity enough, maybe someone over there will take notice! Thank you and The Urban Twist for being a part of our grassroots effort!

Check out “The Hip Hop Kids” and purchase a set today!  The series will make great stocking stuffing for the young ones. Follow them on Twitter @thehiphopkids and LIKE them on Facebook.

You can preview the books by heading over to their website and by taking a peek at some of illustrations below.

Brennen Jones is the leading founder and publisher of TheUrbanTwist.com, a leading entertainment and media blog. He is also the founder of P.S. Web Pros, which is a web design and internet marketing company. He's also TheUrbanTwist.com's resident filmmaker and has produced and directed several short films under his Kitt HoRizon Films imprint and he's produced and have worked on video productions and commercials for various government agencies. He plans to turn The Urban Twist into a media haven so stay tuned. Brennen currently lives in Baltimore, MD. So be my friend on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter!

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Books

NAS Takes You on a Love Journey with Her Latest Memoir

For those struggling to find love, this workbook can help you better strategize your methods by evaluating your true self-worth.

Brennen Jones

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Journey to Love

Everyone wants to be married.  It’s a normal desire for single folk to aspire to find their soulmate, someone who finally gets them for who they are, and then to live happily ever after with one another.


But you and I know that only happens in movies.  There is no such thing as riding off into the sunset when it comes to finding and building a relationship.  There is no script to follow.  It just either happens or it doesn’t.

This is what led Nicole A. Schmidt (NAS) to write Journey to Love Vol. 1,  a book that comes across more as a conversation between herself and other single folks, women, in particular, to express their trials and tribulations of finding love.  Nas lets it be known up front that this is not a guide on how to find a man, but rather a book on encouragement.A collection of poetry and short “essays” about embracing the single life. With transparency, honesty and slight humor, Nicole A. Schmidt illustrates the beauty of the Journey to Love.

It’s a collection of poetry and short “essays” about embracing the single life. With transparency, honesty and slight humor, Nicole A. Schmidt illustrates the beauty of the Journey to Love.

Journey to Love Vol. 1 is broken down into chapters that highlight what you’d expect to be the normal cycle and flow of finding love.

“The Search (for him),” the first chapter in the book showcases a few poetry pieces and thoughts on the dating scene in particular.  About how important it is to communicate, and also finding out as much as possible about the person you’re interested in.  But make sure it’s a two-way streak and that communication is going both ways during the initial stages of building a relationship.

“The Settle (for them),” the second chapter is the stage where some of us may not necessarily be happy, but we’re content with the relationship we’re in so we settle, although we’re not so sure we want to be a part of the relationship any longer.  I think we can all relate to this stage at some point in our lives.

But Nas also throws a twist in with this chapter by also suggesting that people shouldn’t settle for anything less than “butterflies,” meaning that if the person you’re with don’t always give you this heightened feeling when you are with them, then it may be time to move on.

This is perfectly showcased in “The Ruth Trap,” when she eloquently uses biblical characters such as Boaz and Joseph on how she wants her Mr. Right to find her.

Let Mr. Just Right for Me be a Joseph

Visited by an angel who tells him my

assignment

An assignment full of ridicule and mockery

In spite of which, he still chooses to marry me

“The Submission (to God)” closes out the book by putting emphasis on the fact that no matter what moves you want to make in a relationship, and in life, in general, we have to learn to submit ourselves to God first.  By submitting yourself to his will, everything else will fall into place, especially when it comes to finding your potential spouse.

By trusting in Him, he allows you to start over if need be. “Starting Over, Sticking With It” shows how this can be done.

In order to grow fruit, the soil must be

prepared. I am being tilled, plucked and even

sifted…impurities are being removed and even

the tears that I cry are nurturing my destiny.

Jeremiah 29:11 is more than a scripture; it is the

promise of God that allows me to press

forward because I know that scripture not only

applies to me, but to the seed within me:

dreams to become reality, testimonies to be

told, lives to be created, and souls to be saved

for Christ.

All in all, Journey to Love Vol. 1 serves its purpose as excellent therapeutic reading for those who may be struggling to find their significant others.  It’s a workbook of sorts.  There are even pages in between the chapters where you can jot down notes of any takeaways you may have learned while reading.

It’s worth picking up a copy or two, and even handing out to some of your friends you know may be struggling with their own relationships.

Journey to Love Vol. 1 is available on Amazon and CreateSpace.  You can also learn more about the author here.

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Books

The Right Parts: Caitlyn Jenner Reveals She’s Had Gender Reassignment Surgery in New Memoir ‘The Secrets of My Life’

The former Olympian reveals in new tell-all book that she’s gone all the way through with the gender assignment surgery and is now “liberated.”

TUT Staff

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Caitlyn Jenner

Two years ago Caitlyn Jenner, then known as Bruce Jenner, nearly broke the internet when she announced that she was transgender. Over the course of the year, everyone sat back and watched closely as Caitlyn underwent breast surgery, wore makeup, and got some bundles sewn in.


Now, we are finding out that Caitlyn has undergone sex reassignment surgery in order to get what she calls, “the right parts”, in her upcoming book The Secrets of My Life.

“The surgery was a success, and I feel not only wonderful but liberated,” Jenner reportedly writes in her memoir that comes out April 25th.

Caitlyn reportedly got the surgery back in January.

The former Olympian says that for her a penis “has no special gifts or use for me other than what I have said before, the ability to take a whiz in the woods. I just want to have all the right parts. I am also tired of tucking the damn thing in all the time.”

She decided to go public about her latest surgery “so all of you can stop staring. You want to know, so now you know. Which is why this is the first time, and the last time, I will ever speak of it,” according to Radar. Having the operation apparently was a “complex decision,” and Jenner considered potential health risks.

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Books

Barack and Michelle Obama Sign Historic Book Deal Worth More Than $60 Million

The former first couple signed a dual book deal with Penguin Publishing said to be worth more than $60M. Barack’s presidential memoir is highly anticipated.

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Barack and Michelle

Michelle and Barack Obama were America’s first Black president and first lady and their time in the white house is something people highly speculate on. The world won’t have to speculate much longer. The dynamic duo just scored a record breaking tell all book deal with Penguin Publishing.


Presidential memoirs tend to go for a pretty penny. Bill Clinton received $15 million for his tell all in 2004, $5 million more than the $10 million George W. Bush received in 2010. Barack and Michelle have reportedly inked a historic deal with Penguin Publishing. The bidding for the much-anticipated memoir is said to have reached above $60 million before a deal was finally struck.

More than $60 million for a book deal? That’s quite a leap for the former first couple who, for the last eight years, has had a yearly income of $400,000 along with a little less than $200,000 for expenses. The high price tag on the right to Barack and Michelle’s story gives insight into just how interested people are in finding out more about our former president, his family and their experiences over the last eight years.

We are absolutely thrilled to continue our publishing partnership with President and Mrs. Obama,” Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle said via prepared statement. “With their words and their leadership, they changed the world, and every day, with the books we publish at Penguin Random House, we strive to do the same. Now, we are very much looking forward to working together with President and Mrs. Obama to make each of their books global publishing events of unprecedented scope and significance.”

The former president and first lady each are said to be working on their own books in this multi-million dual contract deal. The Obamas book negotiations were handled by Robert Barnett and Deneen Howell of Williams & Connoll, who also represented the Clintons and George and Laura Bush each when they left the white house.

Barack Obama has published two previous books, “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.” Michelle penned a book “American Grown,” about food and gardening in 2012.

Barack and Michelle have pledged to donate a portion of their book advances to charity, including the Obama Foundation. Penguin will donate a million digital copies to First Book, a non-profit that makes books available to disadvantaged children and to Open eBooks, which joined in 2016 with the white house initiative on digital education.

While few details have been released about the books so far, it is said that Barack’s book will be a presidential memoir and Michelle’s will be an inspirational book for women that draws off her life experiences.

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