Interview With Author D.D.Turner discussing The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend literary series

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D.D. Turn­er, Author/Scribe and Cre­at­or (The Chron­icles of a Hip Hop Legend) is an Amer­ic­an Author and cre­at­or of The Chron­icles of a Hip Hop Legend lit­er­ary series. He is also cred­ited with cre­at­ing the new lit­er­ary gen­re of Hip Hop Fantasy-Fic­tion; a style of cre­at­ive writ­ing where the cul­tur­al phe­nomen­on of Hip-Hop and the cre­at­ively lim­it­less gen­re of fic­tion­al fantasy become joined.

Tell us a bit about the idea behind The Chron­icles Of A Hip Hop Legend, where did you draw your inspir­a­tion from?

Actu­ally, the ori­gin­a­tion for The Chron­icles of a Hip Hop Legend was rather magic­al and sur­real. The idea was born in a mat­ter of 4 minutes and a few seconds [in the year 2000] while listen­ing to the song, “Hip Hop” off of LL Cool J’s 1996 album release entitled, Mr. Smith. After nearly 17 years, I’m still look­ing for­ward to meet­ing LL Cool J to thank him for the inspir­a­tion. Can you hook that up for me? LOL

What are the main themes covered in the book series?

Although fic­tion­al, Hip Hop his­tory is the main theme of the book, set again­st the clas­sic back­drop of, “Good vs Evil.” Addi­tion­al themes that are reflec­ted in the story are not atyp­ic­al; love, friend­ship, respect, sac­ri­fice, hon­our, and loy­alty.

For Hip Hop fans who are not neces­sar­ily fantasy story fans how would they enjoy this? How did you incor­por­ate the eth­ics and essence of the Hip Hop cul­tures into the series?

The best way to answer this ques­tion is to say that the story is largely a Hip Hop tale that just hap­pens to be expressed using fantasy and sci-fi ref­er­ences. But even dur­ing the course of the story, when these ref­er­ences are present, they are only used to com­pli­ment the enter­tain­ment val­ues of the story.

Tell us a bit about the main char­ac­ter in the story Cris ? Is it based on a real life per­son? How did you develop him?

Very simply, Cris is the cool­er ver­sion of me as a teen­ager. He rep­res­ents all that I was at that age but with some not­able exclu­sions; an Emcee, geni­us level intel­li­gence, and a lin­eage that can be traced dir­ectly back to an ancient Afric­an tribe of wiz­ards that is believed to have laid the found­a­tion for Hip Hop some sev­er­al thou­sand years pri­or. He is my ima­gin­ary young­er brother.

In the story Cris has to defeat Roger “Feed­back” Crom­well and his Hip Hop for Destruc­tion clan. Who would you say is the real life Hip Hop destruc­tion clan and how could we defeat them?

Without any ambi­gu­ity, the real-life “HHD” are those indi­vidu­als, groups, and corporations/record labels, that have got­ten away from the essence of what the cul­ture was inten­ded to achieve when it was cre­ated back in 1973. With that said, I fully over-stand and agree that the cul­ture has to bare dif­fer­ent iter­a­tions of itself to achieve pro­gress. And since the music is the soundtrack of the cul­ture, it also must sub­mit itself to the inev­it­ably of change. How­ever, this should only occur when the change keeps in line with the core val­ues of the cul­ture. Sub gen­res of Hip Hop music like, “Ner­d­core” and “Grime” achieve this exquis­itely. Con­versely, artists that hap­pily accept that “Hip Hop” des­ig­na­tion but don’t con­trib­ute to the sus­tain­ab­il­ity are effect­ively serving as the “H.H.D.” Lil Yachty and Post Malone would def­in­itely be down with Feed­back and the HHD. While Logic, A.F.R.O., Oddis­ee,  Joey Badass, and Chris Rivers would be down with Cris “Cipher” Ellis­on and the legendary “B.B.G.F. (b-boy/girl Found­a­tion) Crew.”

Tell us a bit about the illus­tra­tion of the story (Front cov­er, char­ac­ter images), how did you set the scenes in your mind? Were these drawn by you?

The illus­tra­tions come from a time when the story was early in its exist­ence. Ini­tially, TCOH­HL was a quarterly released inde­pend­ently pro­duced and dis­trib­uted com­ic book. The illus­trat­or and co-founder, Wong Dowl­ing, cre­ated all of the illus­tra­tions. I wro­te and he sketched. Unfor­tu­nately, Wong returned to the essence in Janu­ary of 2007. To hon­or his memory, we pro­ceeded with the story by adapt­ing it into a lit­er­ary series [with an audio book adapt­a­tion], and most recently a radio show.

The Chron­icles of A Hip Hop Legend is also of course now a radio show, which we have had the priv­ilege to work with. How does the radio show seek to main­tain the eth­ics of the story?

We simply look to share the plat­form with indi­vidu­als and causes that are con­trib­ut­ing dir­ectly to the long-term sus­tain­ab­il­ity of the cul­ture. And in doing so, a nat­ur­al con­nec­tion occurs between the book, the show, and our his­tory as genu­ine Hip Hop cul­ture pur­vey­ors.

When do you plan on launch­ing the next series of the story? And what themes do you feel you would like to address in them?

The story will serve as a con­tinu­ation so the themes will remain the same. The 2nd instal­ment of the series is entitled, The Chron­icles of a Hip Hop Legend – Cipher And The Lost Rel­ic of Pangea’s Core and it is com­plete. How­ever, we’d like to ensure that the life span of book 1 is fully max­im­ized before releas­ing sub­sequent instal­ments. We are enter­tain­ing the idea of releas­ing all sub­sequent instal­ments solely as audiobooks.

What oth­er pro­jects are you work­ing on?

First, we’re con­tinu­ing to develop our rela­tion­ship with I Am Hip Hop Magazine. Also, con­tinu­ing to grow The Chron­icles of a Hip Hop Legend; seek­ing oth­er aven­ues that it may be a fit with. Some of the exper­i­ences of Cris “Cipher” Ellis­on may prove use­ful in real life situ­ations.

I’m also the Co-Founder of an appar­el com­pany called, 80’s Uni­ver­sity. Devel­op­ing an effect­ive and work­ing under­stand­ing of the fash­ion industry is extremely demand­ing but it’s a chal­lenge that we’ve fully com­mit­ted ourselves to and are enjoy­ing every minute of it.

How has Hip Hop influ­enced your life?

In short, Hip Hop has afforded me the oppor­tun­ity and con­fid­ence to be me. And that’s a Writer that listened to an LL Cool J song and was inspired to cre­ate a com­ic book that would become a lit­er­ary series [with an audio book adapt­a­tion] and then a radio show that gives equally cre­at­ive people a plat­form from which they could com­mu­nic­ate their brand and be proud. That’s me. And I Am Hip Hop!

Fol­low D.D Turner’s jour­ney and check out the TCOH­HL Radio for the most authen­tic Hip Hop cul­ture. 

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rish­ma Dhali­wal has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rish­ma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.