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.