Joe Black: The Prince of Gangsta Lit
by Seth "Soul Man" Ferranti
Urban Book Source
Joe Black ain’t no studio gangsta; he’s a real O.G. from The Bronx, who is finishing up a 19 year bid for a federal crack-cocaine conspiracy conviction. The author, who hits the bricks in 2008, has dropped two popular novels, Street Team and Squeeze, to date with plans for many more to come. For the celebrated author who has been profiled in the pages of King, Don Diva, and Feds, things just keep getting better and better. His latest release, Squeeze, jumped off the Don Diva Presents book line and the book is moving crazy units; stores and vendors can’t keep it on their shelves. Joe Black, who Nikki Turner called the “Prince of Gangsta Lit,” reached out to us at The Urban Book Source from Behind the Wall and the following is what he had to say. Check out his novels, Street Team and Squeeze at www.hamsteadpub.com and www.dondivamag.com.
UBS: How is your new novel Squeeze doing?
Joe Black: Squeeze was a much anticipated book and it’s doing great. It’s already on its second run.
UBS: What are people saying about it?
Joe Black: Everybody says it’s funny. They are feeling the characters, and so far everyone has expressed satisfaction.
UBS: How did you get down with Don Diva?
Joe Black: Susan Hampstead, the president of Hampstead Publishing and Chief Editor for Don Diva told me that Don Diva was coming out with a book line and they wanted me to jump it off with Squeeze. Sue and I thought it would be a good look and it was a go. And as far as more books, Don Diva is my family, I’m almost certain we’re going to keep it coming.
UBS: How do you feel about Squeeze’s success?
Joe Black: It’s a great feeling. It makes me want to keep pushing them out.
UBS: What’s up with Street Team, your first novel?
Joe Black: Well there’s been a long list of rappers and entertainers who showed me love with the Street Team project, Young Jeezy, Juelz Santana, Queen Pen, Avant, and cats from The Wire. It’s just been crazy love with all the support I received.
UBS: What do you plan to do when you go home in 2008?
Joe Black: Book signings. Man, I’m just looking forward to being everywhere giving and receiving love.
UBS: Are you getting props from Squeeze coming out on Don Diva Presents?
Joe Black: Are you serious? I’m anchoring a book line put out by Don Diva, the street bible; the accolade doesn’t get much greater than that.
UBS: What do you think of all the prison writers getting into street lit?
Joe Black: I admire the ones who lived it and are still around to write about it.
UBS: Who are the up and coming writers in the genre?
Joe Black: There are so many where I’m at or not far behind, I just wish everyone their due success.
UBS: What’s next for Joe Black?
Joe Black: To be honest with you I have so many things on my plate I can’t even break it down at the moment.
UBS: What do you think of the street lit genre?
Joe Black: I think it’s terrific. I often hear people saying that the book game is saturated, but so is music, movies, and everything else relating to the urban genre. Some may get tired of it but there are so many others who can’t wait to get their hands new material.
UBS: Who are the leaders of the genre?
Joe Black: Capital wise, Teri Woods and the other chick, I refuse to mention her name because she’s a snitch. Everyone else is really playing catch up.
UBS: What’s Squeeze about?
Joe Black: It’s about Tommy Gunz, a lover and a killer who finds himself juggling a double life. He’s serious with the guns and the ladies. Squeeze is the first of its kind. It delivers darkness and humor and at the same time takes you on an erotic gangsta ride.
UBS: Why did you start writing?
Joe Black: Reading a bunch of bullshit (laughs). Nah, serious though, I just felt I could tell a story better than the ones I’ve read.
UBS: Can we expect something else from you anytime soon?
Joe Black: For sure. Moving Violations, another book I wrote, is dropping soon.
UBS: What would you like to say to your supporters and fans?
Joe Black: Everyone who’s with and down for Joe Black I want to say that the love has been unreal and I truly appreciate it a hundred times more than you ever can imagine it.
Seth Ferranti is a contributing writer for The Urban Book Source and accomplished journalist having written articles for Don Diva, Slam, King, Feds and many more. View more of his articles at: www.gorillaconvict.com
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