Spin It Like That [Secure]
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by Chandra Sparks Taylor
Category: Children's Fiction
Description: Sixteen-year-old Jasmine Richardson has a love for music. When she gets on the turntables, her gift for spinning and rhyming earn her admiration and respect. She's also talented academically, but her parents disapprove of their daughter's hobby, hoping it's a phase she's going through. Still, Jasmine finds it hard to deny the joy and freedom she feels when she's playing music that makes people smile and dance. After a local contest, Jasmine attracts the interest of some music-industry honchos. Then the attitudes of the people around her seem to change and she's forced to face some tough situations. Suddenly it becomes harder for her to tell who's really happy for her and who's totally a fake. But when the music is in your heart, and your talent shines bright, sometimes all you can do is ... spin it like that.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Kimani Press,
eBookwise Release Date: June 2007
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [262 KB]
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Sweat popped off me and my heart danced as I scratched out beats until my fingers burned. I hunched my back so I was closer to my mixing board and bopped my head to the beat, waiting for my cue to start my solo, as my brother, Derrick Richardson, worked the crowd, spitting unrehearsed rhymes off the top of his head.
The audience was on fire, and so were we.
When I started my solo, my body took over, and I started vibing with the music. I no longer felt the pain in my fingers, and my face was so close to the vinyl that I could almost kiss it as I focused on making that record sing a new song. It was like I was outside myself, watching as I did these crazy combinations that had the crowd on their feet yelling my stage name, Jazzy J, and grooving to my beats. Their energy was unlike anything I had ever known in all my sixteen years, and I lived for it.
Derrick took center stage again, and I harmonized with him before belting out a few lines from an R & B tune that would put Mary J. Blige to shame. The crowd was in awe. Most people knew I could deejay, but they had no clue that I was a fierce singer, and I could rap, too. I had been saving my singing for the perfect moment, and that time was now—during the biggest performance of our lives. When Derrick was done, I scratched one last beat, then came from behind my Technics 1200 turntable and grabbed his hand. We took a bow as the crowd whistled and shouted so loud my ears hurt.
We were the final act for the All-District Rap Invitational, which had gathered the top acts from Queens, New York, to compete for a spot in All-City. There, the winner from each of the city's boroughs—Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx—would battle for a deal with Impact Records, a company that was known for producing hits. Derrick and I were favorites to win All-District, and as far as I was concerned, All-District and All-City were just formalities. That record contract already had my name on it.
Derrick leaned over, sweat streaming down his chocolate-brown face, and gave me a high five. "Good job, Jasmine," he yelled, sounding a little hoarse.
"Thanks." I grinned at him as I whipped a towel from around my neck and handed it to him. "I knew you'd forget to bring one."
He smiled his thanks as he wiped his face, then threw the towel into the crowd. The girls went crazy as they fought to get it, and I couldn't help but laugh as Derrick blushed. He didn't like the spotlight at all, although he was an incredible rapper.
I watched as the other participants took the stage, and I tried to keep from laughing when I spotted the group that had come on before us. They had forgotten half their routine and had walked off the stage in disgrace after the crowd started booing them. I was surprised they had the nerve to show their faces again. I know if it had been me…Nah, that would never be me. My routine was always tight.
The MC finally made his way to the stage again, and he told a few corny jokes while the judges tabulated our scores. I figured they were just doing it for show, because there was no doubt in my mind that Derrick and I had won.
When the third-place winner was announced, I smiled at my brother. They had been good, as had a few of the nineteen acts besides us, and even though I knew we were the best, I was still anxious about actually hearing our name called. When a solo performer was named the second-place winner, I didn't know whether to be happy or nervous. I crossed the fingers of my right hand behind my back and bounced in place, probably looking like I had to pee, as I silently encouraged the MC to call our names, and Derrick squeezed my other hand to calm me down.
"We want to thank all our acts for performing tonight," the MC said, "and now without further ado, the winner of the first annual All-District Rap Invitational is Jazzy J and Kid D."
The roar of the crowd was so loud that I could hardly hear who had won. It wasn't until Derrick lifted me up and spun me around that I realized it was us.
"We did it," he shouted.
"We did it?" I repeated, making sure I hadn't heard him wrong.
He nodded as he put me down, smiling so hard I thought his face was gonna split in two. We walked over to the announcer and accepted our trophy and a check for a thousand dollars; then we waved to the crowd, which continued to cheer for us.
I spotted my friends Kyle Adams and Loretta Dennis in the front row, and they looked just as excited as I felt. I pointed to the trophy and grinned. Like my brother, my friends knew just how much I wanted to win this contest. It had always been my dream to land a record deal, and now I was one step closer.
Life just couldn't get any better.
"Nice show," a man said as I pushed through the crowd to head offstage to meet my friends. It seemed like everybody and their mama had decided to come onstage to congratulate us, and it looked like it would take me a good twenty minutes to make my way to Kyle and Loretta.
"Thanks," I said, showing off my perfect white teeth once again. I looked at the trophy to make sure it was still there and that I wasn't dreaming; then I glanced back at the guy as I pushed a lock of my curly hair out of my face. It was so hot in the Springfield Auditorium in Queens that my sandy-colored hair had become frizzy and had worked its way out of its ponytail. The man was big and dark, and he kind of reminded me of Big Rick from Flavor of Love, except he had a huge purple wide-brimmed hat that matched his purple shirt, which he wore with a white three-piece suit and a white tie. The fumes from his cigar mixed with the funk of the auditorium had me about to choke. I sniffed politely, but it didn't help.
Copyright © 2007 by Chandra Sparks Taylor.