k'wan

"...unless y'all got married you ain't his wife, you're his wifey. A lot of chicks throw that word around but it won't give you a leg to stand on in court. It's because we stay wifeys instead of becoming the wife why we always getting shitted on and left with nothing when It's all said and done." [Tionna]- K'wan 'Welfare Wifeys'

“It seems, at first, like an unusual pairing: Infamous, a multi-media company co-owned by Albert ‘Prodigy’ Johnson of the Queens rap duo Mobb Deep; and Akashic Books, a small independent Brooklyn-based book publisher known for their short story collections.  Together, it was recently announced, they will release a series of novellas in the genre loosely known as urban fiction under the imprimatur of Infamous Books.  The first of these, H.N.I.C.—written by Prodigy  himself (working with fantasy writer Steven Savile)—was just released this month.  Future releases include Black Lotus from K’wan, The White House by Jaquavis Coleman and Swing by Philadelphia’s own Miasha …”

Read the rest of Rishi Nath’s interview with Prodigy and feature on Infamous Books at OkayPlayer.

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More than a handful of Cloud librarians have commented on the difficulty of locating new urban fiction, aka street lit. As of last summer, a new trusted source is Brooklyn, NY, independent press Akashic Books (“reverse gentrification of the literary world”).

Its Infamous Books imprint boasts K'wan, who is arguably the king of his subcategory, with seminal best sellers like Gangsta, Hoodlum, and Hood Rat to his credit. No slouch either on its list is JaQuavis Coleman, who made his name as an 18 year old with the Dopeman Trilogy, a New York Times best seller. Coleman was also named one of the Top 100 most influential African Americans in the country by Ebony magazine.

As Akashic’s publisher Johnny Temple rightly pointed out in the New York Times last summer, these authors are readalikes for Walter Mosley and the late Chester Himes. Crime fiction, in other words. K'wan’s Black Lotus and Coleman’s The White House are in Cloud now.

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Pound 4 Pound DVD interviews urban fiction author K'wan in the Bronx. [Manny Pacquiao documentary coming soon from Pound 4 Pound DVD.]

Crooked cops, professional assassins, and high-level conspiracies with millions of dollars at stake drive this heart-thumping thriller set in New York City. Det. James Wolf (aka Lone Wolf), one of the NYPD’s most successful narcotics officers, never plays by the rules. His unorthodox and often dangerous practices and proclivity for working alone have mostly gone unpunished—until now … K’wan (Welfare Wifeys) does a masterful job of keeping readers on their toes right up to the very last page. (May)

Check out this great review of Black Lotus at Publishers Weekly!