Brief sound clip
That's Michael Perry rapping part of Turntable Timmy, his new book for all those aspiring young DJs out there, from Free Will Press in San Francisco. The book -- with Perry's text and illustrations by Doug Cunningham -- comes with a CD tucked into the back cover that lets readers listen to and bogey along as they turn the pages. The story is simple. It begins with Timmy, a very, very hip kid, at home, "wrecking two turntables and a microphone" -- that is, doing what he loves to do -- "cuttin' and scratchin' " his music. It's a kinetic tour-de-force of language and pictures, as Timmy glides across the page, "break-dance, bugaloo, b-boy struttin'"or as he senses just the right moment to "slam the cross-fader" to switch the music from one turntable to another. The hip-hop DJ's technique is perfectly mirrored here in Michael Perry's poetry. Perry is a former lead singer with the rap group Down for the Cause, and so he knows what he's doing. So does Doug Cunningham, a well-known, West Coast graffiti and skate-board artist. Together they have given us an energized and exhilirating day in the life of an emerging child artist in a fluid, new art form. Ultimately, the book is about following one's talents (and one's "bliss") with, in Perry's words: devotion, commitment, and respect. "In order to gain the attention of today's youth," Perry writes on the book's dust jacket, "we must first speak their language!" Believe me, Perry and Cunningham know all the words and the moves that go with them.
Copyright 2003 © John Cech
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