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Gunshots in My Cook-Up: Bits and Bites From a Caribbean Life

Posted Mar 28 2006

In spite of high expectations and my best efforts, I finished this book with mixed feelings.

In spite of high expectations and my best efforts, I finished this book with mixed feelings. On the surface, Hinds writes about topics I personally find to be interesting, including hip hop, the music industry, and the immigrant experience. But even this isn’t enough for me to recommend the book without reservation. The collection of essays ranges from his dealings with Russell Simmons, first-hand observations of the Fugees, and a letter to his unborn daughter. On one hand, Hind’s insider view point and intimate perspective on the hip hop industry make this book an interesting read, especially his detailing of dirty politics in hip hop journalism. He gives some particularly intriguing insights involving his former employer, The Source magazine. Yet some of his stories don’t seem to serve much of a purpose for those outside of his personal circles. At other times, it seems if he’s trying too hard to be down as he name drops right and left or sappily writes to artists such as Lauryn Hill. This wasn’t a terrible book, but at times I felt as if I was reading early drafts of a pile of essays.

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