Author Ronin Ro has
penned “Raising Hell: The Reign, Ruin and Redemption of Run-DMC and Jam
Master Jay,” a new book that chronicles the personal and professional evolution
of the Hollis Queens-reared rap group.
The book, which is published through Amistad/HarperCollins,
will be available for purchase in November 2005.
In 1999, Ronin Ro caused a tremendous uproar with his controversial
book “Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death
Row Records." However, he said this outing is better than his previous
“There have been many rap-themed books and ‘as told
to’ works since ‘Have Gun Will Travel’ –and perhaps just
as many imitations or clones–but ‘Raising Hell’ is unlike any of
them,” Ro told AllHipHop.com. “It’s better than ‘Have Gun
Will Travel’ It’s a new way to approach a story. It finds Run, DMC, and
a number of other individuals you wouldn’t think were involved in this tale
candidly discussing their career for readers tired of paying good money for
formulaic magazines, advocacy journalism, or the rash of books, magazine articles,
or documentaries inspired by ‘Have Gun Will Travel.’
There is one topic that “Raising Hell” will not
attempt to encapsulate and that’s the tragic murder of Run-DMC’s
DJ, Jam Master Jay.
“The book touches briefly on Jay’s murder; because much
really doesn’t have to be said. Murder, in my opinion, is usually simple. Means,
motive, opportunity,” Ro explained. “The book mainly focuses on
their lives, their art, and their friendships evolving as much as the industry
they were in. And of course the indelible imprint they made on popular culture
as a whole.”
Although the Run-DMC & Jam Master Jay story has been documented
in countless forms and formats, Ronin Ro’s said his will attempt to fully
humanize their lives and times.
“I saw [the group] not as mere ‘popular culture’
or the image, but as human beings. Fathers. Children. Friends. Taxpayers. Intellectual
beings. Brutalizers. Victims. Not just guys with hats and chains and sneakers.
Also, ‘Raising Hell’ finally puts their story in context,”
Ro also said that the book will be converted into a motion picture
to be released after the novel. At press time, the deal, producer and screenwriter
were being finalized.
Before writing books, Ronin Ro was a heavily sought after journalist
who once wrote for Vanity Fair, The Source, SPIN, Rolling Stone, USA Today,
VIBE and other publications.
written books like “Bad Boy: The Influence of Sean ‘Puffy’
Combs On the Music Industry,” “Tales To Astonish : Jack Kirby, Stan
Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution” and the aforementioned ‘Have
Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records.”