By Dylan Deprey
“Body Gang bars is something you’ve got to deal with, 9’s everywhere like a fourth-grade field trip!”
Da Example is one of Milwaukee’s longstanding battle rap vets. He has tested his pen on stages across the states, and has gone toe-to-toe with some of battle rap’s best. He’s participated in some of the Midwest’s highly anticipated matches, and now he has decided to test his pen in print.
“Growth & Development” is Da Example’s first novel. The story teeters the line between fiction and non-fiction, as it describes his growing pains as a 17-year-old on Milwaukee’s streets.
“It was that time in my life where I ventured off, and started getting into a little trouble here and there,” he said.
Whether it was stealing cars or selling weed, everybody around his age was enjoying the fast life. It eventually escalated into high profile crimes, and ultimately led to two of the ultimate punishments: prison and death.
Although battle rap has been Da Example’s main creative outlet, he said writing a book has always been a goal for him.
“I’ve done a lot of time, and when I was in jail, I read everything. From Urban novels, fiction, non-fiction, thrillers, autobiographies, not-so-much Science fiction, but I’ve read thousands of books,” he said. “Writing a book is kind of like writing a rap, it’s just like you’re telling stories in the raps except you can go as long as you want and you don’t have to rhyme.”
Though the writing process was similar, he hired local author, Miss Dee for additional help as a co-author. He said releasing the novel required a lot more work than just piecing the story together. Whether it was editing, selecting a cover or finding a publisher, there was a lot more decisions to be made than performing three rounds in front of a packed crowd.
He said he was somewhat setback after receiving relatively good reception from readers.
“I kind of expected this book to be more like a lesson, I thought there was going to be more critiquing on what I did,” he said. “It’s definitely a page-turner, it hasn’t taken anybody more than two days to read it, and now everybody’s asking about part two.”
After having his first published book under his belt, he said he has been contemplating hanging up his gloves in battle rap and focusing on writing more.
He said “Growth & Development” part two was already in the works and set for a December release. He also plans on creating his own publishing company with other books in the works.
“It’s going to be another milestone for me, something to be proud of,” he said.
As for officially retiring from battle rap, he said, “We’ll see how that goes.”
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