If Hip-Hop Lyrics Were Book Blurbs

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

If you were to diagram my brain, there would, of course, be a big section devoted to books. And right next to it, an almost-as-big section devoted to hip-hop lyrics. I’ve been looking for an excuse to combine my love of books with my love of hip-hop for a while, and when I saw that Amanda was repurposing Don Draper and Ron Swanson quotes as book blurbs, I knew what I had to do. So I give you lyrics from a few the songs that have lodged themselves in my brain, re-imagined as book blurbs.

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

I hit the skins for the hell of it, just for the yell I get, mmm mmm mmm, for the smell of it.

(“Shoop” by Salt n Pepa)


Any Victorian novel ever

Have you ever met a girl that you’re tryin’ to date, but a year to make love she wanted you to wait?

(“Just A Friend” by Biz Markie)


The Epic of Gilgamesh

I can’t stand the rain.

(“The Rain” by Missy Elliott)


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Broken heart again, another lesson learn. Better know your friends, or else you will get burned.

(“No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige)


The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

It’s just one of them days that a girl goes through, when I’m angry inside, don’t wanna take it out on you. Just one of them days. Don’t take it personal. I just wanna be all alone… 

(“Just One Of Them Days” by Monica)


The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

I got more rhymes than there’s cops that are dunkin’ Donuts shop, sure ‘nuff I got props. 

(“Jump Around” by House of Pain)


The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis

I got bitches in the living room getting it on, and they ain’t leaving til six in the morning.

(“Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg)


Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet

Some people live for the fortune. Some people live just for the fame. Some people live for the power, yeah. Some people live just to play the game.

(“If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys)


Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

You can’t touch this.

(“U Can’t Touch This” by M.C. Hammer)


Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

I’m into having sex, I ain’t into making love. (What, too easy?)

(“In Da Club” by 50 Cent)


The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

Getting paid is a forte, each and every day, true player way. I can’t get her outta my mind. I think about the girl all the time.

(“No Diggity” by Blackstreet)


The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway

Free your mind, and the rest will follow.

(“Free Your Mind” by En Vogue)


The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

I don’t know what they want from me, it’s like the more money we come across, the more problems we see.

(“Mo Money, Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G., featuring Mase and Puff Daddy)


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Now this is a story all about how my life got flip-turned upside down.

(“The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince)


I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max

Girls – to do the dishes. Girls – to clean up my room. Girls – to do the laundry. Girls – and in the bathroom. Girls, that’s all I really want is girls. Two at a time, I want girls.

(“Girls” by The Beastie Boys)


A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar

If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.

(“Ice, Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice)


Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

I’m gonna knock you out. Mama said knock you out.

(“Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J)


Party Monster by James St. James

MDMA got you feelin’ like a champion. The city never sleeps, better slip you an Ambien.

(“Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys)


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sippin’ on coke and rum, I’m like, ‘So what, I’m drunk.” It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby, I’m about to have me some fun.

(“Ignition (Remix)” by R. Kelly)


Any to add?