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Unsigned Hype: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, June 1, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

You are about to enter uncharted Terror Tory . . . I'm Tory Tyson, but you can call me Terror Tory because I bring terror to all producers and DJs. I'm from the hood side of Mount Vernon, which is right next to the Bronx. I'm fifteen and I already met my future wife. I just have to get her to see it that way. Did I mention that my beats and turntable skills are sick? This summer I'll be spinning at a block party in my neighborhood on Friday nights. You should come through. It's going to be hot (pun intended). Me and my partner Fat Mike are going to enter the Unsigned Hype demo contest on New York's Power 97, "the nation's number one station." If we win, my whole life will change. But there's always somebody hatin'. I'm trying to stay focused, but every day it's different drama. Man, I just want to make it . . . "A great story. . . . [Tory's] life, music, and personal situations were stepping-stones to becoming someone great in hip-hop music. That's a beautiful thing."--Pete Rock, legendary hip-hop producer and DJ "This story is long overdue. It shows that even bad neighborhoods can produce good things. Tory keeps it real, but he also keeps it right."--Robert Teitel, producer, Soul Food, Men of Honor, the Barbershop series, Roll Bounce, and Notorious "A story that anyone growing up in the urban landscape can relate to . . . A fresh account . . . of the heart of a young teen wrestling with what it takes to become a man."--DJ Essence, hip-hop producer, DJ, and CEO of Lamp Mode Recordings ". . . flashes strong street cred . . . . Firmly rooted in hip-hop lore, it will have huge appeal for urban teens."--Library Journal Booker T. Mattison is a writer and filmmaker whose films and music videos have aired on Showtime, BET, MTV Europe, the Gospel Music Channel, and TBN. Mattison lives in New York. This is his first novel.

About the Author

Booker T. Mattison is an author and filmmaker who wrote the screenplay for and directed the film adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's The Gilded Six Bits, which aired on Showtime. His films have been screened at the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress, the Directors Guild of America, and Harvard University. He has written and directed music videos that have aired on BET, MTV Europe, and the Gospel Music Channel. Mattison's first novel, Unsigned Hype, was published by Baker Publishing Group in June 2009 and is already in its second printing. He is now working on an adult novel. Mattison has taught literary criticism at the College of New Rochelle and film production at Brooklyn College. He received his master of fine arts in film from New York University and his bachelor of science in mass communication from Norfolk State University. He lives in New York with his wife and four children.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800733800
  • ASIN: B003E7EXTU
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,312,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Booker T. Mattison is an author and filmmaker who wrote the screenplay for and directed the film adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's classic story "The Gilded Six Bits," which aired on Showtime. It starred Chad Coleman ("The Wire," "I Hate My Teenage Daughter"), T'keyah Keymah ("That's So Raven," "Cosby," "In Living Color"), Wendell Pierce ("Treme","The Wire," "Ray") and Novella Nelson ("The Antwone Fisher Story"). The Hollywood Reporter said of the film that, "Mattison's direction and feel for her characters match up to Hurston's sterling piece of fiction. The short is full of atmosphere and strongly developed characters."

Mattison's novel Snitch was published May 1, 2011. Publishers Weekly said that, "Author and filmmaker Mattison's sophomore outing reads like its ready for screen adaptation... Mattison has a superb ear and his skills keep on growing." His debut novel Unsigned Hype was published in June 2009 and is in its third printing. Producer Stephanie Allain Bray ("Hustle and Flow," "Black Snake Moan" and the forthcoming "We the Peeples") is attached to produce the film adaptation of both books.

Mattison received his Master of Fine Arts in film from New York University and his Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Norfolk State University.

Mattison has taught Literary Criticism at the College of New Rochelle in New York, film production at Brooklyn College and Advanced Directing, Screenwritng and Directing Actors at Regent University in Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a person who fully believes in the importance of reaching the youth. The problem that usually prevents us from doing this is we don't try to reach the youth where they're at.

Enter filmmaker and author Booker T. Mattison and his debut novel, Unsigned Hype.

From a reader's perspective, the book doesn't miss a beat; I read the book in one sitting, captured by the music backdrop, the tight writing, the well developed characters, and the drama that ensues well to the end of the novel.

As a person, the book touches me because it meets the youth where they are, where their dreams are, where their trips and stumbles through life are, and it shows youth that having faith, having God is important. That with him and your faith, you can still have your dreams--even if they're a little altered due to their journey.

I definitely recommend this book to all readers interested in a strong story and an equally strong message. Looking forward to see what Mattison puts out next.
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Format: Paperback
Unsigned Hype by Booker T. Mattison is a street novel that grips you from the first page until the very end. With cool, relatable characters such as Terror Tory, Bang Up Black and Boo Boo you feel like this is a tale from your back yard. Growing up in Mount Vernon, Tory lives with his mom and two older brothers and he has inherited his deceased dads' ear for music. From blasting tunes and playing the piano, you name it this brother is spinning the 1s and 2s. Interested in becoming a music producer, Tory helps his friend, Fat Mike, create a demo that lands them a spot in the Unsigned Hype competition.

While Tory is living a dream, Fat Mike is basking in the mini glow this competition has thrown their way. However, when they don't win Mike becomes sour and agitated that Tory, now known as Terror Tory, gets a hook up to make beats and produces some of the local talent. Unsigned Hype is a great read for all, especially today's youth who do not exactly live in the best neighborhoods but still have a dream. Mr. Mattison incorporates religion, morals and caring parents in this urban novel; where everyone feels right at home. This is a feel-good story about our youth and helping them to help themselves.

I recommend this book to readers of all genres and ages and will be passing this one on to my daughter. Unsigned Hype gave me a warm feeling as the story unfolded and walked me through the life of a teen growing up and the challenges as well as obstacles he had to face. Making the right decision is hard especially when you are unsure of your purpose in life. Pick up a copy.

Reviewed by: Cheryl Hayes
APOOO BookClub
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Format: Paperback
This was an interesting book. Totally outside of what I usually read. It's a YA book, but very urban in feel. I think it's an important voice that hasn't been heard a lot in the past. The book shows that even in that environment, it is possible to live your life with integrity and honesty and faith. I thought the book was really good. For those readers who really aren't familiar with the hip-hop culture, it gives some really good insight. At the same time, I know if it weren't for the blog tour I probably wouldn't have picked this one up. But I'm glad I did have the opportunity to read it.
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Dreams can come true, but not without a price. For Tory Tyson's family, the noble dream of expanding minds through education and demonstrating financial responsibility comes to a devastating halt, leaving Tory's mother to raise three sons on her own in Mount Vernon (New York).

Tory, the youngest son, is a burgeoning entrepreneur; he is a DJ for local events and produces music tracks for local artists. Tory's formal musical training and love of hip-hop merge to make him the hottest young producer around. When fate blends with preparation, Tory is discovered by hip-hop's finest, MixMaster Magic, and is given his own spot on one of New York's infamous hip-hop radio show.

At the age of 15, Tory is suddenly plunged into the raw side of hip-hop culture and discovers the backlash of resentment and jealousy, which seem inexplicably linked with success. He must now decide who he is, what his music represents and what obligation, if any, he has to the community as a whole.

Here, Booker T. Mattison scripts a multifaceted masterpiece in easy fashion. Told in first person, Mattison manages to realistically capture an adult world through teen eyes and emotions. The beauty of this work is that Tory is not left to filter through life's chaos on his own: his mother, a close family friend, his brothers, and, possibly, his future wife, provide an alternative to what the streets determine his life should be. Ultimately, the decision about his life's path is one that only Tory can make.

UNSIGNED HYPE is a must read especially for teenagers and young adults. Never preachy, it is an honest and engaging story about life's choices and the subsequent ramifications.

Reviewed by a. Kai
for The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers
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Format: Paperback
I am thoroughly impressed with this debut novel. Why? Because Unsigned Hype pulled me into the head of a young man who attends an inner city school and is quickly getting recognition for his musical talent. For me the sign of a truly great novel is when the story transports you to a world different than your own. This story does just that. I didn't want to do anything except read this book. And not because it was full of junk, but because it felt real to me. Obviously "keeping it real" doesn't need to include a bunch of trash because a lot can be said without being said. If you are street smart you know what the author means. I think that is the main reason that Unsigned Hype will appeal to urban youth. It doesn't hurt that the author has credibility from his own experiences in life either.

This story clearly shows the slippery slope that one must travel when fame and recognition comes your way. The more naive you are, the harder it is to stay clean. Mr. Mattison did an excellent job showing how teens can still keep their heart right in the midst of temptation and how even the best kids can get hit with the worst knocks if they're in the wrong place at the wrong time or hook up with the wrong people. I loved the young girl in the story, Precious Lord. Yeah, that was her name. Cute, eh? She was great for Tory and so was her father. The strength of family and love from people who have integrity and good character shines brightly throughout this novel. I found it very inspiring when contrasted with the emptiness of what the world pushes at young people. For that Mr. Mattison gets high marks from me! I hope to read the next book in his series. If it's half as good as this one I'm in for a treat!
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