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by Goines are many rap and hip hop stars who cite him as an important influence in their music. A literary forefather of gangsta rap, Goines's novels, like many hardcore rap songs, tend to glorify the gangsta lifestyle -- pimp's wardrobes, cars, large gold-and-diamond jewelry, women- Tupac Shakur calls him a ''father figure'' in the lyrics for ''Tradin' War Stories.''

Nas's song ''Black Girl Lost'' borrows its title and theme from Goines's 1973 novel about an adolescent who resorts to stealing and drug pushing to support herself, the same book so important to Jossel.


Black Girl Lost

Growing up seein’ it, it should remind you/ You bein’ lied to, everything that move be inside you/ Scared as you are, being left with the wannabes that guide you/ I watched you, hard to knock you/ I tried hard not to spot you/ By dancin topless in your draws/ Damn, there goes a black girl lost.

On ''Eyebrows Down,'' a song from his latest album ''Chicken 'n' Beer,'' the Southern rapper Ludacris rhymes about buying Goines books.


Eyebrows Down

And I was still making demos perfecting the craft/ Some said I wouldn't make it they would giggle and laugh/ So I picked up a couple books from DONALD GOINES/ About the business of this shit and how to FLIP A FEW COINS/ By the age of eighteen I was destined to MAKE IT/ My bank account read DISTURBING THE PEACE INCORPORATED

Goines appetite for crime and drugs, prodigious talent, and violent nature might lead you to imagine that he was, in person, a large, scary man. Not so says publisher Morriss, “Donald Goines was small of stature. I would say Donnie was about maybe, 5’6”, 5’7”, slim, had an extraordinarily subjective personality. He was very quiet. He had perfect demeanor. Extraordinarily polite. Just a very, very… nice person. He always wore long sleeves. And that, as we subsequently learned was to hide any disclosure of his heroine habit, which was formidable and ongoing. And if you looked at him, you would not say that he was capable of generating these kind of books.”

“He wasn’t handsome per say, but he must have had a certain demeanor about him, and maybe even a glibness that attracted women to him, because he had a lot of kids. As you know, many of the books do involve a sexuality, sometimes even an animal sexuality, and one would assume, at least a good writer draws upon experiences and sensations he may have had.”

In an effort to lead a better, perhaps more normal life, Goines decided suddenly to leave Los Angeles and move back to Detroit, where most of family was, with his common-law wife Shirley Sailor, and two of his children. “The police were harassing him here. You have to remember what years those were,” Morriss says.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 37 - September 3729
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