'Makin' It: The Hip-Hop Guide to True Survival'

Book Offers Alternate Message to Mass-Market Culture

Cover of 'Makin' It: The Hip-Hop Guide to True Survival'

hide captionCover of Makin' It: The Hip-Hop Guide to True Survival (Youth Development and Research Fund, 2003)

Buy a copy from the Youth Development & Research Fund Web site

If you've ever tried to give a teenager sound advice on how to get ahead in life and wound up feeling like the squarest adult on the planet, well, you're not alone.

NPR's Tavis Smiley talks with Edward Dejesus, president of the Youth Development and Research Fund, about his new book, Makin' It: The Hip-Hop Guide to True Survival.

Many parents believe that the intense mass-marketing of popular culture, especially hip-hop and rap, overwhelms any influence that parents might have on their kids. DeJesus tells Smiley he set out to meet kids "on their own hip-hop ground."

The book features interviews, facts and insights DeJesus says are identifiable to millions of young people nationwide. Instead of the get-rich-quick "thug life" glamorized by hip-hop artists, DeJesus offers a different viewpoint: young people who complete high school, get and keep jobs and contribute to their communities. The emphasis is on education as a route to success.

The Youth Development and Research Fund is a project of The Source Youth Foundation.

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