x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Playground: rapper 50 Cent's literary debut

The gangsta rapper 50 Cent's "mostly true story of a former bully", will likely appeal to only the most die-hard teenage fans.

Playground
50 Cent
Quercus Fiction
Dh25

The name on this book's spine has one jumping to hasty conclusions about its probable quality: yet another publicity stunt by the multi-million-selling rapper; one more attempt to milk profit from his adoring fans, a way to boost album sales, a seasonal cash-in and so on.

Described as "the mostly true story of a former bully", the book's voice is provided by Butterball, 13, a fine specimen of a perpetually sulking and seething teen.

We join him in Playground's opening pages, about to lose control after Butterball violently assaults a schoolmate by using a sock stuffed with batteries.

That Butterball later finds redemption is a little more puzzling, if not entirely surprising, especially within the confines of the teen-lit genre.

It would be fair to say that 50 Cent is no great literary talent - the depth of this book completely fails to get out of the shallow end.

Nevertheless, its slim pickings might be enough to satisfy his adolescent fans, but only if they simply can't wait for his next album release.