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Monday, February 01, 2010

C-Murder takes novel approach to jail time (CL 10/10/2007)

C-Murder takes novel approach to jail time
Raymond Reeves.
The Clarion Ledger. Jackson, Miss.: Oct 10, 2007. pg. D.1

Link to the article online

Abstract (Summary)
Since education was strongly emphasized in his family, promoting that same message has become a priority for Miller.

Copyright 2007 - Clarion Ledger Jackson, MS - All Rights Reverved

*Multiplatinum-selling rapper turns hardship into positive story

By Raymond Reeves


He grew up in the projects. Uses the word "murder" in his professional name. Was given a life sentence after being convicted of second-degree murder.

What type of image does this bring to mind?

How about this one:High school honor student, voracious reader and accomplished author.

These are descriptions of 36-year-old Corey Miller, aka C-Murder, a multiplatinum-selling rapper and author of Death Around the Corner.

"I normally read Christian fiction and this is definitely not Christian fiction - but it is still a story of hope and overcoming. It just goes to show what happens when you attach labels to things,"said Robin Gardner, a member of the Conversations Book Club, which has organized Miller's visit to the Jackson area Thursday and Friday.

Death Around the Corner (Vibe Street Lit, $15) was written while Miller was in prison for the 2002 death of a 16-year-old fan. The conviction was overturned, and he was released from prison after four years.

Raised in the Calliope Projects of New Orleans, the book centers around Daquan, a little boy growing up in similar circumstances, and the results his choices have on his life.

"Basically, this book comes from the experiences of family members, friends, people that lived in the neighborhood ... Iwitnessed a lot of things and heard a lot of stories ...

"I wanted to show people that being from the hood didn't mean you had to be some crazy, deranged person with no heart. I wanted Daquan to have a heart and for people to really understand why he does some of the things he does, but, at the same time, understand where he's coming from and that he does have a family that's there for him and cares for him. He tries to do the right things ... but sometimes he gets swept up."

Cyrus Webb, Conversations Book Club founder, had the book recommended to him. "It was so gritty, but it was so real. And, even though the subject matter was so different than what I'm used to, it was easy to relate to."

Miller calls the book a positive outcome of his incarceration.

"I always wanted to do it, but me sitting out, basically having a lot of time on my hands and free energy, my thought processes slowed down enough that Icould sit down and put all of my emphasis into it,"Miller said.

The response to the book, Miller said, has been gratifying.

"I've had some true diehard fans who are always going to accept what Ido, but I've had school teachers, attorneys, people who you would never suspect would read the novel read it," he said. "I really appreciated that, but it surprised me though."

Since education was strongly emphasized in his family, promoting that same message has become a priority for Miller.

"That's one thing I'm really glad I'm getting out of it; now I'm accepted by fans that (before) would never have picked up a book,"he said.

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