Houstonite Shea Serrano is about as close as we can get to a modern-day Cinderella. Back in 2008, The New York Times best-selling author was on his daily grind as a schoolteacher when his wife went into labor five months early. After an emergency visit to the doctor, Mrs. Serrano was put on bed rest and Shea had to pick up the slack with a second job. Walmart didn’t want him, neither did Target, so he started writing for a neighborhood newspaper to offset some of his family’s medical costs. Fast forward to 2016, Serrano is a freelance writer (having cut his teeth at the now shuttered Grantland) and the author of the cultural phenomenon The Rap Yearbook, which dug into the history and culture of hip-hop by designating the most important rap song for each year from 1979 to the present. And to top it all off, Serrano has recently announced that The Rap Yearbook will be turned into a documentary series.
In case you were wondering if Shea was still keeping it real after skyrocketing to the top of the publishing world in eight short years, one glance at his Twitter account leaves no doubt about it. When announcing that he had met with the production company who bought the rights to The Rap Yearbook, the naturally funny and charming Tweetstar sounded like a gleeful young man who just secured the hottest prom date in town. In addition to his clearly overflowing joy, Serrano took a moment, as he usually does, to thank every single person who bought The Rap Yearbook and made this deal possible. Clearly his humility is only matched by his clever and insightful vision of hip-hop music, which he condensed into The Rap Yearbook‘s 240 pages together with infographics, lyric maps, and first-hand commentary from some of rap’s true pioneers.
Unfortunately, as of yet, no details are available regarding the documentary project, but we do know that Serrano got his check from an award-winning production company. So let’s take a moment to recognize one of the realest figures in the publishing game today, and keep supporting his work by following this project as it develops.
Check out our interview with Shea Serrano from last year.