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“Unfortunately making the greatest rap album of all time was to be put on hold as the insidious Jobcentre advisors had finally had enough of my shit. I would be forced to sign up to one of the town’s two recruitment agencies, or I would be starved of weed money.”
Leonard Swanson lives in an obscure north-western town — the kind that has a knack for swallowing you whole. He is supposed to be making the greatest rap album of all time, Swan Songs, but instead is forced to work at GENPHARM, one of the town’s factories, picking things up and putting them down for twelve hours in a giant white room.
Swan Songs follows Leonard as he works, quits, signs on, and tours the country, eventually becoming embroiled in a conspiracy surrounding his old employer that runs to the heart of British society and beyond, all while battling with identity and reality, as the line between what is real and what is not becomes increasingly blurred.
Part Alan Sillitoe and part William Burroughs, UK rapper Lee Scott’s debut novel, partially based on his own experiences of becoming a rapper in Runcorn, is an experimental and humorous modern satire about the perils of being a hip-hop visionary far from the beaten track…
Lee Scott is a rapper and record producer from Runcorn. He founded the hip-hop label Blah Records and has released eight solo albums. This is his first novel.
“A brilliant modern political novel. It uses the power that today’s radical politics seems to have forgotten about – imagination – to create a wild, wonderful journey through a strange twilight version of England today.”
“Leonard Swanson’s efforts to produce the definitive rap album of all time involves “Booze, drugs and often spending nights on bed bug ridden mattresses somebody dragged in from the streets”. With fascinating results, here in lies the very stylish account of his endeavours. I enjoyed this adventure tremendously.”
“A bizarre B-movie of a book that feels fresher than anything I’ve read all year. It is a surrealist story written in raw prose, with flashes of moods and textures that call to mind Andrea Dunbar. You either know these working-class spaces, the precarity, or you don’t.”
“A wild, weird, quite wonderful (and very possibly wise) piece of work. Here is a voice alluringly raw, magnetically unruly, and vital to heed.”