It’s time. It’s here. We have finally been graced with another smash book from Angie Thomas, solidifying (as if there was any doubt) that “Big Legend” can do anything.
A little recap if you don’t already know—a new female rapper reigns supreme in On the Come Up. This story is about Bri, a battle rapping emcee that puts pen to paper… and then to booth when a school security guard discriminates against her and uses force to unrightfully search her.
Her song goes viral, and critics come from all sides—calling Bri everything from a thug to an imposter. On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop (you can read more about Angie’s inspiration here), and luckily for us, Angie and Spotify have blessed us with some songs that she rocked with while writing On the Come Up. Follow her playlist here!
On the Come Up
THE OFFICIAL PLAYLIST
And we have some fun facts about the titles Angie chose for her official On the Come Up playlist!
Track 1: Rapper’s Delight
Even though Rapper’s Delight isn’t the first rap song, it is the one credited for bringing hip hop music to a wide audience.
Track 6: I Used to Love H.E.R.
If you don’t know Common, he’s a veteran in the hip hop game and also played Starr’s Uncle Carlos in The Hate U Give. But also, Angie gives the sweetest acknowledgement to Common, whom she thanks for inspiration and encouragement.
Track 8: The World Is Yours
“Nothing’s been the same since Nas told me the world was mine.” Bri was inspired early on through rap when her Aunt Pooh introduced her to rapper Nas for the first time.
Track 10: Juicy by Notorious B.I.G.
While The Hate U Give plays homage to Tupac, On the Come Up plays homage to Biggie, an influential east coast rapper from the 90s. You can read more about how Biggie plays such a huge role in On the Come Up here.
Track 29: Money by Cardi B
One of the most popular female emcees right now, Cardi B, like Bri, is all about a come up, with both of them coming from humble upbringings.
Track 35: The Ten Crack Commandments by Notorious B.I.G.
Biggie has the Ten Crack Commandments, and in On The Come Up, Bri comes up with a rhyme that summarizes the ten SNACK commandments.
About On the Come Up
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.
But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.
Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.
Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.