“Author are the new Rock Stars” – This is a mantra that author Michael McGrew is living by as he grows his brand with his newest book Room 111 (Legacy Publishing).
Written in collaboration with Grammy-award-winning songwriter Kiesah Hakeem, this novel peels back the glitz and glamor of the music industry and sheds light on a spiritually dark and currupt undercurrent using the main character, Raquan “Grey” Taylor, as the center piece.
The music industry is a beautiful as it is deadly. Room 111 will allow you to make sense of the fire and desire Raquan has for music, but this book will also materialize those forces that are shrouded in mystery. The Devil and The Illuminati may be alive and well in the music industry.
Read the excerpt and buy this book before it gets banned by those who don’t want to get exposed.
Chapter 2 – City of Angels
“For those who are unaware of what’s going on literally just inches behind me at the Staple Center, one of the most prolific artist in the industry today, as well as…and I’m proud to say a Los Angeles’s own; Raquan “Grey” Taylor has ended his highly anticipated tour in the city of angels. I haven’t witnessed an urban jubilation like this since Thomas Bradley became mayor in 1973.” The reporter screamed. The cameraman rotated himself to catch the mayhem going on behind him and the footage was breath taking. Fans came out to support R&B sensation Raquan “Grey” Taylor; one of hip hops big-ticket performers. The sky was clear as If God himself commanded the best view of his successful outcome that night; it was a celebration well deserved considering the hard work and sacrifices that were made to get on this level. Every minute was being documented, recorded and viewed just as history was taking place. The
“As you can see, the fans are going crazy like it’s the second coming of Jesus, this is unbelievable! I can feel the excitement in the air. Like these group of friends right here.” The reporter redirected the conversation and moved towards the group before continuing. “Hey guys, is there anywhere else in the world that you’d rather be right now?” One guy grabbed the microphone without hesitation and spoke.
“No homo, but I’m Grey’s number one fan! Everything that he stands for represents my struggle, he’s just dope, period! That dude is the realist guy in the industry and I just love what he brings to the table as an artist. Of course I’m gonna come out and support. Look at all of this!” He raised both hands in the air and turned around. It’s like Raquan’s success became his own and even though this fan didn’t share his royalties, the after parties and celebrations served as a balanced invariable. The reporter grabbed the microphone to allow someone else to speak and a young teenage girl was eager to get her words off of her chest. The reporter had a small talk with her
prior to allowing her to speak.
“And to my surprise, there’s no other way to show their patriotism like this young lady right here next me. You have a tattoo of Raquan “Grey” Taylor’s face on your upper shoulder?”
“Do you mind if we view it? And what does your mom think of that decision?” he asked before shifting the microphone to her for an answer again.
“Well she doesn’t know until now…hi mom! We love you Grey,” She screamed while blowing a kiss.
“Cleveland baby!” a voice yelled behind them and the crowd went wild. It was a sight to see and it was clear that a goal had been completed. The crowd soon got rowdy and a fight erupted a few feet away from the camera crew. The Mayor prepared well for this outcome and police quickly defused the problem before attempting to bring this debauchery to an end.
“And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, we’re all ecstatic and the rush is amazing, till next time Cleveland this is…” The reporter was interrupted by an onlookers comment.
“Oh my God, there he is!” She screamed while covering her mouth. Everybody followed her finger, including the cameraman to catch a glimpse of Grey looking down from his hotel suite. Even though he couldn’t hear through the sound proof glass, he could only imagine what they were saying. He’s heard it all; so much that fame didn’t flatter him anymore. Raquan “Grey”
Taylor was dressed adequately in his open robe, designer boxers and wife beater, damp from spilled liquor and reeking from potent marijuana. His face was bitter with uneasiness and dissatisfaction. A rather scrupulous emotion caused by spiritual mistakes and careless decisions made by greed, lust and unsuspecting trust of baneful snakes in the industry. It was hard to believe that just an hour and a half ago he headlined a sold out concert and even now had the world at his fingertips. From the outside looking in he was living the American dream, waking up to every mans fantasy and living a life that most functional citizens in society would kill for. A woman flashed him from a neighboring hotel across from his and he just stared until his eyes focused in on his own reflection.
“They can have it all back mom, I don’t want it anymore. Remember when I used to sing at the breakfast table about being broke? And how many strange habits I’d probably develop once I got rich; like eating cereal with champagne? Or what about you Khalil? Remember when I used to just stare at you when we were getting ready for school? You used to sing these tunes and I couldn’t believe that voice came out of my older brother. It was the voice of a superstar and I always felt protected because being around you made me feel closer to God himself.” He took a long guzzle of his vodka and stared at the bottles label as the liquor reduced inch by inch until
his lungs burned as a notification to take a break. He wiped his mouth with his left arm and grinned hard in the process of swallowing his choice of poison.
“I love you guys so much” he said before turning around only to notice no one there. He blinked numerous times in an attempt to eliminate the blur. Grey extended his right arm to press the release button, prompting the motor to close the curtain. He dropped the bottle of vodka afterward just missing his foot as he stumbled to the bed. He didn’t bother picking it up as the room dimmed while the drapes closed completely. The only available light left was the two lamp shades attached to the wall, just what he needed during his search for his phone but was interrupted by the loud ring from the room phone. He picked it up mistakenly.
“Hello, hello Raquan? Oh my God I love you so much. Say something please, I know your there baby please. Let me in your room, I just want to put my mouth on you so bad. You just don’t know what you do to me Grey; I wake up to your voice everyday in the morning. Are you there? Hello?” The stranger asked. Grey hesitated to speak for a moment but quickly realized his obligation to the industry that provided his every desire and wish on his climb to the top, and in return for his riches all he had to do was entertain the people. And with all the effort he could muster he responded with a burp followed by a sigh of relief and she screamed hysterically. He
continued to listen until the phone made the hook and ended the call. The room began to spin for a second and he leaned forward hitting his head on the mini drawer between the two queen sized beds. Holding himself on the floor was the slightest comfort he had received in quite some time outside of the drug use and prostitutes he paid for. A red light caught his attention through his peripheral causing him to reach for his cell phone. Once in hand he rolled over on his back and called his mother, his only true friend. He caught the voice mail and left a message.
“Hey ma, your probably resting but I just wanted to let you know I was okay. Just a little overwhelmed with work but thinking about taking a vacation soon. All you have to do is name the place and we can go okay? I hope you liked the show tonight and just to think all those people came to see your little boy, huh we’ve came a long way didn’t we? I’m going to write a song just for you momma and sing it on every album from now on just as a reminder that your the only one in my heart that doesn’t need a security clearance. Okay well call me when you get this message and if not then I’ll see you tomorrow. I love you, talk to you later.” He ended the call before glancing in the direction of the bottle of vodka that he dropped. The contents of it poured onto the rug but didn’t deter him from soaking it up with a washcloth only to squeeze the rest in his mouth. At this point his eyes were beady from stress, drugs, insomnia and malnutrition of the soul. Underneath his jewels and expensive clothes provided by his stylist, his body was frail and neglected from years of traveling. At this point the walls were closing in and nothing else mattered in life but a quiet peace of mind and there were only two solutions; save himself from the world or visa-verse. He got on his knees and crawled to the mini drawer, breathing heavy and avoiding the voices in his head pulling him in many directions. Opening the drawer was similar to participating in a game show considering the gun and bible that lay inside. He grabbed both and felt power in them; but if only his choice was an easy one he thought. Whatever it was, it had to end tonight. A single tear dropped from his left eye, the same side in which the bible rested upon.
“I don’t want to live anymore, I’m done living this life and can’t go on. Fuck it! I won’t feel anything anyway. I’ve felt more pain pursuing my dreams than I will pulling this trigger.” he said in the process of tossing the bible and picking up a sharpie pen that he noticed resting on his laptop case. His creative side influenced him to leave a message to his fans before he left the building, so he began to write on the wall. His left arm moved with passion as his final note to the world had to take precedence over the credentials of his previous records. In the midst of just minutes the wall was covered with words written in black ink and the artist formally known as Raquan “Grey” Taylor dropped the pen, lifted the gun and stared at the wall. His mouth mumbled the words as he re-read his thoughts aloud. It sounded like he was chanting a mantra that sought for forgiveness. The gun shook uncontrollably in his hand and was forced to hold it with the other to regain stability. For every person comes that day where we question our presence and this was the day for Grey. The last minutes that lead up to his final decision were crucial considering his Step brother Antoine Swinger was about to interrupt his planned suicide. Grey cocked the hammer, closed his eyes and didn’t even bother finalizing this show with a prayer. Wherever he was going, whether heaven or hell, it couldn’t have been worse than what he’d been put through on this here earth. He threw his right hand in a jolting position as if he had to throw the bullet from the gun and was reluctant to just pull the trigger repeatedly. He reopened his eyes, took a deep breath and exhaled with enough pain to satisfy the demon in him that he couldn’t control. Six years, six hours and six minutes in the industry and he had nothing at all to call his own. They took his body, soul, friends, spirit and family. And their would be no better pleasure than to end it all now as a last effort to prevent the vultures from feeding off of his God given talent and using it for purposes that weren’t Godly at all. His death was the only way to retaliate and so be it.
“Are you serious? Our president wants Grey to perform at the inaugural ball! Yeah baby!” Antoine yelled. He couldn’t wait to relay the great news to Grey despite their previous altercation they had at the hotel room. Even though their friendship has gone through the ringer, they share a common oath and success was an obligation. He excused himself from the bar.
“Where are you going man? The parties just getting started, we’ll get back to work in the morning so let’s celebrate. Tonight was a success!” An affiliate said and Antoine looked at him with a big smile before responding.
“I’ve been celebrating since getting Grey signed and the news that I just received can’t wait till the morning. We made it to the white house, do you understand? I’m going to the hotel to check up on Grey and bringing his ass back so don’t leave.”
“What you need to do is put an ice pack on that cheek, whoever’s fist you ran into wasn’t playing was he?” He asked before laughing.
“Fuck you man!” He said and signaled the bartender for a bottle on his tab. Antoine Swinger has been with Grey since the beginning and has an extended history as a friend and stepsibling. On top of that he has invested interest in him considering if it weren’t for Grey, he probably wouldn’t be where he was right now. Antoine built his reputation from Grey and is now making major moves in the music industry as a mucic executive. On his way downtown he witnessed the aftermath in the streets of Cleveland and reality hit him of how much of an influence he was on Grey and even took credit for his success secretly. He really didn’t have any intentions on returning back to the after party, instead, he would rather spend quality time with Grey and have a few drinks in the room, alone.
“Come on man, answer the phone.” He said when he pulled up to the valet. The phone just kept ringing and the voice-mail was too full and unable to receive anymore messages.
“Oh my God, there he is” A girl screamed and it tickled Antoine to death. This was the life and anything else was uncivilized in his eyes. There was no other place to be than on top, it was just to crowded on the bottom he thought as he looked into the crowd outside of the hotel. He walked in and straight to the elevator, looking to the left.
On his way up he became overwhelmed with excitement and couldn’t wait to see Grey. His presence alone brought out the best in people and once you had a piece of him, you were hooked. He was a great man and as loyal as they came. Antoine got off the elevator and began to jog down the hall in anticipation to get to room 111 and even ran past it accidentally. When he got to the door he fixed himself and felt the nervousness build as he envisioned Grey’s smile once he shared the great news. He extended his arm and knocked hard.
A loud bang hit the door stunning Grey and the gun went off. Grey shot himself in the head but was still coherent enough to hear thunderous sounds coming from the hallway. It sounded like a police raid and Grey was reluctant to appreciate the help to come. His eyes stared at the ceiling until he faced Antoine, as he stood above him in complete shock. His eyes fading in and out, all he could hear was the loud banging of Antoine’s fist hitting the drawer that maintained his immersion. By now other hotel guest entered the room with phones in hand.
“Call 911, someone please! Come on Grey, don’t leave me.” Grey’s mouth was open with an ironic grin. He hummed just my imagination by the Temptations. He stopped suddenly and his eyes widened as his arms straightened and muscles stiffened like a board. As Antoine held his stepbrother he yelled.
“Hurry up, Hurry up” his fist constantly banged on the dresser drawer until Grey lost consciousness. He didn’t say a word and just allowed his pride to give in to this battle. With his senses still in tact he fell into a deep sleep that listened instinctively to the rhythm of Antoine’s beat.
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Also, here are some other books written by Michael McGrew.