Why Urban Lit Needs a Supernatural Element

By Adenike B. Lucas

Why does Urban Lit needs a Supernatural Element?  My answer to the question, is that the supernatural element in urban lit already exists;  just disguised as an over exaggerated reality. I’m not a big reader of urban literature, but from what I have read, urban lit has tried to be boxed off in its own little world and reaches a limited amount of readers. In truth, there are only so many stories that can come from urban lit, and the problem is that once you add on a sliver of supernatural, such as vampires, the urban lit reader is disinterested and turned off. Because the word supernatural brings to mind visions of old reruns of Lost in Space (which was a great show might I add.), some readers of urban lit will not take the chance on picking up a book with an spaceman wearing a gold chain on the cover. What that same reader doesn’t realize is that the supernatural element that they are trying so hard not to be involved in, is in fact in most urban literature. Think about it. Just because the men from mars aren’t blatantly running the hood doesn’t mean that the author isn’t hiding the supernatural element in their storylines. From what I’ve read in the urban lit genre, the main character is always the sexiest, smartest, most cunning guy or girl, who goes from dirt poor to super-duper mega rich. These same characters also have the uncanny ability to stay one step ahead of the cops, and their enemies, just to retire from all of it with a mate that matches their wit and beauty. t that a bit supernatural? If a reader can except that the hood life the author is writing about is a bit supernatural, they will be more than willing to accept that a character named Boss keeps a little alien in the back room, and uses him as his hit man to wipe out his opposition and eventually to take over the world. So, what I’m trying to say is that, the urban lit genre as we know it is slowly dying away; it like gangster rap for the book industry, and if Andre 3000 from Outcast can create an analogy from spaceships and pimping, then whets wrong with an alien hit man, or a down low wolf-man hip hop dj, or a vampire whore ;-). I say that supernatural elements have a place in urban lit; its already in it, we just need to embrace it.

Adenike B. Lucas is the  author of Vampire Whore

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. I think street lit readers are too rooted in “reality” to open their mind any other way. I myself know of beautiful dope dealers with their bad chicks…no they don’t retire. The ones I know are in jail or …you know. You as the writer need to bring us to that fantastic level. i don’t do vampires, but I want to read your book.

    Like

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