Writing for those who utilize the talent, has a way of being therapeutic, all the while presenting the grand opportunity for expression. From real accounts, to imaginative displays, the art of penmanship is by far one of the most respected and vital elements of creativity. Meet Frank C. Matthews, Brooklyn, NY native, author of the critically acclaimed and well respected, Respect the Jux (2010). Back in a grand manner with his newest offering, Below the Radar, Frank C. Matthews continues to cement his name as one of the very best in Urban Fiction, more aptly titled, ‘True Fiction’ by Frank C. Parlé with us, as we introduce you to the works of, and the inspiration for that is which is, the writings of Mr. Frank C. Matthews.
Parlé: Respect The Jux is said to be based loosely on true life events: I must applaud you for your candid portrayal of yourself and experiences that have culminated in the individual you are today. How easily do you find the reflective nature of what you write?
Frank C Matthews: I find it to be very easy. At the end of the day, I try my best to keep it very simple and I write what I feel the people will be able to relate to. My content is very real; and where necessary I make the changes so it can remain entertaining, appealing, and fictional all at once.
Parlé: You describe your brand of writing as “true fiction” what does that entail?
Frank: True Fiction encompasses realistic content and stories being told while bending the truth somewhat. There is always truth to the stories that I write. The fictional portions are to ensure everyone’s comfortability. I write based on people’s ability to relate all the while not creating uncomfortability for anyone; The objective is to keep it 100, and real, but entertaining.
Parlé: Similar to the lyrics of some of this generations momentous songs, your diction is very vivid. How literal do you expect your words to be taken?
Frank: It’s funny because I actually have a story that goes with that: one time a guy told me that after he read my book, he felt as though he could go outside and execute a jux. My response was ‘that’s what law enforcement is here to prevent.’ I feel as though the content will always have an element of entertainment as well as an element that will be taken literal by some. It’s no different than movies like Scarface, which make people feel that they can take over the world and live the hustlers dream. At the end of the day, everything is not for everyone and I remind people that I write for the entertainment of my audience.
Parlé: Legendary film-maker F.Gary Gray has sung high praise for your forthcoming novel Below the Radar, how satisfying is that degree of recognition?
Frank: I feel like that form of a stamp or co-sign is great and with it, I feel like things can only get better. Acknowledgment from supporters makes me work harder, and understand that the sky is the limit. The more people of note that acknowledge and show support, opens the door for me to get my work to anyone in the world and have it be received well. So I would say that all the positive feedback definitely inspires me to stay focused, consistent, and put out good literature.
Parlé: When can the public get their copies of Below the Radar?
Frank: Below The Radar is available online via the various outlets that people are familiar with like Barnes and Nobles, Borders, and Amazon. Currently we are waiting for the shelf date to inform people of when they can get the physical copy.
Parlé: You are credited with motivating artists like Harlems’ Own Vado, who put out a record with the same title as your first work, did you expect this level of success all along?
Frank: Everything I do revolves around Hip Hop. That is the culture that I am apart of, and I find a way to merge the two whenever I can. I have had great assistance with heightening the awareness, from artists like 50 and Lloyd Banks in the song “Hands Up” if you recall the line: “you wanna party with crooks/ you better respect the jux.” Urban fiction as a whole has received a great support from the Hip-Hop culture, from Jay Z using the moniker Iceberg Slim. So when Vado and Jae Millz approached me with their intentions, I was more than happy to oblige. Not to mention, it helped push the numbers of the book, so it was definitely a win-win.
Parlé: Where are you from for those who do not know?
Frank: I am from East New York, and I have also spent a lot of time, growing up, in the Lefrak City section of Queens
Parlé: I have a respect for, and I must commend you on your initiatives geared towards giving opportunity to those who are from the same walk of life you are. Can you speak to the inspiration for this philanthropic role that you play?
Frank: That inspiration comes from the realization that with opportunity anyone can do better, and reach their goals. Personally, if it were not for the opportunities given to me, I would have likely stayed in the street doing wrong. Most of us do not want to be in the street, but when your back is against the wall you have no choice. I chose to follow a better path and make use of the opened doors. My group The 5 is the perfect example of young men who are utilizing an opportunity, and leaving behind the lifestyle of drug-dealing, gangbanging, and living by any means to get ahead..
Parlé: Are there any forthcoming projects that you want to remind our audience to stay tuned for?
Frank: Yes, certainly. I appreciate the support thus far of Below the Radar, like I said it is available online now at Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Nobles. Soon it will be in the stores physically, so stay tuned for that. Also, this coming Christmas I will be releasing The American Dream a project sponsored by myself, Shannon Briggs, and N.O.R.E, supported by various Hip Hop Legends locally. Along with the book, will be a film based on the book, same title with plans to feature Nas, Prodigy and other popular individuals. Please be on the lookout for the book Xmas, and the film early 2013.
July 2012, the 11th to be exact we are hosting a listening event for my group The 5, which I mentioned @ Daddy’s House so stay tuned for more of those details, and just continue to support myself and the brand. Thank you