WORD LISTS

"Let Me Hear a Rhyme" by Tiffany D. Jackson, Chapters 1–8

July 8, 2019
After Steph is killed, his friends and sister try to promote his music — and solve the mystery of his murder.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–8, Chapters 9–21, Chapters 22–31, Chapters 32–55
regal
Pastor in the corner eating lemon cake, grandmas in their regal crowns waving church fans, while aunties swim around, refilling plates, sneaking sips of Henny stashed in their purse.
borough
We Brooklyn kids don’t travel to other boroughs like that.
notorious
Headline: Funeral Held for Slain Teen On Saturday, roughly a hundred friends and family filled the victim’s home in Brevoort, the notorious housing projects in the heart of Bedford-Stuyvesant, to celebrate the life of Stephon Davis, Jr.
at large
Suspect still at large.
cardigan
Mom squeezes Carl tight with one hand, clinging to the back of my cardigan with the other.
medallion
At least she didn’t say nothing about my medallion.
deja vu
It used to belong to Daddy. He wore it everywhere.
Déjà vu.
gape
“You okay? I was just...whoa.” He gapes at the walls.
gawk
Quadir gawks like he’s walking into a museum.
cackle
Rell cackles and Quadir can’t help but snicker with him.
repast
Their laughter slowly dies down and they both glance at me, like they forgot I was in the room. Yes, y’all, we’re still at the repast for my brother.
bodega
Whenever we chill on the corner, we got to play our positions: me, posted up against the wall; Quady sitting on milk crates; and Steph leaning against the lamppost outside Habibi’s bodega.
wiretap
Pops don’t even live with us and I’m afraid to use them words up in our spot. He’s quick to make me do twenty push-ups when I try. Probably got the place wiretapped or something.
smithereens
You gave that fool Steph a hot beat, and he’d smash it to smithereens with the quickness.
complexion
Quady got the complexion of a waffle.
desolate
He craned his neck into the desolate street lined with blue police barricades working like dams to hold the overpacked crowd from flooding the empty space.
tender
Steph touched the tender spaces in between the cornrows under his knit hat with a slight wince.
wince
Steph touched the tender spaces in between the cornrows under his knit hat with a slight wince.
makeshift
Old ladies held candles around the makeshift memorials peppered with cards and teddy bears.
unconditional
She needed to see that it wasn’t just him with unconditional love for Biggie.
hectic
He was more comfortable with the noise of hectic traffic, street sirens, and arguing neighbors.
procession
At first only a few cops on motorcycles rounded the corner, crawling up the street, but behind them, the procession slowly followed, a caravan of limos following a black hearse, similar to what Biggie stood next to on the cover of his last album, Life After Death.
caravan
At first only a few cops on motorcycles rounded the corner, crawling up the street, but behind them, the procession slowly followed, a caravan of limos following a black hearse, similar to what Biggie stood next to on the cover of his last album, Life After Death.
hearse
At first only a few cops on motorcycles rounded the corner, crawling up the street, but behind them, the procession slowly followed, a caravan of limos following a black hearse, similar to what Biggie stood next to on the cover of his last album, Life After Death.
finality
The last car made a turn with a sharp finality and the block became still again.
instinctive
The boys instinctively started walking toward Fulton as raw emotions spilled into the streets.
solemnly
“Yo, duke is messed up,” Quady said solemnly.
dynamic
They partied, singing at the top of their lungs, celebrating a dynamic life cut short...
pandemonium
Pepper spray perfumed the air. Pandemonium. Women coughed, sergeants barked, and sirens blared as Biggie continued to play in the background.
hub
Towering brown buildings, a busy hub full of life.
rally
So today we rally,
They ain't gonna stop us.
condolence
“Yo, I heard about your brother. My condolences.”
incense
“What he means is, they ain’t burning incense, beating drums, and talking ’bout, ‘the revolution will not be televised’!”
revolution
“What he means is, they ain’t burning incense, beating drums, and talking ’bout, ‘the revolution will not be televised’!”
unison
“Rell, we want ice cream,” they say in unison.
horde
Mack strolls over to the truck with a horde of kids behind him.
void
That void. It creeps up on us when we least expect it.
brainstorm
Since then, I’ve been brainstorming new headlines for a follow-up story:
Friends Nearly Die of Boredom after Teen’s Death
Slain Teen Leaves Friends Mad Confused
exclusive
This month’s issue is thick with new music reviews and an exclusive interview with none other than Pierce Williams, an A&R rep at Red Starr Entertainment, one of the hottest record labels in the industry.
clout
“’Cause all those people you talking about already had a deal!” Jarrell shouts, throwing his hands up. “They had the clout, the juice, the je ne sais quoi. And they all had deals with labels to drop their album for them!”

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