This is my fourth book and in my previous books I have acknowledged pretty much everyone in my life who has influenced me, inspired me, helped me, befriended me, and loved me. Therefore I am going to keep this one short.
All four of my books, including this one, were written while I was in law school and I am FINALLY done. I graduated May 17, 2009, from Hofstra Law School and I am happier than ever. I thank God for giving me the ability to write these four stories all while completing law school. He has been so good to me, and this is just one of the many things I have to thank Him for.
Professor Folami, my one law professor who inspired me to continue on the exact path that I am on and inspired me to never change because I see that you are genuinely youâthank you!!
My parentsâCarolyn and Julius. As always, thank you and I love you for EVERYTHING! I am strong, Mommy, because you are strong and you showed me how.
My siblings, Tasha and JR, are my shapers and molders. I love you both. My twin brother, who is not here in flesh but FOREVER with me in spirit, we did it, Jason.
Hammy, Tylah, Leila, and the new princess Jewelâlove you all. You are my interim children and every one of you brings me joy.
My baby, best friend, and the love of my life, Ahmadâeach book I write, you are still there to toast with me when I turn in the manuscript. Thanks for staying by my side. Thanks for being my air. Regardless of what happens between us, I treasure every day that we have ever spent together because they are magical 99 percent of the time. (OK, maybe 98 percent)
. Love ya, babes.
Mommy and Daddy MeggettâI can't tell you enough how much I love and appreciate you both. If ever your son drives me crazy, I remember that I couldn't live without you guys
and so I stay. Rashida, Les, Rashard, and the boysâlove you guys.
Kim Ginyard, Alicia McFarlane, Wendy Lat-tibedeure, Tiffany Ballard, and the rest of my law grad buddies, we did it, sisters!
Lauren, Gordon, Brandi, Brian, Troi, Candice, Tanika, Darryl, Anthony, Malik, Janice, Nay, Monique, Nikki Bigelow, Chrissy, and all my other cousins and famâlove you all.
In this music industry, as A Tribe Called Quest said, record company people are shady. Then there are those who are just true blue! DJ Envy, my brother, I love you always. Tracy Cloherty, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with you, learn from you, and have you as my friend. Fatman Scoop, I love to see you still doing your thing. Love ya, Isaac. Funkmaster Flex, I appreciate all that you have done for me throughout my entire career; your words of advice until this day and your help in making moves. You don't have to, but you do, and I appreciate you. Cocoa, you are always my girl. Crazy behind Clue, Absolut, Camilo, and WhookidâI love all of you guys repping for my Qboro
. My fellow author and scorpio Miss Jones, Ang, Koren Vaughnâmy girl forever, Enuffâmy big Spanish, Jazzy, Rod-Ness, Bobby Trends, Donyshia Benjamin, Travia Charmontânothing but love. Ebro, thanks for all the many lessons. Nikki Smith, my girl forever. Alex Cameron, congrats! Of course, I have to acknowledge my Bugsy for always being exactly who you are. Kyser, Hollywood, next book is all about you, lol. James Brown, Pecas, Yvette, Helen Demoz, Jay Brown, Nels, Karen Rait, Blue Williams, Pia, Buttah Man, Dave House, Marilyn Lecointreâyou guys make TCQ wrong and prove not all record company people are shady. Love you all.
his wasn't something Madison ever would have expected. As she cruised down Hughes Avenue, she saw DJ KD being put in the back of the police car. There were some onlookers watching, but it wasn't clear if any were fans of his or if they were all just people coincidentally passing by. Madison knew she should have pulled over instantly and approached the police and KD to see what had happened, even if just simply to show concern for her employee, but quite honestly, she just didn't feel like it.
I'm getting too old for this nonsense,
she thought as she turned the corner, pretending as if she hadn't seen what she'd just seen.
She knew the drama and constant goings-on in the entertainment industry were what made her job exciting. But after twelve years in the industry, she had to admit that sometimes enough was enough. Why couldn't these damn adults just get their stuff together? She knew firsthand that once certain kinds of people were blessed with money and fame, those same blessings could have terrible effects on a person. Most of these celebrity figures, even if they were known only on a local level, had huge egosâso much so that they formed more enemies and brought on more legal issues than any one person needed. The reality was most of these issues occurred because these people seemed to forget that they, too, were mere normal humans at the end of the day. Fame and money could evaporate just as easy as they came, but these folks hadn't gotten the Staying Humble 101 handbookâat least not most of them.
Madison finally found parking in the busy uptown area of Manhattan and began to walk over toward the radio station. She was hoping the scene she'd passed in front of the building would be gone by the time she got there. Just to up her chances, she stopped in a store along the way to get coffee, though she usually just welcomed herself to the free coffee in the cafeteria at work. She sipped her warm coffee as she walked down the two long city blocks between the store and the station. She arrived on Hughes Avenue and noticed there was no sign of the cop car or DJ KD, and she said a silent “thank you” to herself. There were still a few onlookers standing around, probably just gossiping about what they had seen and putting pieces of their own accounts of it together. Madison walked past them all and directly into the building.
Once she got into the lobby, the drama began. The security guard in the lobby looked eager to be the bearer of bad news as he saw Madison walking up.
“They just arrested KD,” the security guard said.
Madison wanted to roll her eyes at him. Not just because he couldn't even let her get in the damn building all the way before he bombarded her with information, but he wasn't minding his business. He was the security for the building, not the radio station, so at the end of the day he was just gossiping.
“Yeah, I heard,” Madison said as she walked by him in a hurried manner. She was hoping her short response and her body language made it evident she didn't wish to have that conversation with him. It must have worked because he didn't say anything more about it, at least not to her.
Madison made her way to the elevator without seeing anyone else, and she was relieved as she enjoyed her lonesome elevator ride to the twelfth floor. As she exited into the lobby of the radio station, she noticed a tall Asian man dressed in a police uniform. By the time she'd registered that he was standing there, she heard the receptionist's voice.
“There she is. That's the program director right there,” Felicia said.
Madison could've just pulled out a gun and shot Felicia right then and there. Well, in her imagination she could have. The officer seemed surprised to see that such a little woman was the boss of such a large man, but Madison's expression made it clear big things came in small packages. Madison was only five feet five inches, with a milk chocolate complexion and a shoulder-length bob. Her bangs were growing back, so she had them slightly swooped to the side, just enough for folks to get a good look into her eyes.
“Hi, Madison Cassell. Can I speak with you for a moment?” the officer inquired.
“Sure, but as you see, I just walked in. I will need a few moments,” she replied as she cut her eyes at Felicia, hoping she got her gist.
Felicia was new on the job, so she needed a hint to let her know Madison wanted Felicia to keep the officer occupied. Madison had been questioned by the police many times before, and she was not about to get the story from a police officer as he tried to gain information from her. Madison didn't give the officer the chance to objectânot that he could; she knew she wasn't under arrest, and he couldn't hold her there in her lobby. She swiped her security card and walked through the door to the other side where the officer was not welcome. She walked toward her office, and she could see the eyes of some of her colleagues watching her as she made her way toward her department. As soon as she made the left turn down the corridor leading to her office, she saw her assistant standing a few feet away.
“What happened?” Madison asked.
Now, her assistant, Alexis, was the person she wanted to hear the story from. She knew Alexis would tell her what she needed to know, and she knew she would likely be well informed because everyone went to Alexis with the news and business. She was the type of girl everyone trusted and got along with. As Madison expected, she knew exactly what had happened.
“KD was leaving the station this morning after doing his morning mix, and that new artist Tryme was upset that KD didn't spin any of his records because he'd been a guest on the morning show. When KD stepped out of the DJ booth, Tryme approached him and said some things. One thing led to another, and they started fighting. Somewhere along the line KD grabbed a phone off the console and hit Tryme in the head with it. Someone called the copsâI'm not sure whoâbut by the time KD was leaving the building to get his car, the cops approached him and arrested him.”
That was the part Madison had seen, but she wasn't interested in commenting on it just yet. She stood there for a second taking it in, trying to see exactly what she would have to face when she got back to the lobby with the officer. She already knew he was going to ask if there was a video camera and if he could get the tape, etc. This was the prime reason Madison had gotten mad when they'd installed a security camera back by the studioâtoo many industry secrets would be contained on those tapes, always subject to being subpoenaed or found and looked at.
“How is Tryme? Is he OK?”
“He didn't leave in an ambulance or anything, but he was bleeding a little bit,” Alexis said.
“From the phone?”
“No, I don't know why KD even threw the phone. I think he was just caught in the moment.”
“It was a phone, not a fire extinguisher. How much damage could it have done?” Madison asked, clearly frustrated that this nonsense was starting off her day.
“It didn't do any damage, really. I was back there by the time he threw the phone, and he was already bleeding a bit. Truth is, KD was kind of beating him up, and he threw the phone as like an insult, because by that time Tryme wasn't really fighting anymore.”
“This is bullshit.” Madison knew Alexis could run on forever if she let her. Her long-winded story wasn't what was getting under her skin, it was knowing she had two meetings today and that this was going to consume most of her valuable work time. It didn't help that she wanted to get home at a decent hour to finally cook dinner for Jamahl, her fiancÃ©.
Madison headed back toward the lobby. When she got there, the officer spun around as though he had been counting every second she'd been gone.
“Hi, what's your name?” Madison said as she extended her hand. She blurted this out before the officer could say anything. Madison knew this was her way of dominating the conversationâby starting it and showing her confidence and lack of fear.
“Officer Lewis,” he replied.
“Hi, Officer Lewis. As it seems you have been notifiedâ” she gestured toward the receptionist area where Felicia had been sitting not that long agoâ“I am the program director for Drama 99. How may I help you?”
“There was an incident on these premises between a DJ from Drama 99 and an artist by the name of . . .” The officer looked down at his pad. “Tryme.”
“I am aware of the incident and that my DJ was arrested. What would you like to speak with me about?”
“I have some questions, and I also want to retrieve the video from the security camera by the studio.”
“Honestly, Officer Lewis, I would love to be of help. However, I wasn't here, and it is my policy that I answer no questions regarding legal matters. As for the video, I am unable to give that to you at this time. The camera is not always recording, and there is a process for checking tapes and retrieving footage. I will look into it for you, but it's going to take some time.”
The officer looked like he wasn't impressed by her evasion, but he also knew there was nothing more he could do. He didn't have a warrant, nor was there a subpoena. Instead of pushing further, he reached into his pocket and handed her a business card.
“Here's my information. Please call me,” he said.
“Sure, no problem,” Madison replied.
Without hesitation, Madison walked off. The officer stood there, a bit shocked for a second at her unfriendliness, but then he, too, turned and walked away.
Madison had been in the business way too long and had seen way too much to let one little police investigation get her bent out of shape. She knew she had to handle it, and that was all she was concerned about. She had to minimize the press and make sure to give the right quotes for the news papers and news stations, and she knew she would. Everything else was secondary, despite what Officer Lewis might think. She understood he had a job to do, but so did she, and hers was to maintain the image and entertainment value of her radio station, Drama 99 FM.