BLING by Erica Kennedy


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Hip-hop heaven.

That’s where Mimi wants to be, among the gods and goddesses of black music, dating eight-figure niggas and living large. Growing up in Toledo, Ohio, without her Haitian father, who walked out long ago on her Italian-American mother, she knows she’s not entirely black, but she’s sure as hell not white either. Segue to New York, where Lamont Jackson, a hustling music producer thinks Mimi just might be the next big thing. He sets out to improve her image and get her noticed. Posh parties with thugillionaires get her face in the papers, but a pretty face isn’t enough. Lamont’s birthday present to Mimi: new boobs. Other big decisions loom: rhinestones on the fake fingernails or just French tips? Straight bleached-blond extensions or natural curls? Lamont oversees the process, glamming Mimi up big-time, though he insists that she dress like a Catholic schoolgirl after midnight, in short plaid skirt, bobby socks, and saddle shoes, and that she call him Daddy at climactic moments. Mimi, a practical gal, doesn’t mind much. It saves time and gets her what she wants: lots of oral sex. She brags to her girlfriends, who gather regularly for gossipy, backstabbing shriekfests, that “Lamont eats her out with the ferocity of a famine victim presented with a steaming bowl of rice.” But she’s no fool, and it’s clear these raunchy ways and constant couplings might not be a forever kind of love, so Mimi casts wayward looks at reclusive genius Gemini, another producer, who’s holed up in a filthy mansion with his all-male posse. Could Gem be The One? Maybe—if one of his ubiquitous homies could be persuaded to change the sheets. A cast of thousands in ghetto-fabulous attire talk nonstop, drop designer names, and worry ’bout running red lights in they limos, but it don’t add up to much in this dull first novel.

Bling is just plain bland.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-4013-5215-4
Page count: 528pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2004