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Publisher's Summary

In this moving audio memoir, Michael Elliot chronicles his life from being homeless on the streets of Philadelphia to successful Hollywood screenwriter and business entrepreneur. He talks about how his cycles of success and setbacks have become moments to focus on opportunity - like how first big success eventually fell away, and Michael found himself working at the Gap. Confronted with who he really was - and truly understanding why he failed - a series of moments restored his faith and eventually taught him how to keep finding success through boldness and belief; “When you truly believe, your get down is different.” It’s a Cinder-fella tale that Michael Elliot hopes inspires listeners to see the big picture and never stop fighting.

©2021 Michael Elliot (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC.

Interview: 'Streets, Rhymes & 'Sugar' Details Michael Elliot’s Journey from Homelessness to Hollywood

'If I'm going to tell my story, I want to do it in a very transparent way and include everything'
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  • Streets, Rhymes & ‘Sugar’
  • 'If I'm going to tell my story, I want to do it in a very transparent way and include everything'

From the Author

  • Streets, Rhymes & ‘Sugar’
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About the Creator and Performer

Michael Elliot’s career began in 1988 when he published Krush magazine—the first publication devoted to covering the burgeoning world of hip-hop music exclusively. Months later, other hip-hop publications would follow his lead, including The Source magazine. Soon, Michael set his sights on television and then the book-publishing world. He authored, designed, and self-published the hip-hop guidebook The Unsigned Rappers’ Guide to Getting a Record Deal.
Recognizing his ability to "make things happen," the owners of The Source offered Michael a position as special projects director. While at The Source, he was offered his own weekly hip-hop show on one of Philly’s top-rated radio stations. Then, New York’s famed hip-hop station, Hot 97, wanted in. Michael quickly made the transition from the country’s number-four market to number-one. Before long, not even Hot 97 could contain him.
Sony Worldwide Networks had just partnered with hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons to launch a nationally syndicated hip-hop countdown show. Michael was chosen to hostand co-produce the weekly radio show Street Heat. For the next two years, he would work for The Source and Sony Worldwide Networks, hosting and co-producing what would become the most successful radio show of its kind.
In the mid-'90s, Michael, who wanted to make movies, became aware of Sean "Diddy" Combs’ interest to establish a film and television arm of his highly successful hip-hop label, Bad Boy Records. After meeting with Diddy, Michael relocated to Southern California and was appointed president of Bad Boy Films. Four months into the job, Diddy’s friend and biggest star, The Notorious B.I.G., was murdered. Forty-eight hours later, Bad Boy Films was dissolved, and Michael was unemployed.
Armed with a computer, a book on screenwriting, and a Blockbuster card, Michael began teaching himself to write screenplays. Without an agent or manager, he sold his first screenplay, Seven Days, to 20th Century Fox. Seeing his success, The Source magazine contacted him with an offer to return. The hip-hop publication unsuccessfully had tried to get their awards show on network television. Michael accepted the challenge, and as president of Source Entertainment struck an unprecedented deal for a special on UPN. The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards (1999 and 2000) set rating records for the struggling network and generated more than $15 million in revenue. However, after violence broke out during the 2000 airing of the show, Michael resigned to focus on his screenwriting and producing career.
In less than one year of returning to the film business, he had three consecutive films green lit, including MTV's critically acclaimed Carmen: A Hip Hopera, which Michael scripted and executive produced, launching feature film careers for Mos Def, Bow Wow, Joy Bryant, and of course, Beyoncé Knowles. In addition, Michael wrote the highly successful films Brown Sugar, Like Mike, and Just Wright, for which he won for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture.
Currently, Michael is developing the romantic comedy Technically Speaking for Audible Originals; the biopic The Celebration for Searchlight Pictures; and the romantic comedy Relationship Goals for Amazon Studios.

What listeners say about Streets, Rhymes & ‘Sugar’

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Just what I needed to hear

To be quite frank, this is an absolutely amazing story of understanding and peaks and downfalls. It really hit home and changed my mindset for the better

5 people found this helpful

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Loved this audio book.

So real, raw and inspiring. Michael Elliot is a great reliable narrator of his own story. And he doesn’t pull punches to make himself look better to his audience. The hurt of his childhood is still very much present as evidenced from the pain in his voice as he takes us through his difficult past. Thanks for telling this urban tale. It’s lessons are something we can all learn from, and hopefully heal from too.

4 people found this helpful

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Assessment after hearing Streets, Rhymes & Sugar audiobook

As a fellow Philadelphian who grew up in the city of Brotherly Love during the 60s and 70s I appreciate hearing the struggles and successes that Michael Elliot went through because I’ve went through some of those same struggles and successes until I left Philly after enlisting in the USAF in 1980. Prior to reading his story this week August 2, 2021, I wrote my own 108 page memoir book during the time from of April through Aug of 2020. I titled my book “Route/Root 66 -Philly Willie’s Path”. I titled my memoir book that name because I was born in 1954 and in April 2020 I turned 66 years old during quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic. I have my book copyrighted at the US copyright office in DC awaiting for the right opportunity to have it published or screen write or playwright since I wrote it in a poetry style and added in acts and scenes when I determined as I was writing the book I had additional things to say after I finished chapters. Philadelphia is a “phantastic” place with many personal stories to be told by people such as Michael Elliot and me Willie Binyard. Stories that are worthy of being turned into movies or plays!

4 people found this helpful

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So many gems

Great tips and gems along the way, I had to note some of my favorite quotes. Definitely inspirational. Came in hoping to get some entrepreneur motivation, left feeling like I’d gained a friend. Great project.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing, and inspirational ❤️

I am so glad to have clicked on this book. Honestly I didn’t know him but i have been a fan of his work. I am forever thankful he decided to share with us all! I am touched❤️

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Powerful

I did not expect much when I looked at the title, but Michael Elliot's story moved me deeply. His personal and professional life lessons were so raw and instructive. I will use his examples in teaching a work readiness class to youth living with all the challenges of having disabilities. Michael, Thank you for sharing your story!

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Heart-moving and Inspiring

I watched the movies he wrote but never knew he was the person behind it. This story is touching because of the pain and struggling he went through, although we all have different paths and difficulties to go through we can feel familiar with this guy. Overall, it is inspiring because it brings hope and that well known phrase "never give up". Thank you Michael.

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Great story!

This is a heart warming story that will inspire you to realize your dreams. Also includes valuable lessons for any entrepreneur.

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Absolutely amazing story!

A beautiful story that exemplifies how one can go from park bench to Park Avenue. This is truly a hip hop love story that reminds the reader or listener , that God always knows our name. Great read!

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Michael Elliot Spoke to My Heart

Michael was the perfect narrator for his story. It was real, honest, and touching. My mother, who passed from cancer, became pregnant with me at just fourteen. I remember how hard she worked and how she got her diploma later. She was such a good seamstress that she made our clothes. I'm so grateful that he added the conversation with his mother and how he learned that she was the biggest reason for his success. It was beautiful to hear them explain their feelings and their regrets. Best of all, it doesn't get any better than his forgiveness and their love for one another. ❤