My name is William “COOCH” Mackson! I’m the youngest of 9 children of the late Eural and Nora Mackson. As Mom used to say “The last button on Gabes coat”. As a 50 year-old father of 4, I fancy myself an Activist, Artist, Designer, and Entrepreneur.
In the early 80’s I created the brand ‘COOCH STYLE” a line of fashions that was the precursor to today’s Hip Hop fashions of the street. Long before Hoodies and oversized wear became en vogue and lines like FUBU, Phat Pharm, ROCK-A-WEAR and Echo Wear came on the scene I was like what Little Richard was to Rock and Roll “An Innovator and creator of the first Black Hip Hop clothing designs that helped to create the culture”. Without a doubt, the first in the area of the small town of Lakewood N.J. to do what I was doing.
I and another individual by the name of Vincent Carpio were without question a major influence on up and coming designers in the area, most notably, Marc Echo who I knew long before he got to where he is now. I have always been a fan of Hip Hop music, ever since it hit the streets and I first heard the words of the timeless, The Sugar Hill Gang classic tune, Rapper’s Delight:
“I said a hip hop, Hippie to the hippie,
The hip, hip a hop, and you don’t stop, a rock it
To the bang bang boogie, say, up jump the boogie,
To the rhythm of the boogie the beat.”
I’ve been a Hip Hop junkie since.
Now, I’m trying to become the first person to put Hip Hop in a book for kids to read. There are many children who love reciting rap lyrics but cannot read very well. I believe by using Hip Hop characters and rap-type wording, kids will want to pick up this type of reading material. I can remember at one time being one of those kids, who was not able to read until the 5th grade; this was until I was introduced to a reading program which gave me the tools needed so I could learn to read better.
Using rap and rhyme as a learning tool may encourage many of these kids that are growing up on Hip Hop music. Hopefully this approach just might inspire them to also pick up other types of books to read. Especially, when the book is of a subject they enjoy. This more than anything is my reason for writing THE HIP HOP CATZ & THE K-9 CREW children’s book.
This project would not have been a reality for me without the support of my family, and the inspiration and assistance from my very good friend the aforementioned Vincent Carpio graphic designer and illustrator par excellent! Giving credit where credit is due Vincent was highly instrumental in the development of the Hip Hop Catz. My absolute hope and prayer is that this project will manifest itself as a vehicle for youngsters to discover the joy of reading and open the doors to unlimited possibilities. A profound saying my father, a man with a 1st grade education used to say, “A Heap Sees But A Few Knows, A Heap Starts But a Few Goes”. One must take one step to begin a journey.
William Earl (Cooch Style) Mackson