Image of Blitz Bazawule via POP Magazine

Hip-hop artist, filmmaker, and visual artist Blitz Bazawule, a.k.a. Blitz the Ambassador, has a debut novel on the way!

Bazawule, in case you didn’t know, is the director behind Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King, which featured the work of Warsan Shire and Yrsa Daley-Ward and The Burial of Kojo, the first Ghanian film to premiere on Netflix. He’s also released four studio albums, is a Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the Vilcek Prize, and will be directing The Color Purple feature musical.

Now, Bazawule is setting his sights on the literary world. North American rights for The Scent of Burnt Flowers, Bazawule’s debut, was recently acquired by senior editor Chelcee Johns at Ballantine Books.

Here’s a summary of the novel from Deadline:

The Scent of Flowers is steeped in the history of Ghana, specifically the 1966 coup of then-president, Kwame Nkrumah. The novel follows an African American couple, who are on the run after one commits a murder in self-defense in the Deep South of the United States. Unaware a coup is underway in Ghana, the couple’s plan for safety is to flee the United States and reunite with their old friend Nkrumah who they believe will grant them asylum. The couple’s chance encounter with Ghana’s most beloved Highlife musician, who’s headed to play for the president, sparks a journey full of suspense, lust, magic and danger as Nkrumah’s regime crumbles around them.

The Scent of Burnt Flowers is scheduled to be published in 2022. We’re stoked!