After partying and "grindin'" in Las Vegas and clearing more than $100,000 and a bag of stolen diamonds, twenty-two-year-old Kennedy Sanchez, a beautiful, street-smart single mom, and her cousin Nina fly back home to New York. Later that night, Kennedy gets a call that Nina is being beaten up by her boyfriend -- again. Kennedy rushes over to help, but it's too late: Nina dies in Kennedy's arms after making her promise to take care of her children.
Stepping up to the plate, Kennedy becomes the mother of three more kids and moves them into a Harlem brownstone. She knows she needs to refocus her life, and gets her chance when she meets Chaz, a successful hip-hop artist who sees star quality written all over her. She's offered the chance to become a rapper and leave the streets behind -- or at least shift to another kind of grind. But once in the music world, Kennedy realizes that the setting may have changed, but the hustle remains the same.
Danielle Santiago is the author of Grindin' and founder of Mischievous Girl Foundation, which is dedicated to helping battered women and innercity girls. She lives in Harlem, New York, and Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and son.