Wednesday, March 2

When the Lights Shut Off: Kendrick Lamar and the Decline of the Black Blues Narrative by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah (2013)

"In a moment I will tell you why Kendrick Lamar, a young rapper from Compton, deserves much of the acclaim, and, even more so, the analysis he has received, but first let us deal with the vanguard of black memoirists who came before him and in whose well-forged path he follows. In the summer of 1945, Ralph Ellison wrote a review of Richard Wright’s Black Boy, Wright’s semiautobiographical novel about his tough boyhood in Mississippi. In Ellison’s piece he suggested that Black Boy is shaped more by the blues tradition born from the same hard countryside as Wright than it is by any literary genre or narrative model. ..."
Los Angeles Review of Books

2015 December: To Pimp a Butterfly (2015)