Critical Noire

Thursday, May 1 2003

Tupac’s Book Shelf

Price drew on his own training as a Gospel musician and ethnomusicologist to examine Tupac's spiritual development, suggesting that the late artist had surpassed the legacies of John Coltrane and Mahalia Jackson as spiritual figures within the tradition of black music.

Thursday, March 27 2003

Confessions of a ThugNiggaIntellectual

I share a space with them each time I'm profiled in grocery stores, or chillin' with my homies Gramsci and Jay Z at Starbucks.

Wednesday, February 26 2003

Still a Riot Goin’ On: Fela Kuti, Celebrity Gramscians, and the AIDs Crisis in Africa

Fela's emergence fits the profile of what has come to be known as the Gramscian or organic intellectual.

Tuesday, December 17 2002

White Chocolate

In the past, it has been all too easy to identify many of these white artists under the rubric of 'blue-eyed soul'. But I'd like to argue for a separate category known as 'white chocolate' -- that which 'looks' different but contains all the flavor and the texture of the original.

Wednesday, October 30 2002

Still Love H.E.R.

. . . I've come across more than a few hip-hop generation artists and intellectuals who are beginning to show strains of gray in their locks, twists, beards, and fades.

Wednesday, September 18 2002

Cosby Redux

The root of hip-hop generation displeasure with The Cosby Show was not simply that the show wasn't 'political', but rather the show did in fact serve the political function of diverting attention away from the harsh realities of Reagan-era social policies.

Wednesday, June 19 2002

Three the Hard Way: Black Art Outside the Flow

Ain't nothin' wrong with cats payin' the bills with their art. But there's always a real cost associated with stayin' true to your art, when market demands suggest that there's more money available following trends.

Wednesday, May 15 2002

Revolutionary Soul Singa: Meshell Ndegeocello

Critical Noire -- Revolutionary Soul Singa: Meshell Ndegeocello -- Ndegeocello has never felt a need to defend or explain the supposed ambiguity that is so crucial to her music . . . an admittedly complex and creative articulation of what it means to be 'blackwomanbisexualbassplayersentientbeingGramscianintellectualandrevolutionarysoulsinger'.

Monday, April 22 2002

Nuyorican Nostalgia

As the post-9/11 politics of New York City threatens to force the city’s “people” into small self-interested enclaves, the music of Masters at Work is an all too timely reminder of the common vision that the Nuyorican spirit has forged with some many of New York City’s inhabitants.

Friday, March 1 2002

Lifestyles of the Rich and Tenured?: The Black Public Intellectual Under Siege

. . . (T)o raise questions about black faculty who are 'intimidated' by gatekeepers within black institutions is to risk access to and influence within those very institutions. No politically astute black mainstream politician is willing to do that.

Tuesday, January 15 2002

Bellbottoms, Bluebelles and the Funky-Ass White Girl

. . . the collaboration between Nyro and Labelle . . . placed the issue of gender and sexuality in the mix alongside traditional critical musings about race.

Thursday, August 30 2001

The E-Double and the Trouble Man: Marvin Gaye and Erick Sermon “Turn on Some Music”

Music aficionados and classic soul listeners are also likely up in arms at 'Music', Eric Sermon's digitized duet with the late Marvin Gaye, who was murdered by his father on April 1, 1984.

Thursday, March 29 2001

Big Pimpin’ Bourgeois Style: the Demise of Tavis Smiley’s BET Tonight

: Like the surreal Laura Esquivel novel that Rashid 'Lonnie' Lynn invokes in the title of his brilliant new release Like Water for Chocolate.

Thursday, May 4 2000

Like Water for Chocolate: Common’s Recipe for Progressive Hip-Hop

Like the surreal Laura Esquivel novel that Rashid 'Lonnie' Lynn invokes in the title of his brilliant new release Like Water for Chocolate.

Tuesday, February 15 2000

McGruder’s Follies: Playa Hatin’ BET in Public

In my last two columns, I have come dangerously close to setting a trend in which I consistently attack the 'hick' culture. Not wanting to make enemies among people I don't hate, this time I'm turning the microscope on a general suburban blight of conspicuous consumption: the SUV.

//Mixed media

Hozier + Death Cab for Cutie + Rock Radio 104.5's Birthday Show (Photo Gallery)

// Notes from the Road

"Radio 104.5's birthday show featured great bands and might have been the unofficial start of summer festival season in the Northeast.

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