Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Mark Anthony Neal

Features

Thursday, January 21 2010

Teddy Pendergrass: Life Was a Song Worth Singing

Pendergrass' popularity lie in his performance of a masculinity that was virile and tailor-made for a cultural discourse in the '70s that had moved beyond the struggles for civil rights.


Thursday, July 23 2009

The Demise of Vibe Magazine and the Future of Criticism

With diminishing places for thoughtful criticism, black cultural critics exist as little more than commentators on the Obama White House. Blackness has been reduced to a news cycle.


Tuesday, May 19 2009

Should Black Radio Die?

The idea of black radio has long been dead as companies like Clear Channel and Emmis have mined the field for “authentic” black on-air talent, while having little to do with the communities they exist to serve.


Sunday, July 22 2007

Carrying the Water: On Michael Eric Dyson

It is Dyson’s ability to make himself and his work accessible to lay audiences -- ironically much like grassroots activists -- that makes him a target for those folk within the academy and elsewhere, who don’t believe that his work is rigorous enough.


Monday, January 1 2007

The Last Soul Brother: James Brown (1933-2006)

The humanity of the man -- with its funky and messy flaws and frailties -- could never sustain the myth, so much so that the image of the man who gave Black Power its soundtrack became a harsh reminder of its fractured legacy.


Kanye Walks [1.Feb.06]
Diddy-cized [17.May.04]
Soul Christmas [18.Dec.03]
Can You Remember? [11.Dec.03]
Be Like June . . . [24.Jun.02]

Columns

Wednesday, April 30 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.


Wednesday, March 26 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.


Tuesday, February 25 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.


Monday, December 16 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.


Tuesday, October 29 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.


Reviews

Monday, May 30 2005

Common: Be

Electric Circus pushed the boundaries of hip-hop -- a psychedelic trip to hip-hop's great beyond -- Be just finds a world-wide Common back home standing on the corner. But you can't go home again and no matter how much he wishes, the Common of Can I Borrow a Dollar? is not the same Common of Be -- and thank God for that.


Thursday, February 3 2005

John Legend: Get Lifted

Legend has fashioned a rather nuanced and sophisticated debut -- a Nora Jones for the R&B faithful.


Sunday, January 9 2005

Gerald Levert: Do I Speak for the World

A bold (and blatantly commercial) attempt to bring purpose to R&B -- and to bring soul music back to the world.


Wednesday, November 10 2004

Queen Latifah: The Dana Owens Album

The album is a tribute to Queen Latifah's talents and her musical tastes, and a an example of what the so-called hip-hop generation can produce, when we allow them to grow up.


Tuesday, October 19 2004

Lalah Hathaway: Outrun the Sky


RL: RL:Ements [24.Apr.02]
Soulive: Next [11.Mar.02]
Macy Gray: The Id [17.Sep.01]
Maxwell: Now [20.Aug.01]
Res: How I Do [25.Jun.01]
Gerald Levert: G [6.Mar.00]
D'Angelo: Voodoo [31.Dec.94]
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