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Books Hip-Hop Music Rap Reviews

“The Motherlode” – A Beautiful, Undefinable History of Women in Hip-Hop

“Men write history, but women live it.”

Chloe Angyal

It’s true that history is written by the victors, but it’s also been predominately written by men. That is especially true in hip-hop. As the culture closes in on its fiftieth birthday, the contributions of women, whether behind the mic or behind the scenes, have been largely overlooked, marginalized, or outright ignored.

The Motherlode (Abrams, 2021) by Clover Hope could help begin to change that. A cogent and forceful entry in the ongoing need to give the ladies their due, it is a book that is undefinable, or at least not easily categorized, that also happens to be the definitive history of women in hip-hop.

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Art Books Education How I Work Learning Lessons Process Work

Get the Most Out of Your Books – Be an Active Reader (Video)

There’s a YouTube channel called the The Art of Improvement that does those funky illustrated videos to add a visual to written text.

Back in 2019, they asked if they could do the same for my essay “Get the Most Out of Your Books – Be an Active Reader.” I, of course, enthusiastically said yes! It’s a piece of which I’m quite proud, so to have someone not only appreciate it, but build on it in this way is very cool.

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Art Books Documentaries Films Learning

“The Booksellers”: A Documentary for Bibliophiles and Collectors

“The relationship of the individual to the book is very much like a love affair.”

Anyone that has studied or researched the finer points of books, particularly rare books, knows that it is a more complicated and layered world than most would imagine.

How do you identify a first edition? What makes a book rare? What is an “antiquarian” book? What makes a book valuable? And who are these people that dedicate their lives to answering such questions?

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America Books History Reviews

Daring to read, think, speak and write – “The Education of John Adams” Reviewed

“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.”

John Adams, “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law”

John Adams took his last breath on July 4, 1826, on the fiftieth anniversary of his – and his fellow revolutionaries’ – greatest achievement.

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America Books History Reviews

Personality Over Policy: An American Tradition – “The Problem of Democracy” Reviewed

Of all the hand-wringing about our current state of politics, a major complaint is that today’s voters choose personality and attitude over policy and ability. However, students of history know that this has been the case for centuries in America, almost from its inception.

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Books Hip-Hop Rap Reviews

“On Writing” for the Hip-Hop Culture: Rakim’s “Sweat the Technique” Reviewed

In most cases, progress and evolution happen slowly, over a period of time marked by small, incremental changes. Occasionally, however, a seismic shift occurs and a culture transforms overnight.

That is what happened in 1986 when a young man with a voice that sounded like it was from outer space came in the door and changed the game forever with “Eric B. Is President,” the first single from Eric B. & Rakim. The latter half of that duo was still in high school when he introduced a “new era of rhyme style” with complex internal rhymes full of multisyllabic words and a relaxed, composed delivery that was more conversational than shouting.

It was a new day in hip-hop.

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Books Hip-Hop Reviews

A Fun, Glib, and Honest Trip Down Rap Memory Lane – “Ruffhouse” Reviewed

Growing up in the Philly area, there is a constant underlying feeling of inferiority, like a little brother, in regards to New York City, particularly within the realm of hip-hop.

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Books Films Hip-Hop Music Pop Culture Rap TV Uncategorized

The Things We’ve Lost in the Streaming Era

via

I am old enough to remember a time before everything was readily available at all times.

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America Books History Learning

The Best Books on John Adams

“I am but an ordinary Man. The Times alone have destined me to Fame — and even these have not been able to give me, much…Yet some great Events, some cutting Expressions, some mean Hypocrisies, have at Times, thrown this Assemblage of Sloth, Sleep, and littleness into Rage a little like a Lion.”

John Adams

I have a vivid memory – so clear that it’s like a snapshot – of sitting in an American Revolution class junior year as my professor, a brilliant man and a wonderful teacher, kept extolling the virtues of George Washington and juxtaposing them with John Adams, whom he referred to as “curmudgeonly” and “acerbic.”

That’s all I needed to hear.

Categories
Books History Reviews

A Beautiful Book about a Beautiful Mind – “John Adams’s Republic: The One, the Few, and the Many” Reviewed

“He saw the whole of a subject at a single glance, and by a happy union of the powers of reasoning and persuasion often succeeded in carrying measures which were at first sight of an unpopular nature.”

–Benjamin Rush

I imagine writing a book about John Adams in the 2010’s would be a daunting task.

At first glance, it appears that there is significant difficulty in writing about a member of a revered, almost mythical, group that died nearly two centuries ago.