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.

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

Gorilla Monsoon Rap – “Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint” Reviewed

There are times when being a musical artist creates a no-win situation. Fickle fans want you to grow, but keep making the same sort of music. They don’t want you to repeat yourself, but quickly become unhappy if the new stuff is too different from what they expected.

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.

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

You Can’t Spell ‘Economics’ without ‘Comics’ — “Why Superman Doesn’t Take Over the World” Reviewed

Generally speaking, economics books are not meant to make for pleasant reading.

A Colorful Career Retrospective: “A Kevin Smith Scrapbook” Reviewed

The best thing about the digital revolution is that there are almost no rules. Like independent films in the early ’90s, creators are using available technology to push boundaries and reinvent the way things are done. Thus, the rise of the e-book and the availability of self-publishing now allows a superfan to create their ownContinue reading “A Colorful Career Retrospective: “A Kevin Smith Scrapbook” Reviewed”

A Musical Trip Through the Cosmos – Alpha & Scorcese’s “A World Only Gods Know” Reviewed

After four decades, it’s hard to create a hip-hop project that doesn’t sound like everything else that has come before it while also maintaining the elements of what has made the music endure and grow for so long. Sometimes, though, an album finds a new space that hasn’t been plundered yet. A World Only Gods Know,Continue reading “A Musical Trip Through the Cosmos – Alpha & Scorcese’s “A World Only Gods Know” Reviewed”