Categories
Art Films Movies Reviews

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: “Release the Snyder Cut” Reviewed

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

For more than three years, the Snyder Cut was part-myth and part-fantasy.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
Hip-Hop Rap Reviews

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

Image result for griff scorcese dream team

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.

Categories
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.

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.

Categories
Books Reviews

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

42260230._UY500_SS500_

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

Categories
Books Reviews

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 own digital scrapbook of their favorite writer/director/podcaster/author.