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Books NBA Reviews

Lottery Picks, Politics & Process – “Built to Lose” Reviewed

Here’s a riddle: When is losing the best way to win?

The answer, for a long time, was the NBA Draft, as teams that lost – sometimes purposely – were rewarded with a chance to choose the best players coming into the league.

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Books History Reviews

John Adams Balancing Diplomacy and Family – “A View from Abroad” Reviewed

How can a writer bring a new perspective to a man – and a marriage – that ended two hundred years ago?

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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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The Pierznik Monthly

The Pierznik Monthly Newsletter Volume 61 (January, 2020)

The first newsletter of 2020 is here!

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The Pierznik Monthly

The Pierznik Yearly Volume VI [Best of 2019]

My sixth-annual best of the year edition of the top books I was lucky enough to read in 2019.

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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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The Pierznik Monthly

The Pierznik Monthly Newsletter Volume 59 (October 2019)

Image result for man covered in books

The latest iteration of my newsletter includes my recent experience with Hallmark Christmas movies, changing a one-year-old, having to pay a deposit to use a shopping cart, and of course, the latest books I encountered.

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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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The Pierznik Monthly

The Pierznik Monthly Newsletter Volume 55 (May 2019)

My May 2019 newsletter includes tidbits about some the NBA, some podcasts, and, of course, books.