Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story

MCD. Jan. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780374283407. $27. MUSIC
Rapper, activist, and entrepreneur Kweli, a vital and culturally engaged artist who has been writing and recording for more than 20 years, has penned a compelling memoir of his life in hip-hop. His lyrics and personal drive are a direct result of his childhood connection to Black cultural nationalism and his social awareness, as embodied by his parents, both teachers, to whose work this book is a quiet testament. Kweli recounts his family’s history in New York and their experiences and struggles during the 1960s and 1970s, then covers his career and personal life, including collaborations with Mos Def, Common, Kanye West, and other artists, and discusses his involvement in protests in Ferguson, MO, after the murder of Michael Brown. Kweli also explores his influences in this detailed and conversational work, conveying the focus and effort with which he has approached his career and life.
VERDICT Music lovers, both fans of Kweli and those less familiar with him, will be gratified by this evocative story of how he has drawn from experiences to craft his art.

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