They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us

OrangeSky Audio. Nov. 2022. 8:38 hrs. ISBN 9781667072388. $59.99. MUSIC
Award-winning poet and essayist Abdurraqib (A Little Devil in America) narrates the audio edition of his 2017 essay collection, which includes observations and reflections about the intersection of music, popular culture, and social justice in the contemporary United States. The audiobook expands upon the contents of the print book by including Abdurraqib’s conversational reflections on several of the essays, where he provides further context and information. Many of the essays focus on music, but Abdurraqib’s taste and interests are varied, ranging from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours to My Chemical Romance and the emo scene of the early 2000s to Louisiana rapper Boosie. Abdurraqib’s encyclopedic knowledge and insightful connections between popular culture and social justice, combined with his gift for language and metaphor, command listeners’ attention. Throughout the book, Abdurraqib’s narration has a fast, often poetic cadence full of emphatic pauses and breaths. Some listeners may appreciate the stream-of-consciousness feel, while others will find it exhaustingly frenetic.
VERDICT Abdurraqib is one of the preeminent cultural critics of our time, and his insightful essays give listeners much to consider, so long as the narration style works for them.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing