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Songs in the Key of Black Life

A Rhythm and Blues Nation

By Mark Anthony Neal

Routledge – 2003 – 224 pages

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartPaperback: $36.95
    978-0-415-96571-2
    May 16th 2003
  • Add to CartHardback: $140.00
    978-0-415-96570-5
    May 15th 2003

Description

First Published in 2003. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Reviews

"Neal avoids polemics on the lyrical banality of black music or the over-hyped, oversexed videos pervading Black Entertainment Television. He redefines the terrain by advancing a discussion of artists working and succeeding within--and along the boundaries of--the existing subgenres of black popular music." -- The Washington Post

"Neal creates a dense, sensuous space for a critical cultured black perspective, what Soul Babies called the 'post-soul aesthetic' in black America. He illustrates his thesis through use of black vernacular forms to produce a voice that is both streetwise and scholarly …Neal may be the first writer capable of developing groundbreaking ideas in the academy and getting a new sticker on his 'ghetto pass' in one stroke." -- The Washington Post

"Neal's vision is (as always) right on target, and he does analyze important subjects never heretofore treated in depth. Surely worthy of consideration by those academic libraries with a strong interest in contemporary black American cultural studies." -- Library Journal

"Reading this book is like sitting down to a plate of collard greens with chopped up onions and tomatoes and a little touch of wine vinegar. A mouth-watering piece of hot water corn bread. A lean mean piece of short rib. And you know it's only going to get better because there is a sumptuous banana pudding bringing up the rear . . . . Smack those lips. Rub them hands. Say the blessing and get ready to feast! Thank you Mark Anthony Neal. It is delicious and truly delectable." -- Umar Bin Hassan, The Last Poets: Selected Poems and a History of the Last Poetsn

"Engaging, smart, and funny as hell, Songs in the Key of Black Life leaves no soul unturned. His lyrical analyses range from Patti Labelle to Laura Nyro, Jill Scott to Jay Z, academia to black radio. You won't find many scholars with Neal's deep and abiding knowledge of contemporary black popular culture, and you won't find any able to throw down such head-noddin' prose." -- Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

"Mark Anthony Neal is one of the most creative and insightful intellectuals on the contemporary scene exploring how black popular music, especially R&B, provides a complex and rich historical legacy of submerged memories and communities of struggle that encompass the lived experience of black life in the United States." -- Henry Giroux, author of Impure Acts: The Practical Politics of Cultural Studies

"Once again, Mark Anthony Neal has proven himself to be one of our most astute critics of contemporary American music. Neal takes readers on an exciting journey through the terrain of black popular culture shedding new light on the relationship between power, politics and cultural production. Courageous, Provocative and Insightful, Songs in the Key of Black Life is sure to spark dialogue and debate for all who read it." -- Farah Jasmine Griffin, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University

"Reading this book is like sitting down to a plate of collard greens with chopped up onions and tomatoes and a little touch of wine vinegar. A mouth-watering piece of hot water corn bread. A lean mean piece of short rib. And you know it's only going to get better because there is a sumptuous banana pudding bringing up the rear . . . . Smack those lips. Rub them hands. Say the blessing and get ready to feast! Thank you Mark Anthony Neal. It is delicious and truly delectable." -- Umar Bin Hassan, The Last Poets: Selected Poems and a History of the Last Poets

"Neal creates a dense, sensuous space for a critical cultured black perspective, what "Soul Babies" called the "post-soul aesthetic" in black America. He illustrates his thesis throught use of black vernacular forms to produce a voice that is both streetwise and scholarly …Neal may be the first writer capable of developing groundbreaking ideas in the academy and getting a new sticker on his "ghetto pass" in one stroke." -- The Washington Post

Author Bio

Mark Anthony Neal is Associate Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Program in African and African-American Studies at Duke University. Neal is the author of What the Music Said, Soul Babies, and Songs in the Key of Black Life, all published by Routledge.

Name: Songs in the Key of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Mark Anthony Neal. First Published in 2003. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Categories: Black Studies, Cultural Study of Popular Music, Rap & Hip-Hop, Cultural Studies