Early on in the era of cancel culture, Ani DiFranco angered fans by planning an artist retreat at a former plantation. The irony was stunning: Here’s a woman who’d spent her entire career as a stanch political ally, not just of Black Americans, but of all people of color, all gender identifications, the poor — basically, all people marginalized by the dominant culture. DiFranco survived the controversy with her fanbase intact.
In 1991 I had the great honor of getting to meet and interview Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the world’s greatest singer of qawwali, a devotional vocal style associated with the mystical Islamic practice of Sufism. Sadly, in 1997, I was tasked with penning his obituary.
“Phil Ochs was like Lenny Bruce – he just totally uncensored himself. He wrote the songs nobody else would.” — Butch Hancock
Leaving Eden tells the story of countless small towns across the South since the days of slavery.
Tweet In 1989, the legal and artistic implications of digital sampling in hip-hop were reaching a boiling point. Old-school rockers called it “stealing,” forgetting that […]
TweetThe following roundtable discussion was published in Option magazine 25 years ago. The points made by James Bernard, editor of hip-hop magazine The Source; Lee […]
TweetCops who kill blacks and Latinos are not just getting off scot-free — they’re getting promotions and pay raises. Earlier this week, Erick Gelhaus, the […]
TweetMy friend and colleague Gina Arnold, a top veteran music critic who wrote for me when I was editor of Option magazine in the 1990s, […]
Tweet The paradox of the Obama presidency, CNN recently pointed out, is that it has exposed a more deeply ingrained and widespread racism in America […]
Tweet“The city of Fez lies below, very slowly disengaging itself from the morning mist and smoke, while a million cocks crow at once.” – Paul Bowles in Morocco […]