KPFA Radio and Marcus Books are hosting a presentation by Dr. Michael Eric Dsyon on his new book, :JAY-Z: Made in America” on Wed., Dec. 11, 2019, at First Congregational Church in Berkeley.
A bestselling-author, Dyson has created a powerful portrait of the rapper. His book will be published to coincide with the great composer’s 50th birthday (December 4).
At its scrappy, brash, irreverent, soulful, ingenious best, “JAY-Z: Made in America” portrays the artist as transcendent a cultural icon as Frank Sinatra, as adventurous a self-made billionaire as Mark Zuckerberg, as gifted a poet as Walt Whitman.
As he reaches the half-century mark, Jay-Z has logged 30 years as a recording artist, become rap’s first billionaire, and now reigns as an elder statesman in a field teeming with artists half his age as he continues to make relevant records that invariably chart well.
Jay-Z’s body of work is an artistic and political response to revived racism and renewed hostility to blackness. It is an auspicious time to examine his ideas, gifts, and impact, to take measure of his stride as a cultural colossus.
There is no one better suited to this task than Dyson, who has investigated and championed Hip Hop and the work of Jay-Z as a critical American art form for decades.
Just as Jay-Z requested in his 2003 song “Public Service Announcement,” to “Allow me to re-introduce myself,” this incisive celebration will introduce his work and thought to those who may not know him, and re-introduce him to those who want to examine his art and his evolution more closely.
Jay-Z proclaimed in 2001 that he is the “God MC—me—JAYHOVA.” He is a witness to America, a witness of America, and we—this book included—are witness to him and the nation. Describing the evolution of Jay-Z’s work and thinking, Dyson offers an in-depth analysis of some of this unique artist’s most beloved lyrics. “JAY-Z: Made in America” is destined to become a collector’s item.
Dyson, one of America’s premier public intellectuals, is the author of the New York Times’ bestsellers “Tears We Cannot Stop” and “What Truth Sounds Like.” He is currently a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, a contributing editor of The New Republic and ESPN’s “The Undefeated.” Ebony magazine named him one of the 100 most influential African Americans and one of the 150 most powerful Blacks in the nation.
The event is on Wed., Dec. 11, 2019 at 7:30p.m. at First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA. Advance tickets are $12 and can be purchased at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4324289: by phone at 800-838-3006 or Marcus Books, Books Inc. (Berkeley), Pegasus Books (all three sites), Moe’s Books, Walden Pond Bookstore, East Bay Books and Mrs. Dalloway’s. Tickets are $15 at the door, and benefits KPFA Radio 94.1 FM.