Born to Use Mics by Michael Eric Dyson & Sohail Daulatzai
Reading Nas's Illmatic

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At the age of nineteen, Nasir “Nas” Jones began recording tracks for his debut album—and changed the music world forever. Released in 1994, Illmatic was hailed as an instant masterpiece and has proven one of the most influential albums in hip-hop history. With its close attention to beats and lyricism, and riveting first-person explorations of the isolation and desolation of urban poverty, Illmatic was pivotal in the evolution of the genre.

In Born to Use Mics, Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai have brought together renowned writers and critics including Mark Anthony Neal, Marc Lamont Hill, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., and many others to confront Illmatic song by song, with each scholar assessing an individual track from the album. The result is a brilliant engagement with and commentary upon one of the most incisive sets of songs ever laid down on wax.


About Michael Eric Dyson & Sohail Daulatzai

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Michael Eric Dyson" is an ordained Baptist minister and Ida B. Wells Barnett University Professor at DePaul University. He is the author of "Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X, Between God and Gangsta Rap, " and "Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line." He lives with his family in Chicago.
Published December 29, 2009 by Basic Civitas Books. 322 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Born to Use Mics

Austin Chronicle

True hip-hop, the type Q-Tip equates to old bebop, never got better than Nas' Illmatic.

Jun 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas...

Open Salon

He writes, “Dara’s oldest son, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, was born in the place affectionately known as ‘the Bridge,’ not so ironically, at a time when the ‘gumbo’ that Dara sought in his music was simmering throughout the five boroughs of New York City.” The “Gumbo,” which symbolizes Dara’s Missi...

Apr 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas...

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