That Encouraging Voice in Your Ear

I’m a self help fan who hates reading self help books. When it comes to encouraging words, I want to hear them, preferably while I go about my household chores, tend my garden, or take a walk in the park. These encouraging little talks between me and my iPod are just the thing to add more creation to my recreation, or to revivify a draining commute. Here are a few recent self-help audiobooks written and read by seasoned performers that make for great listens.

Creative Quest, by Questlove. Continue reading “That Encouraging Voice in Your Ear”

You Must Learn: A Hip-Hop Education with Black Star

Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star

Among hip-hop fans, the group Black Star is known for its lyrical muscle and strong literary-bent. Members Mos Def and Talib Kweli pack their tightly crafted rhymes with intelligence and wit that seems lacking in much of contemporary hip-hop. Their 1998 album, Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star  was a welcome return to the days when the quality of a rapper’s rhymes was more important than what car he drove or how diamond-encrusted his knuckles were. Mos Def and Talib Kweli were among a small cadre of artists that ushered in a new era of underground hip-hop that strove to be meaningful, empowering, and intelligent and are filled with references to historical events, works of literature, Jazz musicians, and other artist.

The group’s name is a reference to the shipping line created by Marcus Garvey, the early 20th century African-American orator, journalist, entrepreneur, and leader of the “Back to Africa” movement. With intelligent Continue reading “You Must Learn: A Hip-Hop Education with Black Star”