In a bit of irony that by no means escapes him, critic and journalist Lewis came of age at a time and in a place that also saw the rise of a worldwide phenomenon. The time was the rise of hiphop, and the place was the Bronx, and Lewis, streetwise and edgy by habit more than anything else, was in the midst of the world of Russell Simmons, the Black Spades, Afrika Bambaataa, and the Universal Zulu Nation. He discerned the spirituality of KRS-ONE and the Temple of Hiphop, just as he discerned the moment hiphop went materialistic and violent. As he traces the various fates of his family members, and the influence each has had on him, he also traces the impact hiphop culture made on people like him, cosmopolitan world travelers and even famous writers who always carry a little of the Bronx and hiphop along with them. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Miles Marshall Lewis's passionate and nostalgic memoir of growing up in the strife-torn Bronx of the 1970s parallels his growing awareness of his environment with the growth of hip-hop, a movement with which his life is inextricably intertwined (he's a music writer for a variety of publications), as well as painting an indelible picture of simple, peaceful everyday neighborhood realities far removed from lurid media headlines. Lewis views his world through a hip-hop eye, hip-hop in this case meaning the social and political elements of what is often viewed as a purely musical phenomenon. His exposition of the movement's culture and worldview covers its genesis via the influential deejay Kool Herc and its growth from a grass roots movement into a multi-faceted (and multi-million dollar generating) manifestation of black culture and aspirations. The collision of autobiographical detail and sociological theorizing makes for an occasionally head-spinning read, but SCARS OF THE SOUL bears witness to the maturation of both its author and of the hip-hop nation with rare style and a finely tuned sense of history.
- Social Science, Music, Biography + Autobiography, Education
- General, Multicultural Education, Ethnic Studies / African-American Studies
- September 15, 2004
- September 15, 2004
- Miles Marshall Lewis