Book: The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America by Marcus J. Moore
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 2020
Source: Borrowed e-book from the library
Kendrick Lamar grew up in Compton, California. He is a generation younger than the Straight Outta Compton rappers and was inspired by them.
His poetic story-telling style and musical experimentation has garnered many awards, including fourteen Grammy awards. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Music with his fourth album, Damn, the first album to win that award that wasn’t jazz or classical.
Lamar, with collaborators, wrote and performed several songs in the movie Black Panther. He also curated the soundtrack album.
Thoughts: This was the May selection for the Community for Understanding and Hope Book Group. One of our young members picked it and she provided a playlist to help ease us into an understanding of rap. I have eclectic tastes in music, and I take opportunities that present themselves to try new radio stations or listen to different genres. So, I wasn’t a complete novice, but I’d barely touched the surface of the genre.
In a stroke of amazing luck, Kendrick Lamar released his first album in five years on the Friday before our book club meeting. As a result, I got to feel like the coolest 60-year-old white lady on the planet, listening to Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers on the day that it was released — and enjoying it!
Our book group is nearly all women, so we took notice that the book barely mentions the women in Kendrick Lamar’s life. And fails to notice the lack of women in the production of his music. We were pleased, then, to hear women’s voices on the new album.
Appeal: Kendrick Lamar fans don’t need to be told to read The Butterfly Effect and probably aren’t reading my blog, anyway. If you aren’t a fan, read this book to learn about an American experience that may be very different from own. Read it to get an understanding of the life of someone who became a voice for people who have to shout to be heard.
Challenges: This is my sixth book for the Diversity Reading Challenge.
Have you read this book? What did you think?