The two music legends mastered concept albums centered on freedom, equality, and Blackness

Below is an excerpt from veteran journalist and culture critic Miles Marshall Lewis’ upcoming book, Promise That You Will Sing About Me: The Power and Poetry of Kendrick Lamar, set for publication by St. Martin’s Publishing Group on September 28, 2021.

There’s not much consensus over what constitutes a concept…

After years of feeling excluded by the megastar’s music, I finally converted to the Beyhive

In a Brooklyn bar one night, a bestselling author called me a Beytheist. A Beyoncé atheist, a nonbeliever. The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour had touched down at the Barclays Center that evening, and the BK crew wanted to know what I thought of the concert. Michael Jackson wowed me…

As Willona Woods, DuBois became the glue of ‘Good Times,’ her confidence setting the tone for everyone around her

AsAs a lifelong (and aging) Good Times fan, I’ll be first to admit that growing up has given me added perspective on that classic ’70s sitcom. At six years old, I crushed hard on Janet Jackson, only five years older than me, when she debuted as Penny Woods. When I…

A superfan travels to Galaxy’s Edge theme park seeking the thrill he got when he saw ‘Star Wars’ for the first time in the BX

May 25, 1977. I was six years old. I saw it at a duplex theater in the Bronx. My imagination has been in hyperdrive ever since.

That day, I got the first taste of what would become the quintessential modern mythology of my generation. George Lucas created a world of…

Miles Morales breathed new life into the stale Peter Parker coming-of-age story. Children who look like him can now strongly identify

“Y“You’ll believe a man can fly,” promised the movie poster. Back when Richard Pryor was the funniest black man in America and “Le Freak” by Chic topped the pop chart, a Loews theater stood at the center of the Parkchester projects in the Bronx. With my eighth birthday fast approaching…

Miles Marshall Lewis

MML’s writing has appeared in GQ, The New York Times, Rolling Stone and many other outlets. His book on Kendrick Lamar is due in 2021 from St. Martin’s Press.

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