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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Nelson George speaks at Hammonds House

Longtime music journalist and cultural critic Nelson George will be on hand tonight at the Hammonds House to discuss his recent novel, The Plot Against Hip Hop. Back when the book came out, my review explained that the book follows a high end security guard who uncovers a conspiracy including "undercover FBI agents running record labels, secret corporate studies of the hip-hop market, answers to who killed Biggie and Tupac, and, oh, an aside about Lil Wayne being set up, among other things."

As I wrote then, "If all that conspiracy stuff sounds a bit silly, well, it is silly and it's also great fun. George's most pleasurable skill as a writer is weaving the factual texture of history and real people into the fabric of his fictional world. Did Kanye West really release a video game named Graduate Student? I don't know, but when it pops up in a chapter here, it seems both hilarious and completely believable. George alludes to lyrics by Notorious B.I.G. in the same way Chandler would nod to the poets of his time. All of this adds up to a clever play on the past few decades of cultural history, rewriting what we already know into a neatly drawn web of dark and seedy secrets."

The event tonight begins at 6:30. More details at Hammonds House.

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