Hanif Abdurraqib

Cindy Seip

A New York Times best-selling author, Hanif Abdurraqib is an acclaimed poet and cultural critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, MTV News, and other outlets. He is the author of the highly praised poetry collection The Crown Ain’t Worth Much and the essay collection They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us. He is currently at work on They Don’t Dance No Mo’, a history of black performance in the United States. He is the author of Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (University of Texas Press), the New York Times calls it, “Warm, immediate and intensely personal.” Abdurraqib traces the seminal rap group’s creative career, from their early days as part of the Afrocentric collective known as the Native Tongues, through their first three classic albums, to their eventual breakup and long hiatus. Their work is placed in the context of the broader rap landscape of the 1990s, one upended by sampling laws that forced a reinvention in production methods, the East Coast-West Coast rivalry that threatened to destroy the genre, and some record labels’ shift from focusing on groups to individual MCs.