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February 4, 2019

Hanif Abdurraqib's Playlist for His Book "Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest"

Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Hanif Abdurraqib consistently impresses me with his poetry, essays, and criticism. His new book, a href="https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1477316485/ref=nosim/largeheartedb-20">Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest is both tribute to the band and the significance of the music to him and others. This book further proves Abdurraqib as one of our finest young writers.

The Washington Post wrote of the book:

"[R]iveting and poetic…Abdurraqib's gift is his ability to flip from a wide angle to a zoom with ease. He is a five-tool writer, slipping out of the timeline to deliver vivid, memoiristic splashes as well as letters he's crafted to directly address the central players, dead and living."


In his own words, here is Hanif Abdurraqib's Book Notes music playlist for his novel Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest:



I felt like it would be easier to pick a handful of Tribe Called Quest songs that I loved. Instead, I wanted to pick songs that showed the sounds Tribe was pulling from, and I wanted to pick songs by artists who committed themselves to building on Tribe's legacy in the years they weren't active. This book is, largely, about lineage and about how music can build pathways of curiosity and knowing. So, it made sense to populate a playlist with the music that Tribe chased after to make their own.


Hanif Abdurraqib and Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book

Booklist review
Kirkus review
New York Times review
Washington Post review

Pittsburgh City Paper interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

Largehearted Boy List of Online "Best Books of 2018" Lists

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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