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On America

On America: Kendrick Lamar's Powerful Storytelling in Song with Marcus J. Moore and Touré


Online Event

Wednesday, 7:30 pm EDT October 14, 2020

On America series brings fiction writers together with journalists, scholars, activists, and other agents for change for a deeply thoughtful reflection on issues affecting the nation. See all events in series.

Award-winning music journalist Marcus J. Moore’s biography of Kendrick Lamar, rap superstar and “master of storytelling” (New Yorker), not only tells the story of his rise to fame, but is a profound exploration of the cultural impact Lamar’s work has had on a racially fraught America. Moore argues that, through his confessional poetics, his politically charged anthems, and his radical performances, Lamar has become a beacon of light for countless people to keep hope and resist an oppressive system of injustice. He is joined in conversation by podcast host and author, Touré.

The Butterfly Effect by Moore - Book Cover

In Conversation

  • M.J. Moore - Headshot

    Marcus J. Moore

    Marcus J. Moore

    Marcus J. Moore is an award-winning music journalist, senior editor, curator, pundit, and author of The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America. The book is being published by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, on October 13, 2020. Marcus is a contributing writer with the Nation and a contributing editor with Bandcamp Daily, a platform he helped establish. His coverage of soul, jazz, hip-hop, and rock can be found at the New York Times, Pitchfork, Entertainment Weekly, the Washington Post, NPR, Rolling Stone, and the Atlantic, among other outlets. He has created globally syndicated playlists for Google, guest-hosted live radio shows for Red Bull Radio, and curated an interview series for Sonos. He discusses new music and trends on FM radio, and writes extensive liner notes and bios for indie and mainstream musicians. Ever the crate digger, Marcus compiles playlists for local restaurants, bars, coworking spaces, and cafes, and has been known to deejay in Brooklyn, East Africa, and the Washington, D.C. area. In September, he released his first musical project, a well-received selection of liberation jazz and soul from his personal collection, on Paxico Records. He lives in Brooklyn and is working on his next book, a biography of rap group De La Soul, called High and Rising.

  • Toure Neblett - Headshot



    Touré is the host of the podcast Touré Show and the political podcast Democracyish. He was the co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle and also a host at MTV, BET, and Fuse as well as a Correspondent at CNN. He’s the author of six books including I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became An Icon and Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? He lives in Brooklyn, with his wife and two children.