Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The Reviews Are In...
Mark Anthony Neal, Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies at Duke University, wrote the following about my book in a review on the website seeingblack:
"BLOOD BEATS" sets the bar high for those for which cultural criticism – journalistic or otherwise – has been reduced to name dropping and ego-tripping... [Hardy’s] work resides at the obvious (to some) intersections of Blackness, gender and sexuality, but to simply align his writing and style to the now clichéd province of intersectionality is to miss the point of the work. This is writing that is doing real labor – heavy lifting, if you will – on behalf of those folks (the artists, the audiences, and the activists) – who are grappling with “new language in the effort to overthrow... everything."
"There’s intense competition for the title of best quality in Hardy's prose. I'm inclined to prefer 1) its ability to swivel between film and black pop music subjects while keeping an eye toward trends in American politics, and 2) the (seemingly) effortless elegance of his sentences. The number of new ideas in a typical Ernest Hardy review is high enough and the prose liquid enough that I'll put petty disagreements aside... Full disclosure: Ernest Hardy is a longtime friend. Yet he's such a difficult twerp that there's no way I'd be trying to help the motherfucker on purpose. This praise is about the product and about you, the reader, as your life will be much better with Blood Beats in it. His writing on MeShell NdegeOcello is enough to justify every party of mine that he failed to show up to, each argument about the culture of gangsta rap that ended in stilted silence and bullshit reasons for hanging up. He's got great pieces on Lauryn Hill, D'Angelo, homo-thugs, Warren Beatty and a dozen other topics. Go cop, for real. Vol. 2 hits in 07 and you'll need to be ready for that." – Donnell Alexander, culture critic and author of Ghetto Celebrity
"...this collection of interviews, reviews and essays from 1996 to 2000 gives engrossing critical shout-outs to both well-established artists and eclectic, on-the-fringe outsiders..." – Craig D. Lindsey, Philadelphia Weekly
"A good friend of mine gave me a copy of Blood Beats and I love it. I couldn't put it down. In several of the essays, Hardy articulates some of the same thoughts I have about hip-hop and Blackness as filtered through and fucked-over by American pop culture. His work pushes me to think deeper about what I write. Hardy keeps it real, refreshing and stimulating.” – Rashod Ollison, Pop Music Critic at the Baltimore Sun
"Ernest Hardy has a way with words. Without actually seeing or hearing this celebrated writer, one could instantly recognize his voice on a page. Honest, entertaining and thought provoking, Hardy's film and music criticism has been featured in the LA Times, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Vibe. This year, he published Blood Beats: Vol. 1 a series of essays and interviews exploring film, music and sexual identity from an evolved perspective." – from the blog, The Cocoa Lounge.
"Ernest Hardy writes with a fierce hand. His book Blood Beats:Volume 1 (Demos, Remixes & Extended Versions)... is a compilation of five years of his articles from the LA Weekly, Vibe, LA Times, The Source, Flaunt & several other publications from 1996 to 2001. In between articles he has interludes & some fun connecting stories that make the book not only a great history of late 90’s culture, but an insightful window into the soul of a great writer." – Mike the Poet
In BLOOD BEATS VOL. 1 you will find:
INTERVIEWS: Meshell NdgeOcello, Les Nubian, Queen Latifah, Bjork, Warren Beatty, Kasi Lemmons, Ambersunshower, a round-table session with four black women film directors, and more.
ESSAYS: "The Life & Death of Tupac;" "Why Outkast is so important to hip-hop;" the demystification of the gay rapper; "Aretha, Chaka & Lauryn: The Thread That Links Them;" "Erykah Badu Unlocks the Paradox;" Macho House (music) and more.
FILM REVIEWS: Love Jones, Hav Plenty, Ghost Dog, Bullworth, High Art, Nenette et Boni, Velvet Goldmine, and more.
MUSIC REVIEWS: TLC, Tricky, Mos Def, Armand Van Helden, Byron Stingily, and more.
Buy the book here