Never Drank the Kool Aid by Touré is a book whose title is absolutely relevant to the mission of the author. It is a collection of essays and pieces of journalistic work done by Touré in the field of Hip Hop culture. In these pieces, Touré pursues the makers of the Hip Hop culture and icons within the art in order to uncover the persons behind their personalities, their journeys, and their stories.
Being a journalist and a member of the black community growing up, Touré understood that in the Hip Hop game “a good scandal is as important as a good record,” and that many a time “music is secondary to music in music” because the private lives of musical icons would be so publicized as a strategy to set the stage for them as artists and create a large following that the truth about their lives would be obscured by the philosophies arising as a result of said scandals. As a journalist,
Touré was therefore inspired to reveal the truth about the journeys of Hip Hop icons, being stubborn enough to “not drink the Kool aid” that Hip Hop artistes had everyone sippin’ on.
He carries out his mission in a rather tactful and dedicated way, using ingenious methods to put himself in the way of the musical icons he intends to study.
Through his journalistic charisma, curiosity, and ingenuity he is able to capture the stories of the biggest names in Hip Hop such as 50cent, Prince, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, and the list goes on.
He starts the book by revealing the true roots and the spirit of Hip Hop emerging from the Hip Hop forefathers and grandfathers such as the likes of Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Bob Marley, Bruce Lee, Al Pacino & Scarface among many others from whom the Hip Hop generation derived the drive and values such as self – confidence, towering masculinity and an unrepentant pro-black attitude.
Touré has here, an expose of the journeys and experiences that have made individuals the icons they’ve become from the journey of EMINEM as a white boy who had big dreams and sizzling passion for becoming a rapper at a time the trade was exclusively a black man’s trade,
to shedding light on the events marking the lives and careers of artists such as Tupac’s trial and the shooting he was believed to have organized against himself, the journey of 50 Cent and a day in the life of Beyoncé, not forgetting the life experiences that inspire Alicia Keys’ soulful music such as the 9/11.
Touré reveals the journalistic truth about the motivations, intentions, and background stories of many personalities widely known in Hip Hop. Organized in a thematic fashion, Touré is able to engage these artists and have them express their truth for all to resonate with the lives and experiences that have shaped them into what they have become.
He shows the human side as well as the commitment, dedication and sacrifice injected into artistic work in Hip Hop and debunks the myths that accompany the philosophies that these artists so ardently sell to their fans.
Any person seeking inspiration and insight into what goes into creating a musical legend would revel in this quick, fast, and engaging read by Touré.
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