Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Two Author-Curated Playlists for Go Ahead in the Rain

Originally posted to Largehearted Boy, these curated playlists by NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR Hanif Abdurraqib—author of Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Questoffer insight behind the music of A Tribe Called Quest, drawing from the music that inspired them and their sampling. Hanif writes:
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.



Spin these amazing playlists and don't forget that we are giving away ten copies of Go Ahead in the RainSubscribe to our email list by this Sunday, February 10th at midnight for your chance to win some book love by Valentine's Day!

Book Tour

Catch Hanif Abdurraqib's Go Ahead in the Rain tour this spring and summer!

Praise for the Book


  • New York Times: “[W]arm, immediate, and intensely personal...This lush and generous book is a call to pay proper respects not just to a sound but to a feeling.” 
  • Washington Post: “[R]iveting and poetic…Abdurraqib’s gift is his ability to flip from a wide angel 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.” 
  • NPR: "Go Ahead in the Rain is at once an extended critical essay, a hip-hop history, and a series of love letters to A Tribe Called Quest, and particularly to the group's two star MCs, Q-Tip and Phife Dawg. . . . [Abdurraqib] has a seemingly limitless capacity to share what moves him, which means that to read Go Ahead in the Rain, you don't need to be a Tribe Called Quest fan: Abdurraqib will make you one. His love for the group is infectious, even when it breaks his heart."
  • Mancunion: “Abdurraqib...manages to write about music by making his language a type of music. He pays homage to A Tribe Called Quest in the only way fitting, with flow and charm and emotional rawness.” 


  • Nylon: “In his personalized approach to the group’s musical legacy, Abdurraqib articultes how the group helped to define his personal growth, helping readers appreciate the power that our favorite acts have in helping us create a durable sense of identity.” 
  • Columbus Alive: “Fans of Abdurraqib’s writing will recognize his ability to seamlessly weave together stories about multiple, often disparate topics. Whether he’s reminiscing about his failed attempt to master the trumpet as a child, or geeking out over the history of sampling in hip-hop, or dissecting a 2011 Tribe documentary, each story serves the larger purpose: recounting the life of A Tribe Called Quest through a fan’s eyes.” 
  • Student Life (from Washington University in St. Louis): “Thursday night, as poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib stepped behind the podium to read, the room was overflowing, with people crammed into the aisles and standing practically in the hallway to hear him read pieces that touched on everything from a fight in a New Haven pizza parlor to spades to the criminally overlooked Mary Clayton.” 
  • Pittsburgh City Paper
  • Bookin’ w/ Jason Jefferies Podcast
  • ShutdownFullcast Podcast
  • The Opus Podcast (about Jimi Hendrix). 



  • Lit Hub: “12 Books You Should Read This February”: “…the book promises to be a stunning blend of author and subject.” 
  • Austin360: “Pop Culture Coming in February”: “The outstanding poet pens an ode to one of the greatest groups of all time.” 

Winter Institute Recaps

  • Shelf Awareness: “’I would hope that folks in the back would move up closer,’ [Abdurraqib] said. “You don’t have to sit on the floor, but you can if you want. If we can all make a pledge to get closer to each other…Is that something we can do? If I come down there, can you come up here?’ The open space quickly filled with book—and music—people. As he says, the idea of a sample ‘is to hear the world differently.’” 
  • American Bookseller’s Assocation: “’That’s why books should be written,’ he said. ‘If we’re lucky, we’re building a life for ourselves just by existing and being in proximity with people who we love and care about. We’re building a life that deserves to be echoed into some corners after we’re gone.’” 

Book Trailers


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