The Autobiography of Gucci Mane

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For the first time Gucci Mane tells his story in his own words. It is the captivating life of an artist who forged an unlikely path to stardom and personal rebirth. Gucci Mane began writing his memoir in a maximum-security federal prison. Released in 2016, he emerged radically transformed. He was sober, smiling, focused, and positive—a far cry from the Gucci Mane of years past.

Born in rural Bessemer, Alabama, Radric Delantic Davis became Gucci Mane in East Atlanta, where the rap scene is as vibrant as the dope game. His name was made as a drug dealer first, rapper second. His influential mixtapes and street anthems pioneered the sound of trap music. He inspired and mentored a new generation of artists and producers: Migos, Young Thug, Nicki Minaj, Zaytoven, Mike Will Made-It, Metro Boomin.

Yet every success was followed by setback. Too often, his erratic behavior threatened to end it all. Incarceration, violence, rap beefs, drug addiction. But Gucci Mane has changed, and he’s decided to tell his story.

In his extraordinary autobiography, the legend takes us to his roots in Alabama, the streets of East Atlanta, the trap house, and the studio where he found his voice as a peerless rapper. He reflects on his inimitable career and in the process confronts his dark past—years behind bars, the murder charge, drug addiction, career highs and lows—the making of a trap god. It is one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of music.

The Autobiography of Gucci Mane is a blunt and candid account—an instant classic.

Appearances

September 1, 2017 11:30 AM Barnes & Noble – Fifth Avenue. New York, NY.

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In the Midnight Hour: the Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett

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He was the Wicked Wilson Pickett, the legendary soul man whose forty-plus hits included “In the Midnight Hour,” “634-5789,” “Land of 1000 Dances,” “Mustang Sally,” and “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You.” Remarkably handsome and with the charisma to match, Wilson Pickett was considered by many to be the greatest, the most visceral and sensual of the classic 1960s soul singers, and as a man who turned screaming into an art form, the most forceful of them all. He was the living embodiment of soul.

More than that, Wilson Pickett’s journey reads like a guide to popular black American music in the late 20th century. From the gospel-rich cotton fields of Alabama to the pre-Motown metropolis of Detroit, and throughout his career at Atlantic Records–he was the first artist on that label to record at Stax in Memphis, Fame in Muscle Shoals, and Sigma in Philadelphia, and rehabilitated an exiled Bobby Womack and introduced Duane Allman along the way–Wilson Pickett led the shifts in Rhythm and Blues and soul music.

Pickett’s downfall, precipitated by the move towards softer soul and then disco in the 1970s, proved equally dramatic, leading to a heavy alcohol and drug addiction, a reputation for violence and gun use, a no-show for his induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and two jail terms later in the decade. Nonetheless, the “Wicked” Pickett climbed out of these depths to end his career with a Grammy-nominated album before his death in 2006.

For this first-ever accounting of Wilson Pickett’s life, biographer Tony Fletcher interviewed members of the singer’s family, friends and partners, along with dozens of his studio and touring musicians. Offering equal attention to Pickett’s personal and professional life, with detailed insight into his legendary studio sessions and his combative road style, In the Midnight Hour: The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett is the essential telling of an epic life.

 

Appearances

Wednesday January 18, 7pm, the STAX MUSEUM OF AMERICAN SOUL, 926 E. McLemore, Memphis, TN

Tuesday January 31, 7pmBOOK SOUP, 8818 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

8/1, Baltimore: Life in Motion by Misty Copeland Book Event

Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina

As the only African American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has made history. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious thirteen-year-old to become a ground­breaking ballerina.

When she discovered ballet, Misty was living in a shabby motel room, struggling with her five siblings for a place to sleep on the floor. A true prodigy, she was dancing en pointe within three months of taking her first dance class and performing professionally in just over a year: a feat unheard of for any classical dancer. But when Misty became caught between the control and comfort she found in the world of ballet and the harsh realities of her own life (culmi­nating in a highly publicized custody battle), she had to choose to embrace both her identity and her dreams, and find the courage to be one of a kind.

With an insider’s unique point of view, Misty opens a window into the life of a professional bal­lerina who lives life center stage: from behind the scenes at her first auditions to her triumphant roles in some of the most iconic ballets. But in this beautifully written memoir, she also delves deeper to reveal the desire and drive that made her dreams reality.

Life in Motion is a story of passion and grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.

Appearances

August 1, 2015| 1:00PM|830 E Pratt Street| Baltimore, MD

Worth the Read: New Releases for July 2014

Pastor Needs a BooIt was a regular New Jerusalem Gospel United Church work day for Reverend Denzelle Flowers when Veronica Washington, Keisha Jackson, and Marsha Metcalf showed up after losing their jobs on the same day, same morning, and almost at the same time. Denzelle struggled to solve that first problem. The other problem—the lovely Marsha—would be much harder to solve. Denzelle didn’t even know how to fight wanting to turn in the playah’s card and getting “booed” up with the poster girl for “church girls.” Marsha Metcalf and her fellow unemployed church members aren’t Denzelle’s biggest problem, though. He is running for bishop, and his enemies—a more ruthless consortium of corrupted clergy—want power badly enough to go to rather extreme lengths for it because the stakes are just that high. Now, his ex-wife was back and sleeping with the enemy, digging for dirt. Reverend Denzelle can’t fight this battle alone. This pastor needs a ‘boo’ who will stand by his side. Before the dust settles, both Marsha and Denzelle’s faith and love will be put to the ultimate test.

Get your copy here. 

 

Best known for his song “Super Freak,” hitmaker, singer, innovator, producer, award-winning pioneer in the fusion of funk groove and rock, the late Rick James collaborated with music biographer David Ritz in this posthumously published, wildly entertaining, and profound expression of a rock star’s life and soul.

n Glow, Rick James and acclaimed music biographer David Ritz collaborated to write a no-holds-barred memoir about the boy and the man who became a music superstar in America’s disco age. It tells of James’s upbringing and how his mother introduced him to musical geniuses of the time. And it reveals details on many universally revered artists, from Marvin Gaye and Prince to Nash, Teena Marie, and Berry Gordy. James himself said, “My journey has taken me through hell and back. It’s all in my music—the parties, the pain, the oversized ego, the insane obsessions.” But despite his bad boy behavior, James was a tremendous talent and a unique, unforgettable human being. His “glow” was an overriding quality that one of his mentors saw in him—and one that will stay with this legendary figure who left an indelible mark on American popular music.

 

Peniel E. Joseph Signing Copies of “Stokely: A Life”

Stokely: A LifeStokely Carmichael, the charismatic and controversial black activist, stepped onto the pages of history when he called for “Black Power” during a speech one Mississippi night in 1966. A firebrand who straddled both the American civil rights and Black Power movements, Carmichael would stand for the rest of his life at the center of the storm he had unleashed that night. In Stokely, preeminent civil rights scholar Peniel E. Joseph presents a groundbreaking biography of Carmichael, using his life as a prism through which to view the transformative African American freedom struggles of the twentieth century.

During the heroic early years of the civil rights movement, Carmichael and other civil rights activists advocated nonviolent measures, leading sit-ins, demonstrations, and voter registration efforts in the South that culminated with the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Still, Carmichael chafed at the slow progress of the civil rights movement and responded with Black Power, a movement that urged blacks to turn the rhetoric of freedom into a reality through whatever means necessary. Marked by the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., a wave of urban race riots, and the rise of the anti-war movement, the late 1960s heralded a dramatic shift in the tone of civil rights.

Carmichael became the revolutionary icon for this new racial and political landscape, helping to organize the original Black Panther Party in Alabama and joining the iconic Black Panther Party for Self Defense that would galvanize frustrated African Americans and ignite a backlash among white Americans and the mainstream media. Yet at the age of twenty-seven, Carmichael made the abrupt decision to leave the United States, embracing a pan-African ideology and adopting the name of Kwame Ture, a move that baffled his supporters and made him something of an enigma until his death in 1998.

A nuanced and authoritative portrait, Stokely captures the life of the man whose uncompromising vision defined political radicalism and provoked a national reckoning on race and democracy.

Appearances

March 3, 2014| 6:30 PM| Busboys and Poets-14th & V

March 4, 2014| 7:00 PM| 33 East 17th Street| New York, NY| 212-253-0810

Author Appearance: Singer and Actress Darlene Love Signing Copies of My Name Is Love

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Watch the trailer below for Twenty Feet From Stardom, a documentary film from award-winning director, Morgan Neville, that shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. The film features candid interviews from Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Claudia Lennear, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill—whose lives and stories take center stage in the film.