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Greg Tate, Influential Cultural Critic and “Godfather of Hip-Hop Journalism,” Has Died

HeadlineDec 08, 2021

Journalist, music writer and cultural critic Greg Tate has died. He was 64 years old. He has been described as the “godfather of hip-hop journalism.” Tate started writing for The Village Voice in 1987, where for years he told stories about Black culture and identity. He went on to write for Rolling Stone, the BBC and other outlets. In 1992, he published his first book, “Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America.” He co-founded the Black Rock Coalition, a group that fought against stereotypes of Black artists. Tate’s latest piece was published by The Nation in September, a review of “Afropessimism” by Frank B. Wilderson III. Tate wrote, “James Baldwin said, 'To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost, almost all of the time.' But what he didn’t say was that, on a good day, it is mostly a sublimated state of rage since folk got bills to pay and sanity to keep.”

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