Grinnell In The News

Assistant Professor discusses the importance of acknowledging black voices in music

Mark Laver, a Canadian who teaches a course on Lamar's music at Grinnell College in Iowa. Laver is a jazz saxophonist who also directs the college's jazz band.

He says [Kendrick] Lamar is an extraordinary musician because of his "flow" -- the rhythm of his lyrics and delivery.

"There are other rappers who have a more sophisticated wordplay, but the way his flow spills across the bar lines -- he sounds like a saxophone player," Laver says. "He really floats over the top of the music."
Though Lamar's music is unapologetically black, others are drawn to it -- and the work of other black musicians -- simply because "it's awesome," Laver says. He cites something the late critic Albert Murray said about blues, another black musical form.
Continue reading "Beyoncé and Lamar show what it means to be 'unapologetically black'"


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