Hi. I wrote A Couple Of Books.
THE CROWN AIN'T WORTH MUCH
"To pinpoint a highlight of the book is impossible. Every poem is honed, polished, and presented with utter rawness and defiance."―Portland Book Review
"Willis-Abdurraqib possesses a striking gift for merging pop culture with personal narrative."―Publishers Weekly
"THE CROWN AIN'T WORTH MUCH is not so much a book you read, but one you survive―with Willis-Abdurraqib's compassionate, elegiac lyric gently pushing you forward through heartbreak and violence."―Indiana Review
THEY CAN'T KILL US UNTIL THEY KILL US
"Hanif Abdurraqib’s They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us is a penetrating and profoundly timely collection of essays. It is music writing at its sharpest, most perceptive, and most urgent... Most remarkable, perhaps, is Abdurraqib’s ability to perceive and define connections between his subjects, himself, and the fractured, complicated culture in which we live."
—Foreword Reviews (starred review)
"Abdurraqib’s essay collection is mesmerizing and deeply perceptive... filled with honesty, providing the reader with the sensation of seeing the world through fresh eyes."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Abdurraqib writes with uninhibited curiosity and insight about music and its ties to culture and memory, life and death, on levels personal, political, and universal... Abdurraqib’s poignant critiques, a catalog of the current moment and all that preceded it, inspire us to listen with our whole selves."
—Booklist (starred review)
"These are essays about music, but also about culture, race, and life in America today. Willis-Abdurraqib writes about attending a Bruce Springsteen concert the day after visiting Michael Brown’s grave, what it was like growing up in America in the 1990s, the first time he was thrown on the ground by police officers, and much more."
—Book Riot, 20 Great Essay Collections from 2017
"In all of Abdurraqib’s poetic essays, there is the artist, the work, the nation, and himself. The author effortlessly navigates among these many points before ultimately arriving at conclusions that are sometimes hopeful, often sorrowful, and always visceral. Erudite writing from an author struggling to find meaning through music."
"Certain writers can take a pop song or musician as their subject and turn what they write into a stunning evocation of some aspect of society. That’s very much the case with Hanif Abdurraqib, and in this new collection he covers everything from the Columbus punk scene to Chance the Rapper, coming up with stunning observations along the way."
—Vol. 1 Brooklyn