Mark Anthony Neal

Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University

How You Gonna Be the King of New York?

This event of part of the two-day Hip Hop Symposium (April 8-9)

Thursday, April 8 – 7:00 p.m.
Stern Center, Great Room

Hip-Hop culture has been a site for the promotion of black hypermasculininity. In the past decade, artist Jay Z (Shawn Carter) has challenged this logic in many of his music videos, including one in which Jay Z is symbolically killed, which creates the context for the “birth” of a cosmopolitan black masculinity within mainstream hip-hop.

About the Speaker
Mark Anthony Neal is professor of black popular culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University. Neal is the author of four books, What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1998), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002), Songs in the Keys of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation (2003) and New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005). Neal is also the co-editor (with Murray Forman) of That’s the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (2004).

Neal’s essays have been anthologized in a dozen books, including the 2004 edition of the acclaimed series Da Capo Best Music Writing, edited by Mickey Hart, where his essay “The Tortured Soul of Marvin Gaye and R. Kelly” appears and in the collections The Funk Era and Beyond: New Perspectives on Black Popular Culture, edited by Tony Bolden and Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic edited by Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai. Neal’s essay “Bodies in Pain”, on the music of Linda Jones and Keyshia Cole was chosen for inclusion in the 2009 edition of Best African-American Essays, edited by Gerald Early and Debra Dickerson.

Neal has appeared in several documentaries including Byron Hurt’s acclaimed Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes (2006), John Akomfrah’s Urban Soul (2004) and the BBC’s Soul Deep: the Story of Black Popular Music (2005). A frequent commentator for National Public Radio Neal also contributes to several on-line media outlets, including The, and Neal maintains a blog at NewBlackMan (