Remembering Greg Tate, Critic and Catalyst

Greg Tate, avant-garde critic, Died last December at 64 years old. His 1992 anthology “Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America” ​​is an astonishing document of the innovations taking place in black music, film, and art of the time, and at the same time. It is also a guidebook for the lyrical style of writing sui generis. on its own terms.

Tate’s criticism is at once political, sympathetic, and cynical. It values ​​flowery expressiveness coupled with playfulness, while finding the most provocative creators and rewarding them with close attention and, when warranted, loving supervision.

On this week’s Popcast, conversations with two of Tate’s contemporaries about the fertile black art and literature of New York in the late 1980s and early 90s, the overlap between creators and critics, and the impression Tate left on his colleagues and latecomers.


  • Michael A. Gonzales, music and real crime writer and co-author of “Bringing the Noise: A Guide to Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture”

  • Joan Morgan, program director at the Center for Black Visual Culture, Institute of African American Affairs at NYU, and author of “When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down”

Connect to Popcast. Become a part of the Popcast community: Join the show Facebook Groups and Discord channel. We want to hear from you! Stay tuned and let us know what you think about Follow our host, Jon Caramanica, on Twitter: @joncaramanica. Remembering Greg Tate, Critic and Catalyst

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