Read a Motherfuckin’ Book!

read a book

When it comes to throwing Kanghey Zest under the bus that is usually Bol’s lane but today I had to put ‘Ye on blast for the interview here at the X-spot featuring him and his self-help guru Sakiya Sandifer.

Kanye West, Between The Sheets Lines

The crown of the interview is when ‘Ye is asked what might have been the influence for his book’s graphic layout. It seems the book uses a format similar to Saul William’s ‘Said The Shotgun To The Head’. In truth the ‘Ye book doesn’t remark the Saul William’s book to me but it is more reminiscent of 1970 modern ad propaganda. When confronted with the question though KanYe bristled.

“You know what, I’m not familiar with no books. I don’t know no books, dead ass.”

Relax KanYe. Sure you know from books. Why else would you write a book anyhoo? You obviously recognize the power of words to inform and TRANSFORM people’s lives so you decided to put your words on paper so that people could read them and invoke the words that might help them have success in their lives similar to yours. That’s called a book playboy. Accept it and embrace it. The idea of writing informational shit down is one of the pillars of civilization.

I don’t understand how you promote a book you’ve written by telling people that you don’t fux with books? I would hate for someone famous to be promoting a music CD of them rapping when they say that they don’t listen to rap. Something like a Joaquin Phoenix. “Does anyone make real shit anymore?!?” is one of my favorite lines when I witness pop culture doppelgangers at work. KanYe almost becomes one of the people that he rails against.

I think KanYe has some kind of beef with Saul Williams. Ever since I heard that song ‘Never Let Me Down’ that featured a bootlegg Saul Williams poet I thought that ‘Ye and Saul were diametrically opposed to one another. No wonder he got peeved when he was associated with swagger jacking Saul Williams graphic design. KanYe is prA’li still feeling bruised for using J.Ivy to spit like Saul Williams on that college dropout track.

I remember when they were giving out the KanYe book at the end of the ‘Glow In The Dark’ concert. I liked that shit. It was colorful and all Murakami’d out. Simple and clear design. It doesn’t really challenge you to overthink anything. It’s like a compilation of daily affirmation tropes for the Hip-Pop set. I fux with shit like that. The book that pulls me out of my doldrums is the series of joints by Jack Handey called ‘Deep Thoughts’. That shit is the best money you will ever spend on a book.

If you really feel like reading some shit take a look at these books also…

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley – What more can I say?

Hank Aaron: One For The Record by George Plimpton – The story of the summer that Hank Aaron endured prior to eclipsing the home run mark set by Babe Ruth. Hank Aaron is the most hardbody athlete of all time.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess – Get the un-edited joint that has the ending that Burgess wanted the story to have. This is one of my fave all time joints. Them hooligans in London used to get it in.

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  • C. Hop

    I’ve read the autobiography of Malcolm X multiple times. Also check out the Messenger and Guns, Germs and Steel.

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  • Pierzy

    ALMOST any type of reading can only be good for you. The works you mentioned are great. I also like Malcolm Gladwell’s work as well as Cormac McCarthy.

    We as Americans (regardless of race) need to stop acting like not reading is cool. That’s just retarded

  • Epinz

    “Behold a pale horse”
    “Illuminati papers”
    “Into the wild”
    Anything dan brown…. step ya mental and intellectual game up my niggaz!!!

    Also,” rich dad, poor dad” is an amazing read! Def couldn’t leave that out!

    • $ykotic

      E have you read the Dead Sea Scrolls?

  • Tony Grand$

    Good shit, DP, as usual.

    SNL used to do a skit where this, um, “happy” fellow would read from Jack Handy. Shit was funny, but real. Cats really don’t read, & when they do, 80% of it is bullshit.

    Here’s some choice pages, as if anybody gives a rat’s ass:

    I Might Not Get There With You by Michael Eric Dyson

    Nigger by (?) Kennedy

    Between God & Gangsta Rap by Michael Eric Dyson

    And for creative purposes, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Dude really put another twist on writing style.

    48 laws of Power by Robert Greene, of course.

    • General


      Nice list of book choices. Michael Eric Dyson doesn’t get a lot of mainstream credit besides the occassional apperance on Bill Maher or other political shows, but he is definetely a well read and educated brother and a positive example for all people.

  • General

    I hear alot of people always saying that they “don’t have time to read,” which is crazy.
    I don’t understand how people ever expect to grow without reading…

    Its crazy to hear Kanye practically braggin that he doesn’t read, but it reminds me of how alot of rappers (ie. Jay, Wayne, etc…) brag about how they don’t write their rhymes and like Joe Budden and several other artists have mentioned, it is becoming obvious that rappers arent’ takin time to write their rhymes anymore by the quality of the rhymes that are being put out by alot of people. Same goes for books. It is usually obvious when someone does not read simply by the way that they express themselves.

    By the way, Frank McCourt another wonderful author that writes about the stuggle of immigrants and the poor in America.

  • miles archer

    “I don’t understand how you promote a book you’ve written by telling people that you don’t fux with books?”

    Realest shit you ever wrote…

    Other shit ya’ll need to read –

    Last Man Standing: The Autobiography of Geronimo Pratt

    Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon
    miles archer

  • dd

    Kanye has built his career and image dissing education and dissing books, even though he pretty much went to nice white schools and did not grow up in abject poverty. He simply couldn’t hack it at the 2nd rate college he tried to go to. Who needs books when you have a vocoder and get big by gimmicks like spittin through wires? Maybe he should go cry about his momma some more or how Bush hates black people. Maybe he’ll get some real inspiration for music rather than the GayFish Pop he’s been producing.

  • Epinz

    Mos def. The book of the dead is good to!

    Co-sign on 48,also,art of war and peace!

    And if yall nggaz want street shit that involves this industry, read “queens reigns supreme”!

  • C. Hop

    He might need to go rewatch the ‘gay fish’ episode of South Park to bring him back to earth before saying stuff like that again. Not knowing is never cool, in no situation. It’s funny n*ggas wait til they’re locked up and unable to do anything before learning about what’s going on around them. Cause you know, I didn’t get dropped from Bay Boy, I left those n*ggas.

  • Epinz

    Not to beat yall up with books and shit but “conversations with god” is a GREAT and POWERFUL read. Shit, even the “wu tang manual” by rza is extremely good.

  • Zulu1925

    @ Dallas Penn

    Good job sparking a conversation about our generation’s aversion to reading and writing. Here are a few of my favorites:

    Authentically Black – John McWhorter
    The End of Faith – Sam Harris
    The Origin of Satan – Elaine Pagels
    Come Hell or High Water – Michael Eric Dyson
    The Closing of the Western Mind – Charles Freeman

  • geico lizard

    Kanye dropped a diss record against books? Damn thats cold he could have given books a pass this one time.

  • Around and Around

    That Hank Aaron is raw read man, follow that up with

    “Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero”

    -Also any sports book by David Zirin that man can write and has a Fwd by Chuck D.

    -maybe Kanye is just trying to propagate his stupid ass “college dropout” bullshit.

  • Epinz

    Off subject, but did yall c what reakwon was sayin bout rick ross b’in one of the greats?WTF??? He said this after talkin shit bout buddens and laphin at jay!!!

    Ronmex better get em!!!

    And this ngga kanye said rick ross gets his highest honors cuz his cd gets played in his apt, like that’s sumthn special!” Fuck yo couch ngga”…these nggaz r so fuckin delusional, its a damn shame!

  • OG Matt Herbz

    Yeah, but part of OG initiation involves reading a gang of Hemingway. Yeah, that was me…I did that.

    –OG Matt Herbz–

  • Stixx

    A great book to read is The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by J.W. Johnson. What one gets from reading is truly amazing.

  • DazzOne

    Co-sign that 48 Laws. Micheal Eric Dyson seems to be getting alot of play around on different books. I own “Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost its Mind?”. Good read. Right now I’m reading up on “W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race 1868–1963″ (David Levering Lewis). Just stuff we have been through is amazing. And you got to now where we are as a people, why, and how. Other wise, you could wind up so lost that your only source of self esteem and sense of self worth might come from … a Chopper suit. Sad.

  • Tony Grand$

    We (“our” generation) spend too much time trying to make history without knowing it. Kanye’s a prime example of that.

    Dude basically said “Fuck y’alls books, but here, read mine.” I’ve been saying that dude is a super douche nozzle. That type of pompus arrogance is not going to get folks, especially younger, more impressionable ones, to want to subscribe to his philosophies on life.

    I’ll tell you what, I won’t be buying HIS book. Nigga can’t teach me shit but how to tie an ascot.

  • Epinz

    He’s good at what he does, that bien said…hes the type of nigga who’s ass ide woop in high school. He’s a mommas boy thay seems to have gotten whatever he wanted when he was younger. Like she never said no to this nigga. He’s the opposite of how I want mines to grow up.

  • Dallas Penn

    This is becoming one of my favorite drops of the year just because I see that so many of you take the time to fill your minds off the web. Good shit.

    We are a post-literate civilization at the moment. It’s not that we CAN’T read, but rather that we decide NOT to read. We get all our information now from the tubes…

    Boob Tube, YouTube

    But when these IVs get filled with the wrong shit we will be fucked the fuck up.

    I fux with y’all dudes.

    No fishsticks.

  • fredMS

    uhhh u can get ur IV’s filled with poopie in books too. It has little to do with what medium you choose to consume from. You can get as much commentary on life from watching ren and stimpy then you can from reading of mice and men. its all about what u choose to get out of it aka stupid ppl think stupid things. if u look back in history, most ppl read not to gain some type of higher understanding but cuz they were bored on a rainy day. the truth is most ppl are stupid and few are adamantly devoted to educating themselves. The people that dont want to be bothered with learning now, are the same peoples who didnt want to be bothered with ideas like Darwin’s theory back then.

    • Tony Grand$

      @ fredMS

      I, & most of us on this thread I’m sure, would disagree with your generalized theory on most people. I’ve never met “most” people, but out of the individuals I’ve come into contact with, “most” of them are very educated, articulate & take a fair amount of pride in their intellect.

      Granted, there are some who either A) are so dumb they don’t realize they are dumb or B) were never taught the genuine importance of knowledge, but to blanket most people with the stereotype of an inhibited few isn’t fair.

      As per your “bored/rainy” scenario, I beg to differ. If YOU look back in history, you’ll notice that there were thousands of years where the only transference of communication was done through writing. Spoken language is younger than written language. Look it up. “Reading is fundamental” isn’t just some corny cliche, its a way of survival, since the dawn of man.

      People read everyday, its just where their intention lies. No disrespect intended, but I noticed you didn’t list any books. Your first thought was to discount a whole people’s ability to read for benefit as well as pleasure, as opposed to giving an iota of what tickles your fancy [||].

      I agree, stupid people think/do/say stupid things, but my promise to you, as an educated, opinionated, intelligent man, is that I will continue to teach my children the sheer importance of knowledge & education (self &/or institution), & if we all @ least try to do that, @ some point maybe the cycle of “stupid people who don’t want to be bothered with learning” will eventually break.

      • $ykotic

        “And my man Tony Grand$ had to regulate…”

      • thoreauly77

        damn tony, i think you just exposed your fourth year undergrad. your argument that either the unread are a. too dumb to know their ignorance or b. that they need to be educated to be inquisitive is snobby at best. you go on to decry your own claim by citing that there was the written word before speech, which is in opposition to your insistence of educational ignorance. there has always been education, by group, leader, and self. the point is, pursuit of education by reading, writing, speaking and listening is an intrinsic human quality; were it not for this quality, none of this shit would exist, regardless of some peoples willful ignorance.

        perhaps you should also list some books when you are trying to call someone out, and next time you do so, perhaps check out this book called “the human comedy” by william saroyan — it contains some excellent lessons on humility and the importance of being humble.

        john fante – the brotherhood of the grape

        and co-sign herbz: a healthy dose of hemingway cuts teeth.

        • fredMS

          I dont understand quite whats being argued. No one here is shitting on reading. I didnt think that it had to be argued that reading is necessary, it obviously is. What i was trying to say is that if you can read, choosing books over movies or even DALLAS PENN’s VIRAL VIDEOS doesnt mean you are a deeper thinker or a more authentic intellect. Secondly, I’m not gonna list books I’ve read because it shouldnt be some grand feat that I read a book, or it shouldnt mean that the books I read represent me on some level (u kno how pplz do this with rap, ‘i listen to conscious rap that means im smarter than jeezy fans’).

          also what I said about ppl being stupid may be a generational thing. I am 18 and i know for a fact that like at least 85% of every kid in NYC public school system is dumb. 50% of them are like ‘o y u stay reading like a lame nigga’ 25% cant tell Rockefeller apart from Roc-a-Fella,and the other 10% is like ‘i just wikipedia’d marcus garvey after listening to a nas song I AM SO FUCKIN INTELLIGENT.’

        • Tony Grand$

          @ Thoreally77

          “your argument that either the unread are a. too dumb to know their ignorance or b. that they need to be educated to be inquisitive is snobby at best”
          ^^^Actual, what is was was a response to a statemnet that someone ELSE made in regards to “most” people. & you misread what I typed. I clearly made my distinction with referring to “most” people I know, & stated that I’ve never met most people, so I’m only speaking for the people I know. If that’s “snobby”, I’m sorry you feel that way. But, per the stamtements made by that dude, I was responding to his blanket stereotype. I do feel that people dumb enough not to know that they’re dumb do exist. That would be a problem caused by a cycle of ignorance & possible failure within the very same educational system you’re talking about. I also ended my post by making an observation of ways that the chain can be broken. That can’t be taught per se. It has to be realized. A willingness to learn doesn’t translate into education. Those are two different things, like wants & needs.

          “you go on to decry your own claim by citing that there was the written word before speech, which is in opposition to your insistence of educational ignorance”
          ^^^Actually, hieroglyphics, drawings in the sand, symbols designed by neanderthals, all those would fall under “written word”, in the general context. That was the means of communication. If you were unable to “read” the signs & symbols, then they would be oblivious. If you choose to count grunts as spoken word, then I understand your point, but still retain mine.

          “perhaps you should also list some books when you are trying to call someone out”
          ^^I did. Scroll up. It wasn’t my intention to turn this into a book club or library meeting. I listed a few books that I thought were good.

          I’m not clear if you were defending his points, which you didn’t reiterate; you brought up your own argument based on my responses to another person. So, hopefully I cleared up any misunderstanding you may have on what I said. Perhaps you should state your philosophies before hand, as opposed to jumping to someones rescue, that way it would be a little clearer what points your trying to make.

  • steve

    Lets break this down to language the target audience can understand:

    Bosses read books, suckas stay takin orders from bosses cuz they havent empowered themselves with any knowledge or skillz to demand respect or capital. Keep stayin on that cultural ingrained illiterate game plan, and your community is going to be poor as a muthafucka since you aint geared to produce anything people with money value.

    Reading Rainbow Nugga!

  • Embry

    I’m reading this blog while wearing a Clockwork Orange T-shirt while glancing over at Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road which is a sick and depressing read, just wait till the movie hits theatres (man, most won’t be able to take it). Anyway also read Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting better than the movie if you get past the heavy Scottish dialogue. And looking foward to 50 Cent and Robert Greene’s 50 Laws of Power.

  • DazzOne

    If anything, 50 has fallen victim to some of those laws. At least one big one comes to mind:’Law 18- Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself. Isolation is Dangerous’. Look at all the enemies he has made, and now you see Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, DJ Khali(however you spell it), and so on working together. Not too many in the industry like him, and he isn’t as much as a force to be reckoned with like he was years before when Robert Greene first thought about doing ’50 Laws of Power’ with Boo-Boo.

    On a side note, did you know that the original title of Charles Darwin’s famous book was “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life”(1839).
    I feel like the reason he came out with this, and why it was so widely accepted at the time is so whites could feel alright with the things they did with the Native Americans, us, and other non-whites. They just looked at us like an “evolved form of primates”. So of course it is OK to steal their land, steal them! By the way, Hitler LOVED Charles Darwin, and his teachings. I wonder why…?

    • Tony Grand$

      @ DazzOne

      You said it. As far as 50 goes, he went into the “beef” stating that he was implementing the 48 laws. I remember that because, prior to 50 talking about that book, real type, cats wasn’t even up on that book like that. Of course, there’s always exceptions to a rule, & a lot of upper eschalon-minded individuals were already on it, but generally, dudes were still on “Behold A Pale Horse”. I seen this thugged out cat, he had the book talking about it to his folks like it was the bible. He made sense, yet no one was paying him attention & he was surrounded by a bunch of obviously unhappy/unlucky/miserable cats. That’s two broken laws right there.

      I’ve had that book for several years, & without getting all preachy or chapter by chapter with it, 50 broke quite a few laws.

      Hell, the 49th (unwritten) law is “never conduct every law simultaneously; they cancel each other out & results may be disasterous”.

      There’s a secret to the laws, & unless you’ve read it cover to cover @ least 5 times, that book might as well be a pipebomb in your lap.

      • Neibo

        …exactly, if you don’t pay attention and follow those rules carefully it can all backfire, don’t know if you read the Laws of Seduction, same author and a good read.

    • Maxim Belmont

      If anything, 50 has fallen victim to some of those laws. At least one big one comes to mind:’Law 18- Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself. Isolation is Dangerous’. Look at all the enemies he has made, and now you see Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, DJ Khali(however you spell it), and so on working together. Not too many in the industry like him, and he isn’t as much as a force to be reckoned with like he was years before when Robert Greene first thought about doing ‘50 Laws of Power’ with Boo-Boo.

      On a side note, did you know that the original title of Charles Darwin’s famous book was “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life”(1839).

      In case you didn’t know Darwin was very anti-slavery and he was totally against the idea that one race is better than a other race. If u don’t believe check out a book that just came out called “DARWIN’S SACRED CAUSE: HOW A HATRED OF SLAVERY SHAPED DARWIN’S VIEWS ON HUMAN EVOLUTION” by Adrian Desmond. The book contain letters from Darwin dismissing the whole idea that blacks are less intelligent than whites and his anti-slavery views. Ppl use his theory to promote their own twisted views. The same way ppl use the Bible to promote their own personal views…so Hitler liking darwin book doesn;t mean shit, especially since Darwin never single out the Aryan race or the jewish race. By the way Darwin book came out in 1859 not 1839.

  • Dallas Penn

    Sheeeeit, y’all bookreading motherfuckers way too smart for my azz. I only have a GED and dropped out of college, albeit architectural school.

    *Turns iSoulja Boy ‘Kiss Mee Thru Da’ Phone’ way, way, way, way, way the fuck up.*

    • Tony Grand$

      @ fred MS

      I see your point. I’m sure generation gaps play a huge part in the process.

      I’m 33, so we grew up in two diferent worlds, education-wise. Respect.

    • $ykotic

      @ DP

      My man. I couldn’t afford the last 2 years @ Pratt Institute.

      But I am waiting for you to post that Statik video you did…

  • Dallas Penn

    Man, you already know…

  • Neibo

    The Art of Seduction is a good nonfiction peice by Robert Greene, and any thing by Dean Koontz.

  • Epinz

    I feel u on the whole” behold a pale horse” thing. Its a good book, but like anything else, u can’t believe everything u read. He does contradict himself at times. That b’in said, willian cooper, the author, has a video on youtube predicting 9-11 on june of tht year…..he was killed by police in AZ in november of that year. The local police said they weren’t aware that there was ever a warrent for his arrest. He said in the video that it would b blamed on a man named osama binladen whobwould b the puppet for the disaster. The vid is dated and all, its crazy when u think about it!

    • Tony Grand$

      @ epinz

      He’ll yeah, some crazy college broads turned me on to it in like 94, they swore by the shit. Hell, they had me thinking it was banned or illegal.

      That fucking book was at Barnes & Noble’s, lol. It was real deep, make-you-think type stuff, but it can only go so far if one is realistic about the world we can’t see. Its only so much “espionage” & “extraterrestrial” I’m going to go for before I call “bullshit!”.

      Isn’t it kind of bugged thought that “they” killed him?

      Oh, what did get me was that he included ALL his personal contact info in there, the book I mean. Back then, that sold me, like, “Dude MUST be a G!”.

      I’m going to try & find that video today.

      @ neibo

      Yeah, have to add that one. Haven’t been book shopping in a couple months.

  • Da PartyStarter

    “If He Hollers,Let Him Go”- Chester Himes
    “Plan B”- Chester Himes
    “Pinktoes”- Chester Himes
    Hardbody, historical fiction at it’s BEST!!

    Also BOTH volumes of Chester Himes’ autobiography: The Quality of Hurt, My Life As Absurdity

    • Max Powers

      100 “A Rage In Harlem” is good too

  • Epinz

    yea, he was smart enouph to know to ad the info in the book!

    The best part was the chapter on the secret societies. I learned over the years from other material that he was almost spot on with the info in that chapter. Later shit has proven a lot of what he said in the book to b true. He mentioned the biuldeberg group then, and recently they had that video with krs-one and shit talkin about how obama was apart of the same group!

    • Tony Grand$

      @ epinz

      The trilateral commission & George Bush’s involvement. The whole history behind the Illuminati has deep, had me on some investigation type shit. The part that really got me thought, was all the alien stuff.

      That was the main reason I bought it. Another good book was “The Isis Papers” by Dr. Francis Cressling, I think. Its also thought provoking. A little spacy @ times, but it gives you something to think about.

    • Tony Grand$

      @ epinz

      Check out “The Isis Papers” by Dr. Francis Cress Welsing.

  • readin mayne

    yo, tony this off topic but i checked out dat myspace page a few more times and i couldnt get “cowboys” to play ever….anyways, yall mostly readin non-fiction, i got dis large volume by sir conan doyle…lol…sherlock holmes, its actually quite entertaining…and the bible(the truth)..the book of proverbs… chapter 4 verse 7…and a large number of yall need to check out the same chapter, verse 24

  • http://xxl tony gay

    black people cant read well. our best talent is blogging and talkig about rappers on xxl website because we need a life

  • A.Menz

    The Last Oracle by James Rollins is a good fiction book. It was on the Best Seller list and has it’s fair share or action and twists. Military theamed with fantasy aspects to reael world events.