Mini book review: ‘They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us,’ by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

by Patty Templeton

Two Dollar Radio is a badass indie press that publishes works that you’ll immediately want to book-club with friends. Poet and columnist Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib’s “They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us” hella hits that vibe. What ya got is a cultural critique of modern American life as seen through music.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a music nerd or not, this collection is for you. Going to a Bruce Springsteen concert becomes a meditation on the working class and the death of Michael Brown. Watching the chipper Carly Rae Jepsen sling pop tunes becomes an existential exploration of lifting sorrow from large swaths of people. Willis-Abdurraqib covers the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Chance the Rapper and does so in a way that will make you ponder the weight and joy in your own days.

If you enjoy thought-provoking books you’ll wanna talk about, innovative music criticism, or want an accessible entry into reading essays, pick up “They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us.”

— Patty Templeton


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