The performance will feature over 30 members of Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, the band founded by Tate (go here for more). “For this comeback concert, curated and presented with the Tate family at one of their favorite venues, over thirty members of BSAC will perform to celebrate and pay tribute to one of the most essential voices in the history of Avant Groidd music and thought of the 21st century,” the announcement bed.
Titled “More Than Posthuman: Rise of the Burnt Sugar Arkestra Mojosexual Cotillion” An “Oh the Utter Negrocity of It All,” the tribute is one of three honoring Tate this summer: one last week at the Schomburg from the New York Public Library’s Center for Research in Black Culture, and another, also featuring Burnt Sugar, on August 20 at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem as part of New York’s SummerStage concert series.
Although Tate’s writing touched on many aspects of African American culture, he is probably best known as one of the vital early writers of hip-hop, especially during his many years at the Village Voice. He was also an active musician, a founding member of the Black Rock Coalition and the frontman of the Burnt Sugar ensemble, which featured dozens of musicians and released over 20 albums in its two-decade history.
Born and raised in Ohio, Tate’s family moved to Washington, DC when he was a teenager and he immersed himself in the city’s musical culture at the time; one of his first articles for The Voice was about DC’s all-black punk quartet, The Bad Brains. He studied journalism and film at Howard University in DC and moved to New York in 1982, quickly establishing himself as a music writer. he was co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition three years later.
He was hired at the Village Voice in 1987 and became one of the influential publication’s most distinctive and recognized writers, bringing a cerebral side to his hip-hop writing that was rare at the time and connected music to culture at large. ; longtime hip-hop publication The Source called him “one of the godfathers of hip-hop journalism”. His 1986 essay “Cult-Nats Meets Freaky Dekeis often cited as a milestone in black cultural criticism.
Over the years it has appeared in virtually every major music magazine as well as The New York Times and The Washington Post. He remained a Voice contributor until 2005; he has also written several books, including “Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture” (2003), “Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience” and “Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America” . ”
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