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date: 22 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter highlights the significance of the Notorious B.I.G.’s music as a product of neoliberal racism and as resistance through embodied acts of solidarity, love, and death. The chapter locates the Notorious B.I.G. within the modernity/coloniality relationship and the neoliberal landscape of post-1975 New York City in order to emphasize the importance of Black radical performance at this conjunctural moment. It then turns to the Notorious B.I.G.’s embodied critique of necessary death, the killing of Blackness both socially and physically. It highlights how this critique is performed through the interplay of sound and content (lyrics, delivery, sampling, and especially call and response). The chapter argues B.I.G.’s performances and his play on and of death produce affective moments of loving Blackness as subversive action.

Keywords: Black radical performance, death, call and response, thug life, New York City

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