If only all author appearances could go as well as Adam Mansbach's appearance will go tonight. Were serious: It'll go well. Not just because he is a critically acclaimed author with a provocatively titled new book, The End of the Jews, a sweeping generational tale about America, literature, ethnic identity, and a grandfather-grandson graffiti bombing run. Actually, it's not because of that at all. Just check out the YouTube video B-Boy Hodown 2006 Political Panel, in which Mansbach throws down a ripping speech about the need to reconnect kids to the roots of hip-hop, seemingly off the top of his head. He has the passion, the whip-smart intelligence, and the cadence and flow of a spoken-word hip-hop chronicler which he is. He lectures on popular culture at colleges around the country thanks to the success of his last novel, 2005's Angry Black White Boy, which is being taught at more than 40 of them nationwide, according to his Web site. At A Reading Featuring Adam Mansbach with Jeff Chang and Dan Wolf, he talks about his specialties race, hip-hop, literature with fellow author Chang, who's no slouch either: The journalist, fiction writer, and founder of the hip-hop label SoleSides (now Quannum Projects), also lectures around the country. Later, rapper and actor Wolf (a founding member of Felonious) will perform a portion of his theatrical adaptation of Angry Black White Boy in anticipation of its premiere in the fall (the book is also is set to become a movie). Not much chance of things going sour tonight.
Tue., May 27, 7:30 p.m., 2008