Have you ever gotten punched in the face? I have not. Nor have I ever punched anyone in the face, or seriously wanted to punch anyone in the face, or even been that close to many faces that were getting punched. The whole enterprise of face punching strikes me as both dumb and, if I'm honest, pretty terrifying. So I didn't expect to spend much time with Frank Bill's blood-sodden bone-crunch of a debut novel, Donnybrook (out March 5), one of the most unrepentantly, gleefully violent books I've ever come across. It's about a bunch of loathsome redneck thugs who, while feuding over a stolen batch of meth, rendezvous [...]
Here's a good, gritty video from the rising Gary, Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs-who delivers no-frills street reportage in a strong, deep voice that steadfastly avoids melody. Gibbs lets the music carry the tune, and it's a mellow, subtle one, hearkening back to the early-'90s "jazz rap" stylings of folks like Digable Planets, Common Sense, and the dearly departed Guru of Gangstarr.