||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2011)|
George at the 2014 MontClair Film Festival
September 1, 1957 |
Brooklyn, New York, USA
|Education||St. John's University|
music & culture critic
Nelson George (born September 1, 1957) is an African-American author, columnist, music and culture critic, journalist, and filmmaker. He has been nominated twice for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
George attended St. John's University, after which he served as a music editor for Billboard magazine from 1982 to 1989. While there, George published two books; Where Did Our Love Go: The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound in 1986, and The Death of Rhythm & Blues in 1988. He also wrote a column, entitled "Native Son," for the Village Voice from 1988 to 1992. He first got involved in film when, in 1986, he helped to finance director Spike Lee's debut feature She's Gotta Have It.
George has authored fifteen non-fiction books, including the bestseller The Michael Jackson Story in 1984, Blackface: Reflections on African-Americans and the Movies in 1994, Elevating the Game: Black Men and basketball in 1992 and Hip Hop America in 1998. With Alan Leeds he co-authored The James Brown Reader, a collection of articles about the Godfather of Soul in 2008. in 1991 he co-wrote the Halle Berry vehicle Strictly Business and in 1993 Nelson was co-creator of the movie CB4 starring comedian Chris Rock.
Nelson George's The Death of Rhythm and Blues chronicles and critiques the path that R&B has taken. Nelson takes a close look at the genre's fall to the hands of the mainstream and even mentions that some popular artists sold out.
Film and television work
In 2004, George made a short film called To Be a Black Man, starring Samuel L. Jackson, and a documentary called A Great Day in Hip-Hop. Both titles appeared in festivals in New York, London, and Amsterdam. He executive-produced the HBO film Everyday People which also debuted in 2004 at the Sundance Film Festival.
Currently he is serving as co-executive producer of VH1's Hip Hop Honors television show and executive producer of Black Entertainment Television's American Gangster series, which was the highest rated series in the history of BET in 2006. His directorial debut, Life Support, starring Queen Latifah, aired on HBO on March 10, 2007. Latifah won several awards for her performance as Ana Wallace, including a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild award, and the NAACP Image Award. Life Support was also named best TV film of the year by the NAACP. He also currently hosts the VH-1 series "Soul Cities", which examines the music and culture of six prominent cities in the U.S.
A resident of Fort Greene, Brooklyn for over 25 years, George wrote, narrated, and co-directed with Diane Paragas the 2012 feature documentary, Brooklyn Boheme, portraying the uniquely vibrant and diverse African American artistic community of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill during the 1980s and '90′s that included Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Branford Marsalis, Rosie Perez, Saul Williams, Lorna Simpson, Toshi Reagon, writer Touré, writer Adario Strange, Guru of Gang Starr, Erykah Badu, and Talib Kweli, among many others. Unlike the legendary Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, which was largely a literary scene, the artists collected in these neighborhoods were as involved with newer means of expression (film, rock music, hip hop, avante garde theater, stand up comedy, photography) as with traditional African-American artistic pursuits (poetry, jazz.) The film premiered on Showtime Networks in February 2012 for Black History Month.
- "BROWNSVILLE BRED Announces Series Of Post-show Talk Backs". Broadway World. July 6, 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.