The new album and book, Cold, is in the finishing stages. Stay tuned for more information below is the synopsis of the book!
Not a memoir, though not exactly fiction, Cold “deals primarily with the ‘curious thing’ that is the dilemma of a Black poet, and its contents deal directly with conveying this dilemma.” The multifaceted writer and his relationship with the world around him provide the backdrop for his expression of his art. A.D. writes life as he sees it—cinematically framed scenes, scored by lyrical interludes that highlight personal and private pains. The poet is torn between a life of relishing in that pain, present and past, or constructively building a new life from the remnants of destruction, his only tools: the words he writes. Addiction and idealism play tug of war with A.D. as he is forced to choose between the world occupied by his brother, best friend and mother and the world occupied by fellow students, professors and writing classes. Cold is a coming-of-age story like no other, employing elements of memoir, fiction, and poetry that are as much characters as they are devices. Carson uses Hip-Hop, both structurally and thematically, as a mode of narration and a framing technique that not only adds depth, but puts an unexplored spin on the concept of roman à clef.
Comparing the narrative voice of Cold to that of Melvin Tolson’s Harlem Gallery, Adis A. Rhapperson (Carson’s counterpart to Vladimir Nabokov’s Charles Kinbote) quotes Karl Shapiro, noting “The history of the Negro places him linguistically at the center of the American Culture, as it does no other race.” He continues, making the assertion, “This being evident in nearly every facet of contemporary popular culture, where Shapiro lauds, ‘Tolson writes in Negro,’ it can be only fair, then to suggest Carson writes in Hip-Hop.”