Kimberly Mack: Living Colour's Time's Up
The iconic Black rock band Living Colour's Time's Up, released in 1990, was recorded in the aftermath of the spectacular critical and commercial success of their debut record Vivid. Time's Up is a musical and lyrical triumph, incorporating distinct forms and styles of music and featuring inspired collaborations with artists as varied as Little Richard, Queen Latifah, Maceo Parker, and Mick Jagger. The clash of sounds and styles don't immediately fit. The confrontational hardcore-thrash metal - complete with Glover's apocalyptic wail - in the title track is not a natural companion with Doug E. Fresh's human beat box on "Tag Team Partners," but it's precisely this bold and brilliant collision that creates the barely-controlled chaos. And isn't rock & roll about chaos?
Living Colour's sophomore effort holds great relevance in light of its forward-thinking politics and lyrical engagement with racism, classism, police brutality, and other social and political issues of great importance. Through interviews with members of Living Colour, and others involved in the making of Time's Up, Kimberly Mack explores the creation and reception of this artistically challenging album, while examining the legacy of this culturally important and groundbreaking American rock band.
About the Author:
Kimberly Mack is an Associate Professor at the University of Toledo where she specializes in African American literature and culture, twentieth- and twenty-first-century ethnic American literature, autobiographical narratives, and American popular music. Her book, Fictional Blues: Narrative Self-Invention from Bessie Smith to Jack White, was published in 2020 by the University of Massachusetts. kimberlymack.com
About Professor Devon Powers:
Devon Powers researches historical and contemporary consumer culture and the dynamics of cultural intermediation, circulation, and promotion at the University of Michigan. She is the author of On Trend: The Business of Forecasting the Future (University of Illinois Press, 2019), Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013), and co-editor of Blowing Up the Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture (Peter Lang, 2010). Her academic work has appeared in Communication Theory, New Media & Society, Journal of Consumer Culture, and Creative Industries Journal, among others; she has also written for Wired, Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, and other popular venues.