Abdurraqib is expert at weaving together the personal and the pop-cultural. He shows his readers his pain through the lens of what he was listening to at that time, through what was going on in his hometown, what was going on in America at large. The whole collection is beautiful, but my favorite poem at the moment is DUDES WE DID NOT GO THROUGH THE HASSLE OF GETTING THESE FAKE IDS FOR THIS JUKEBOX TO NOT HAVE ANY SPRINGSTEEN. — From Amy's Picks (page 2)
The Crown Ain't Worth Much, Hanif Abdurraqib's first full-length collection, is a sharp and vulnerable portrayal of city life in the United States. A regular columnist for MTV.com, Abdurraqib brings his interest in pop culture to these poems, analyzing race, gender, family, and the love that finally holds us together even as it threatens to break us. Terrance Hayes writes that Abdurraqib "bridges the bravado and bling of praise with the blood and tears of elegy." The poems in this collection are challenging and accessible at once, as they seek to render real human voices in moments of tragedy and celebration.