About this project
The Blacker The Berry – The Book
Stretch Goal #2 = $8,000!
What is this book about?
Kendrick Lamar is a rapper who is known for his socially conscious music about racial injustice in America. Some people completely miss his message because of the stereotypes surrounding rappers and hip hop, while other listeners are aware of his message and purpose, but find it too difficult to dive in and connect his songs to their historical and social contexts.
This book breaks down one song, “The Blacker The Berry,” from Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed album To Pimp A Butterfly. Through factual analysis, this project uncovers social themes and provides historical and contemporary context to deepen understanding and empathy about racial injustice in America.
Never heard the song? Click here to check it out on Spotify.
Why does it cost $30?
The book is printed in black and white on heavyweight text paper and the cover features a clear foil stamping. Heavyweight paper was chosen to enhance the photos and make the reading experience more special. The clear foil stamping on the cover gives the book a "black on black" appearance. This book required countless hours of research, information organization, writing, and designing over the course of one year.
Who made it?
This project is a collaboration between Hannah Sellers of Chicago, Illinois and Cole Cuchna, of Sacramento, California. Hannah designed and produced the book, while Cole wrote the content of the book.
What does it look like?
- 8 x 10 inches 130 pages
- printed in black and white on heavyweight satin text paper
- cover is foil-stamped on heavyweight black cardstock paper
Dissect Season 1 Poster
Dissect Enamel Pin
About the Creators – Hannah & Cole
Hannah Sellers is a designer from Columbus, Ohio. She studied graphic communication design at the University of Cincinnati, College of DAAP for five years. In this time she fostered a passion for social justice, with specific focuses on intersectional feminism and awareness about racial injustice.
She also has a passion for hip hop and its unique connection to social justice. She hopes to continue to share this passion with others, since many are not aware of the powerful relationship between the two.
She decided to tackle this subject for her senior capstone after a revelatory moment with Kendrick Lamar’s music and purpose as an artist. She felt a strong desire to elevate his words such that other people could take away information and have an emotional experience with his music. She hopes that through this collaboration with Cole and Dissect, that other people can discover newfound empathy and learn more about the black experience in America through Kendrick’s lens. See more of her work at hannahcsellers.com.
Cole Cuchna attended California State University of Sacramento’s School of Music, graduating with honors in music composition. A lover of both classical and contemporary popular music, Cole lives in the intersection between two similar, but often very disparate musical worlds. Dissect, a serialized music analysis podcast, was created to bridge these worlds.
By applying formal academic musical analysis techniques to contemporary popular works, Cole hopes to elevate genres traditionally unrecognized as fine or “high” art. He hopes to prove that a work like Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly can hold its own among works like Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony. By choosing contemporary popular works like To Pimp a Butterfly, Cole wishes to build the trust of his listeners who show a strong interest in contemporary music. In later seasons, he wishes to flip the script and analyze classical works like, say, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, exposing those same listeners to musical works they’re likely to enjoy, but are otherwise unfamiliar with. Worlds divided no more.
You can subscribe to Dissect on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. For more, visit dissectpodcast.com.
Printers & Binders
Deerfield Digital Printing Cincinnati, OH (1st Edition)
Seventh Floor Bindery Cincinnati, OH (1st Edition)
Forest Printing Chicago, IL
The Blacker The Berry Hat
Anna Rizkalla, Riz Apparel
Matt WizinskyProfessor, UC DAAP
Music used in campaign video
Instrumental produced by Chuki
Risks and challenges
A first edition of The Blacker The Berry – The Book has already been designed and produced. Because of production costs, we were only able to produce 10 copies. We want to produce and distribute many more, and we can with your help!
We have not yet produced the second round of these books, and won't unless our the Kickstarter is successful.
We have secured a local printer (in Chicago, IL) who can produce the books for this price.
Our estimated delivery is October 2017 is because we want to tweak the design slightly and add a couple more pages (yay!). We just want to be sure we allow enough time for everything.
The pins and hats have not yet been created, but we have secured production costs with the producers of both of those items.
The posters will be printed by the same company who is printing the books.
One challenge is that Cole and I are located in different parts of the country, but we have divided responsibilities for all of the reward items.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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