Michael A. Gonzales Interview (Hip-Hop Writer)
Michael A. Gonzales got his start writing about music in the '80s, and has often defined himself as a “hip-hop writer.” But over the years, he's also written about art, film, books, comics, fiction, and plenty of other music too. In this interview, he walks you through his career, his thoughts on music journalism, and much more.
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
I got the writing bug when I was a kid growing up in Harlem. I had a godfather who was a writer, while my mother was an avid reader of books and magazines. Between the two of them, they created a monster. My mom always brought home magazines, everything from Esquire to Ebony, New York magazine, the Village Voice and Jet, which was a Black digest that published news stories and a soul music records charts for albums and singles. I became, and still am, a magazine junkie.
The first story I wrote was at my godfather’s apartment. Mom, who was also a movie junkie, had taken me to see The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight and, afterwards, my godfather asked me to dictate a story to him and I recycled the film’s plot. He typed it up and gave it to me. I’ve been writing ever since.