Like many young men in America, Thomas Chatterton Williams grew up in awe of Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, and the parade of bling-bedecked rap stars he saw on Black Entertainment Television and MTV. Williams emulated their lifestyle- sporting chains, diamonds, and expensive designer clothes purchased for him by his girlfriends, who were themselves a little more than accessories for Williams. In public, Williams lived the street life exalted in his favorite rap anthems, yet at the end of the day he returned to a home literally crammed with thousands of books, each carefully studied and underlined by his father, “Pappy,” who revered learning and critical thinking above all else.
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On the surface, I’d say “City Kid” is a “man book,” but there were elements that I was fond of and could identify with as a writer and music lover. Ladies, you can skim the parts about Nelson’s love for comic books, sports, and tales of man adolescence; however, there are still threads integral to his memoir that you’ll enjoy.