In The Atlantic • Recommended by Torii MacAdams
"If you sucked, the crowd at Project Blowed would shout "Please pass the mic!" A successor to the Good Life Cafe's weekly open-mic, Project Blowed was a crucible for underground rappers in Los Angeles – it was intense, testosterone-fueled, and deeply, immutably black.
Well, deeply black with the exception of Sherman "Dr. Rapp" Hershfield, a white, 63 year-old physician who, after suffering a series of small strokes, began speaking in rhyme. The improbable story of Hershfield, whose late-life passion for rapping turned him into a cult figure at Project Blowed, is lovingly detailed in Jeff Maysh's "How a Stroke Turned a 63 Year-old Into a Rap Legend." Maysh smartly avoids using Hershfield as a punchline, instead treating his subject with honesty and curiosity – the same qualities which endeared Hershfield to the denizens of Project Blowed."
Torii MacAdams is a music writer based in Los Angeles. His past bylines include Pitchfork, The Guardian and Red Bull Music Academy, where he wrote about Memphis legend Tommy Wright III.