Height of Bill Adler

height Bill Adler

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The height of Bill Adler is …m.

1. Where did Bill Adler come from ?

Bill Adler is an American music journalist and critic who specializes in hip-hop. Since the early 1980s he has promoted hip-hop in a variety of capacities, including as a publicist, biographer, record label executive, documentary moviemaker, museum consultant, art gallerist, curator, and archivist. He may be best known for his tenure as director of publicity at Def Jam Recordings (1984–1990), the period of his career to which the critic Robert Christgau was referring when he described Adler as a “legendary publicist.”

2. What could we know about Bill Adler besides his height ?

William Adler, known as Bill, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 18, 1951. His family moved to Detroit before he was five, and he lived in Michigan until 1976. He graduated from Southfield High School and later matriculated briefly at the University of Michigan.

3. What are the projects of Bill Adler ?

Adler’s first exposure to the music business came in the fall of 1969, when he was hired in the record department of a university bookstore. In 1972, he started to host a weekly freeform radio show on WCBN-FM, the University of Michigan’s student station. In the summer of 1973, he began working at radio station WDET-FM, Detroit, as the board operator (and occasional substitute host) for Kenny Cox, a local jazz musician who hosted a weekly show which name is “Kaleidophone.” Later that year, Adler began a three-year stint as contributing music editor for the Ann Arbor Sun, a weekly underground newspaper edited by the poet and activist John Sinclair and published by David Fenton. A year later, Adler began reviewing records for Down Beat magazine. In the spring of 1975, Adler was briefly a deejay at WABX, Detroit, a pioneering free-form radio station.

4. Somme collaborations with Bill Adler ?

Adler moved to Boston in February 1976. He deejayed at radio station WBCN-FM throughout the spring of 1977 and freelanced articles about music to the Real Paper and High Times. He was the staff pop music critic of the Boston Herald from April 1978 until April 1980.

Adler moved to New York in July 1980. For the next several years he worked as a freelance writer on musical subjects for publications including the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, People, and the Daily News. In 1984, Russell Simmons hired Adler as director of publicity for Rush Artist Management and Def Jam Recordings. During the next six years Adler worked closely with a variety of artists, including Run-DMC, Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and De La Soul.

Adler has written and taught extensively based on his experiences at Def Jam; in 1987, he wrote Tougher Than Leather: The Authorized Biography of Run-DMC (New American Library), described by the critic Harry Allen in the Village Voice as “hip-hop’s first authorized biography and a definitive, insightful text.” The critic Jon Caramanica, in a review for Rolling Stone of the 2002 reissue of the book, suggested it “might well be the most comprehensive biography ever written about a pop act while it was still in its prime.” In the spring of 2006, Adler taught a course about Def Jam at New York University’s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, and in 2011, Adler and Dan Charnas co-authored Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label, which was published in both English and French.

Adler was an early champion of hip-hop photography; in 1991, he wrote the text for “Rap: Portraits and Lyrics of a Generation of Black Rockers,” which showcased the work of Janette Beckman. (The book was published by St. Martin’s Press in America and Omnibus Press in England.) In 2003, he founded the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery, which was largely devoted to hip-hop photography. During the gallery’s five years of existence, Adler curated or co-curated one-man shows showcasing the work of photographers Michael Benabib, Al Pereira, Ricky Powell, Ernie Paniccioli, Harry Allen, and others. Group shows celebrated Run-DMC, women in hiphop, VP Records and dancehall reggae,Southern hip-hop, and ego trip Magazine. In September 2015, the Eyejammie Photo Collection was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

In 2004, Adler formed Eyejammie Press to publish “Frozade Moments,” a book of postcards featuring the street photography of Ricky Powell. Gina Wang, writing for Mass Appeal magazine, praised the book as “a visual trip through a mismatched combination of celebs, knuckleheads, animals and NYC’s indigenous subjects, all shot from Powell’s gritty perspective.”

Adler’s essay, “Who Shot Ya: A History of Hip-Hop Photography” was commissioned by the journalist Jeff Chang and published in Chang’s “Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop” (Basic Civitas 2006). It was later republished in Wax Poetics magazine. Adler’s essay, “Contact Sheets: Freedom of Choice,” was commissioned by Vikki Tobak and published in Tobak’s “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop” (Clarkson Potter 2018).

In 1994, Adler and the poet Bob Holman co-founded NuYo Records, a record label devoted to the spoken word. Initially distributed by BMG, this venture was revived in 1996 as Mouth Almighty Records when Danny Goldberg became the president of Mercury Records. Over the course of the next three years the label released 18 titles, including recordings by the Last Poets, Allen Ginsberg, Michele Serros, and Sekou Sundiata, two CDs of short fiction from The New Yorker magazine, a two-CD set of readings of Edgar Allan Poe produced by Hal Willner, and the soundtrack to The United States of Poetry, a five-part PBS television special. In the summer of 1995, Adler and Holman and their associates on New York’s spoken word scene were the subject of an article in The New Yorker by Henry Louis Gates Jr. In 1998, Adler founded Mouth Almighty Books to publish Beau Sia’s “A Night Without Armor II: The Revenge,” a parody of a book of poetry by Jewel entitled “A Night Without Armor.”

Adler has consulted for several museums on the establishment of their hip-hop collections, including Seattle’s Experience Music Project (known today as the EMP Museum), the Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

In the fall of 2008, Adler and the artist Cey Adams co-edited DEFinition: the Art and Design of Hip-Hop (Collins Design), a book described by Adler himself as “a catalog for a [museum] exhibition that is waiting to happen.” DEFinition was praised by the critic Cinque Hicks in Creative Loafing as “a voracious and wide-ranging visual survey that makes the case that hip-hop’s musical heritage is only part of the story.”

In collaboration with Perry Films, Adler was the producer/writer of “And You Don’t Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop,” a five-part documentary movie series that started on VH1 during the fall of 2004. Reviewing the series for The New York Times, television critic Virginia Heffernan wrote, “It may be the first monograph on this subject to position hip-hop confidently and specifically in the history of American music without having to make elementary arguments about its value or its significance.”

Adler’s work as a hip-hop archivist commenced during his years at Rush/Def Jam. The Adler Hip-Hop Archive—which includes sound recordings along with album cover art, books, movies, videos, photographs, newspaper and magazine articles, publicity materials and other advertising—was acquired by Cornell University in 2013. In April 2017, the first batch of that archive was digitized and posted online.

An avid record collector, Adler is featured in Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting (2014), a book published by photographer Eilon Paz.

In 1987, Adler helped Run DMC write and produce their song “Christmas in Hollis”. The details of that episode are spelled out in the award-winning 2014 documentary by Canadian moviemaker Mitchell Kezin, ’’Jingle Bell Rocks!’’ a movie about the underground subculture of alternative Christmas music; which features Run-DMC’s Joseph Simmons telling the entire origin story of “Christmas in Hollis.”


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Height Bill Adler