Music Journalist / Editor / Curator / Pundit / Author
Marcus J. Moore is an accomplished music journalist, editor, curator, pundit and author of The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America, released in October 2020 by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. He’s currently working on his next book, High and Rising, a cultural biography of rap trio De La Soul, to be published by Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Mr. Moore has been a contributing writer with The Nation and a senior editor with Bandcamp Daily. In 2016, he was tapped by Bandcamp to help launch the editorial platform, which gave voice to independent musicians in the genres of jazz, soul, hip-hop and experimental. He now co-leads the jazz-focused "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love..." series at The New York Times. Elsewhere, his music coverage can be found at NPR, Pitchfork, TIME, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and The Atlantic, among other outlets. He has his own monthly column at TIDAL — The Liner Notes — where he writes about esoteric music and key figures from all eras and genres.
In 2021, he was an associate editor on the Smithsonian’s highly-publicized Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap. A year later, he was asked to curate an interview series for Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he conducted various hour-long discussions with noted experimental musicians Moses Sumney, Dawn Richard, Saul Williams and others. He has worked with the Denver-based record club Vinyl Me, Please as its Hip-Hop Director, and remains there as a consultant.
Ever the cratedigger, he compiles playlists for local restaurants, bars, coworking spaces, and cafés, and has been known to deejay in Brooklyn, East Africa, and the Washington, D.C. area. Over the past two years, Mr. Moore released two albums — a compilation of obscure jazz and Black Liberation soul, and another of downtempo soul and gospel — for indie label Paxico Records. He also hosts radio shows and created the program Energy Music on the UK-based Worldwide FM. He has created globally syndicated playlists for Google, guest-hosted live programs for Red Bull Radio, and conducted live interviews for Sonos Radio. He writes extensive liner notes for vinyl packages, and has written bios for Erykah Badu, Jhene Aiko and Chance The Rapper, among many others.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Moore has covered business, politics, and education for the Gazette newspapers in the D.C. suburbs. He’s been an editor at WTOP-FM, the region’s top-rated station for news, traffic and weather. In 2009, he created the website DMV Spectrum, through which he covered music in the nation's capital, Maryland, and northern Virginia.