Nelson George

Nelson George

Actor, Director, Executive Producer, Writer


Nelson George is an acclaimed American film director, author, journalist, and music and culture critic. He is best known for his pioneering work in exploring the social and cultural impact of hip-hop culture. He has written and directed several acclaimed films, including Finding the Funk (2013) and The Book of Negroes (2015). He has also written several novels, including The Plot Against Hip Hop (2010), and has authored and edited numerous books on music and culture.

George was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in the Brownsville neighborhood. He attended college at City College of New York, majoring in journalism. After graduating, he worked as a music and culture writer for publications like the Village Voice and Rolling Stone. He was then hired as a writer and producer for the PBS show Alive from Off-Center, where he wrote and produced several documentaries.

In the mid-1980s, George wrote and directed his first feature film, Strictly Business. The film was a critical and commercial success, and it was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Since then, George has written and directed several more feature films, including Life Support (2007), Kings of the Evening (2008) and A Ballerina's Tale (2015).

In addition to his work as a filmmaker, George is also an author and editor of several books on music and culture. His first book, Hip Hop America (1998), is considered a classic in the genre and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has since authored and edited several more books, including The Death of Rhythm & Blues (2002), Hip Hop Revolution (2007), and And It Don’t Stop: The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years (2004).

George has also become an authority on the social and cultural impact of hip-hop culture. He has served as a consultant for several films and television shows, including Michael Jackson’s This Is It (2009) and The Get Down (2016). He has also been a frequent speaker at academic conferences and events.

Throughout his career, George has been recognized for his contributions to film, music and culture. In 2015, he was awarded a Peabody Award for his work on the documentary Finding the Funk. He has also received the Codebreaker Award from the International Documentary Association, as well as the Special Jury Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival for his work on The Book of Negroes