Ed. Note: This memorandum was originally published on December 4, 2012.]
Robert Johnson meeting the devil at the crossroads, selling his soul so he could master blues guitar. Keith Richards sneering at a 1967 jury and saying, “We are not old men, we are not worried about petty morals.” Nas watching a flick, illin’ and rooting for the villain. The iconography of the anti-hero has long held a prime spot in the history of American music.