Photo courtesy of Chicago Magzine (DAVON CLARK/CITY BUREAU)

December 10, 2019

Rapper and librarian Roy Kinsey MLIS ’17 released his 4th album, Blackie: A Story by Roy Kinsey. He has been featured in major local, national, and international publications like Billboard, NPR, WBEZ’s Vocalo, the Chicago Tribune, WGCI and the RedEye

Roy's latest video BSAYF, exploring black queer identity and spirituality, premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Harold Washington Cultural Center and the DuSable Museum. He has shared his lyrics on the stages of Lincoln Hall, Logan Square Auditorium, Wild Hare, The Shrine, and Soho House, and has recently done a series of performances/exhibitions with the Chicago Public Library’s seasonal book and theme programming of race and music, One Book, One Chicago.

Roy has been a librarian for over a decade and currently works as a teen-services librarian at the Richard M. Daley branch of the Chicago Public Library. 

About his decision to attend graduate school at Dominican:
"I spent so much time in libraries, and working in libraries," he says. But when he took his first paying job, he soon realized he needed more training if he wanted to keep advancing: "I can't front about the fact that I was working there for a long time and had pretty much hit as far as I would go without my masters in library and information science." Kinsey went to graduate school at Dominican University, graduating in 2017—and along the way he took a storytelling class from Janice Del Negro, one of the librarians who'd led the storytime sessions he attended as a child. "My mom was like, 'I used to take you to her storytellings,'" Kinsey says. "She taught me a lot about the story." 

Read more: Rapbrarian Roy Kinsey finds his voice in queer hip-hop