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Based on ten years of research among hip-hop producers, Making Beats was the first work of scholarship to explore the goals, methods, and values of a surprisingly insular community. Focusing on a variety of subjects--from hip-hop artists' pedagogical methods to the Afrodiasporic roots of the sampling process to the social significance of "digging" for rare records--Joseph G. Schloss examines the way hip-hop artists have managed to create a form of expression that reflects their creative aspirations, moral beliefs, political values, and cultural realities. This second edition of the book includes a new foreword by Jeff Chang and a new afterword by the author.
The origin story of hip-hop-one that involves Kool Herc DJing a house party on Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx-has become received wisdom. But Joseph C. Ewoodzie Jr. argues that the full story remains to be told. In vibrant prose, he combines never-before-used archival material with searching questions about the symbolic boundaries that have divided our understanding of the music. In Break Beats in the Bronx, Ewoodzie portrays the creative process that brought about what we now know as hip-hop and shows that the art form was a result of serendipitous events, accidents, calculated successes, and failures that, almost magically, came together. In doing so, he questions the unexamined assumptions about hip-hop's beginnings, including why there are just four traditional elements-DJing, MCing, breaking, and graffiti writing-and not others, why the South Bronx and not any other borough or city is considered the cradle of the form, and which artists besides Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash founded the genre. Ewoodzie answers these and many other questions about hip-hop's beginnings. Unearthing new evidence, he shows what occurred during the crucial but surprisingly underexamined years between 1975 and 1979 and argues that it was during this period that the internal logic and conventions of the scene were formed.
"Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists" is more popular than racism! Hip hop is huge, and it's time someone wrote it all down. And got it all right. With over 25 aggregate years of interviews, and virtually every hip hop single, remix and album ever recorded at their disposal, the highly respected Ego Trip staff are the ones to do it. The Book of Rap Lists runs the gamut of hip hop information. This is an exhaustive, indispensable and completely irreverant bible of true hip hip knowledge.
The first biography of superstar rapper Drake At a time when album sales were plummeting, Drake's 2010 debut album, Thank Me Later, went platinum, hit number one on the Billboard 200 chart, and spawned numerous Top 10 hits including "Over," "Best I Ever Had," and "Find Your Love." His sophomore release, Take Care, also debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, went platinum, and has been downloaded at a record pace. In Far From Over, award-winning writer and hip hop expert Dalton Higgins examines the life of Aubrey Drake Graham, whose path to superstardom has been anything but typical. Raised in Toronto's upscale Forest Hill neighbourhood by his Jewish mother, the multi-talented entertainer first made a name for himself as an actor on the popular teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation before becoming one of the world's most successful rappers. Featuring original interviews, Far From Over reveals the life story of a musician and actor whose star will only continue to rise.
"The Big Payback" takes readers from the first $15 made by a "rapping DJ" in 1970s New York to the multi-million-dollar sales of the Phat Farm and Roc-a-Wear clothing companies in 2004 and 2007. On this four-decade-long journey from the studios where the first rap records were made to the boardrooms where the big deals were inked, "The Big Payback" tallies the list of who lost and who won. Read the secret histories of the early long-shot successes of Sugar Hill Records and Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC's crossover breakthrough on MTV, the marketing of gangsta rap, and the rise of artist/ entrepreneurs like Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs.
300 industry giants like Def Jam founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons gave their stories to renowned hip-hop journalist Dan Charnas, who provides a compelling, never-before-seen, myth-debunking view into the victories, defeats, corporate clashes, and street battles along the 40-year road to hip-hop's dominance.
In recent decades, poetry slams and the spoken word artists who compete in them have sparked a resurgent fascination with the world of poetry. However, there is little critical dialogue that fully engages with the cultural complexities present in slam and spoken word poetry communities, as well as their ramifications. In Killing Poetry, renowned slam poet, Javon Johnson unpacks some of the complicated issues that comprise performance poetry spaces. He argues that the truly radical potential in slam and spoken word communities lies not just in proving literary worth, speaking back to power, or even in altering power structures, but instead in imagining and working towards altogether different social relationships. His illuminating ethnography provides a critical history of the slam, contextualizes contemporary black poets in larger black literary traditions, and does away with the notion that poetry slams are inherently radically democratic and utopic. Killing Poetry-at times autobiographical, poetic, and journalistic-analyzes the masculine posturing in the Southern California community in particular, the sexual assault in the national community, and the ways in which related social media inadvertently replicate many of the same white supremacist, patriarchal, and mainstream logics so many spoken word poets seem to be working against. Throughout, Johnson examines the promises and problems within slam and spoken word, while illustrating how community is made and remade in hopes of eventually creating the radical spaces so many of these poets strive to achieve.
From its beginnings in hip hop culture, the dense rhythms and
aggressive lyrics of rap music have made it a provocative fixture
on the American cultural landscape. In Black Noise: Rap Music and
Black Culture in Contemporary America, Tricia Rose, described by
the New York Times as a "hip hop theorist," takes a comprehensive
look at the lyrics, music, cultures, themes, and styles of this
highly rhythmic, rhymed storytelling and grapples with the most
salient issues and debates that surround it.
"Every line brims with the grit of the underdog, burns with rage and tenderness. It's no secret he is one of the most influential poets of this generation."--Jeff Chang, "Can't Stop, Wont Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation"
"Boots' lyrics contain the wit and satire to match their venom and potent political punch. His intricate yet relatable rhymes are like a combination of a Richard Pryor sketch and a guerrilla warfare manual."--Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine
"Fact is, the brother's some writer. . . . Their low-slung rhythms imagine what might have happened if Reagan-era Prince had been less into getting some action and more into kicking up some activism."--"The Village Voice"
"Riley's rhymes work so well because they're more about real life than rhetoric. . . . It's the rare record that makes revolution sound like hot fun on a Saturday night."--"Rolling Stone"
Boots Riley has written lyrics as the frontman of underground favorites The Coup for two decades. An activist, educator, and emcee, Riley combines hip-hop poetics, radical politics, and the wry humor of the everyman. Including not-yet-released lyrics, photos, and backstories, here's an in-depth portrait of Riley's life and work.
A popular leader in the struggle for radical change through culture, Boots Riley is best known as the leader of The Coup, the seminal hip-hop group from Oakland, California, where he is an organizer and has been active in the Occupy movement. "Billboard" magazine declared the group "the best hip-hop act of the past decade."
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