The first Asian woman in hip-hop, Sophia Chang shares the inspiring story of her career in the music business, working with such acts as The Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest, her path to becoming an entrepreneur, and her candid accounts of marriage, motherhood, aging, desire, marginalization, and martial arts.
Fearless and unpredictable, Sophia Chang prevailed in a male-dominated music industry to manage the biggest names in hip-hop and R&B. The daughter of Korean immigrants in predominantly white suburban Vancouver, Chang left for New York City, and soon became a powerful voice in music boardrooms at such record companies as Atlantic, Jive, and Universal Music Group.
As an A&R rep, Chang met a Staten Island rapper named Prince Rakeem, now known as the RZA, founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, the most revered and influential rap group in hip-hop history. That union would send her on a transformational odyssey, leading her to a Shaolin monk who would become her partner, an enduring kung fu practice, two children, and a reckoning with what type woman she ultimately wanted to be.
For decades, Chang helped remarkably talented men tell their stories. Now, with The Baddest Bitch In The Room, she is ready to tell her own story of marriage, motherhood, aging, desire, marginalization, and martial arts. This is an inspirational debut memoir by a woman of color who has had the audacity to be bold in the pursuit of her passions, despite what anyone--family, society, the dominant culture--have prescribed.
Praise for Beastie Boys Book "A fascinating, generous book with portraits and detail that float by in bursts of color . . . As with the band's] records, the book's structure is a lyrical three-man weave. . . . Diamond's voice is lapidary, droll. Horovitz comes on like a borscht belt comedian, but beneath that he is urgent, incredulous, kind of vulnerable. . . . Friendship is the book's subject as much as music, fame and New York."--The New York Times Book Review "Wild, moving . . . resembles a Beastie Boys LP in its wild variety of styles."--Rolling Stone
The Beat was the first book to explore the musical, social, and cultural phenomenon of go-go music. In this edition, updated by a substantial chapter on the current scene, authors Kip Lornell and Charles C. Stephenson, Jr., place go-go within black popular music made since the middle 1970s--a period during which hip-hop has predominated. This styling reflects the District's African American heritage. Its super-charged drumming and vocal combinations of hip-hop, funk, and soul evolved and still thrive on the streets of Washington, DC, and in neighboring Prince George's County, making it the most geographically compact form of popular music.Go-go--the only musical form indigenous to Washington, DC--features a highly syncopated, nonstop beat and vocals that are spoken as well as sung. The book chronicles its development and ongoing popularity, focusing on many of its key figures and institutions, including established acts such as Chuck Brown (the Godfather of Go-Go), Experience Unlimited, Rare Essence, and Trouble Funk; well-known DJs, managers, and promoters; and filmmakers who have incorporated it into their work. The Beat provides longtime fans and those who study American musical forms a definitive look at the music and its makers.
The first decades of the 21st century saw dramatic changes in the music industry as technology transformed creation, communication, and consumption. Amid this turmoil one change occurred relatively quietly, almost naturally: so-called bedroom producers, music makers raised on hip-hop and electronic music, went from anonymous, often unseen creators to artists in their own right. In Bedroom Beats and B-sides, journalist Laurent Fintoni details the rise of a new generation of bedroom producers at the turn of the century through the stories of various instrumental hip-hop and electronic music scenes. From trip-hop, downtempo, and IDM to leftfield hip-hop, glitch, and beats, the book explores how these scenes acted as incubators for new ideas about composition and performance that are now taken for granted. Combining social, cultural, and musical history with extensive research and over 100 interviews, the book tells the B-side stories of hip-hop and electronic music from the 1990s to the 2010s. Using the format of a beat tape, it explores the evolution of a modern beat culture from local scenes to global community via the diverse groups of idealists on the fringes who made it happen and the external forces that shaped their efforts. Before the uniformity of streaming services, always-on social media, and online tutorials for everything, this is a portrait of independence and experimentation amid historical change. It's a story of obsession and dedication and how the fringes brought about a quiet musical revolution.
What these brilliant wordsmiths really do . . . is nothing short of reinventing the multiplicity of mother tongues in which they negotiate their world on a daily basis.--Chicago Sun-Times
Exuberant, insightful . . . they have created something special, a work of heart and soul that distills the essence of the city.--The New York Times
For nearly twenty years, the fiercely talented theater group UNIVERSES has pioneered a fusion of poetry, jazz, hip-hop, politics, down home blues, and Spanish boleros. Each play in this volume--which includes Ameriville, Slanguage, Party People, The Last Word, Blue Suite and One Shot in Lotus Position--uses its own unique blend of spoken word, poetry, music, and theater elements to convey its tone and story. Touching on subjects of cultural and dialectical diversity in New York City, the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, and American racial politics, The Big Bang not only challenges the tradition of theater as an art form, but our own perspective on the national climate.
UNIVERSES is an ensemble company of multi-disciplined writers and performers who create moving, challenging and entertaining theatrical works. Their other pieces include Spring Training, The Denver Project, Let Bygones Be, Live from the Edge, and The Ride. UNIVERSES has performed at venues throughout the United States and toured extensively worldwide.
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.
Dr. Dre. Snoop Dogg. Ice Cube. Some of the biggest stars in hip hop made their careers in Los Angeles. And today there is a new generation of young, mostly black, men busting out rhymes and hoping to one day find themselves "blowin' up"--getting signed to a record label and becoming famous. Many of these aspiring rappers get their start in Leimart Park, home to the legendary hip hop open-mic workshop Project Blowed. In Blowin' Up, Jooyoung Lee takes us deep inside Project Blowed and the surrounding music industry, offering an unparalleled look at hip hop in the making.While most books on rap are written from the perspective of listeners and the market, Blowin' Up looks specifically at the creative side of rappers. As Lee shows, learning how to rap involves a great deal of discipline, and it takes practice to acquire the necessary skills to put on a good show. Along with Lee--who is himself a pop-locker--we watch as the rappers at Project Blowed learn the basics, from how to hold a microphone to how to control their breath amid all those words. And we meet rappers like E. Crimsin, Nocando, VerBS, and Flawliss as they freestyle and battle with each other. For the men at Project Blowed, hip hop offers a creative alternative to the gang lifestyle, substituting verbal competition for physical violence, and provides an outlet for setting goals and working toward them. Engagingly descriptive and chock-full of entertaining personalities and real-life vignettes, Blowin' Up not only delivers a behind-the-scenes view of the underground world of hip hop, but also makes a strong case for supporting the creative aspirations of young, urban, black men, who are often growing up in the shadow of gang violence and dead-end jobs.
Provocative and prolific, Boots Riley has written lyrics as the frontman of underground favorites The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club, as well as solo artist, for more than two decades. An activist, educator, and emcee, Riley's singular lyrical stylings combine hip-hop poetics, radical politics, and wry humor with Bay Area swag. Boots Riley: Collected Lyrics and Writings brings together his songs, commentary, and backstories with compelling photos and documents.
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.