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.
How sampling remade hip-hop over forty years, from pioneering superstar Grandmaster Flash through crate-digging preservationist and innovator Madlib
Sampling--incorporating found sound and manipulating it into another form entirely--has done more than any musical movement in the twentieth century to maintain a continuum of popular music as a living document and, in the process, has become one of the most successful (and commercial) strains of postmodern art. Bring That Beat Back traces the development of this transformative pop-cultural practice from its origins in the turntable-manning, record-spinning hip-hop DJs of 1970s New York through forty years of musical innovation and reinvention.
Nate Patrin tells the story of how sampling built hip-hop through the lens of four pivotal artists: Grandmaster Flash as the popular face of the music's DJ-born beginnings; Prince Paul as an early champion of sampling's potential to elaborate on and rewrite music history; Dr. Dre as the superstar who personified the rise of a stylistically distinct regional sound while blurring the lines between sampling and composition; and Madlib as the underground experimentalist and record-collector antiquarian who constantly broke the rules of what the mainstream expected from hip-hop. From these four artists' histories, and the stories of the people who collaborated, competed, and evolved with them, Patrin crafts a deeply informed, eminently readable account of a facet of pop music as complex as it is commonly underestimated: the aesthetic and reconstructive power of one of the most revelatory forms of popular culture to emerge from postwar twentieth-century America. And you can nod your head to it.
In Buena Vista in the Club, Geoffrey Baker traces the trajectory of the Havana hip hop scene from the late 1980s to the present and analyzes its partial eclipse by reggaet n. While Cuban officials initially rejected rap as "the music of the enemy," leading figures in the hip hop scene soon convinced certain cultural institutions to accept and then promote rap as part of Cuba's national culture. Culminating in the creation of the state-run Cuban Rap Agency, this process of "nationalization" drew on the shared ideological roots of hip hop and the Cuban nation and the historical connections between Cubans and African Americans. At the same time, young Havana rappers used hip hop, the music of urban inequality par excellence, to critique the rapid changes occurring in Havana since the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union fell, its subsidy of Cuba ceased, and a tourism-based economy emerged. Baker considers the explosion of reggaet n in the early 2000s as a reflection of the "new materialism" that accompanied the influx of foreign consumer goods and cultural priorities into "sociocapitalist" Havana. Exploring the transnational dimensions of Cuba's urban music, he examines how foreigners supported and documented Havana's growing hip hop scene starting in the late 1990s and represented it in print and on film and CD. He argues that the discursive framing of Cuban rap played a crucial part in its success.
Rapper Bun B lends his street cred and occasionally his face to the creative, hilarious, and just flat-out fun imaginings of Shea Serrano in Bun B's Rap Coloring and Activity Book. Described by the Washington Post as "what every hip-hop head wishes they had as a child," this imaginative work started as a series of printable rap-related coloring and activity images. The 48-page, fully interactive book of coloring pages, unbelievably clever activities, and smart plays on rap culture brings these stars and their music right into your living room.Featured rappers include:
LL COOL J
It has been more than thirty-five years since the first commercial recordings of hip-hop music were made. This Companion, written by renowned scholars and industry professionals reflects the passion and scholarly activity occurring in the new generation of hip-hop studies. It covers a diverse range of case studies from Nerdcore hip-hop to instrumental hip-hop to the role of rappers in the Obama campaign and from countries including Senegal, Japan, Germany, Cuba, and the UK. Chapters provide an overview of the 'four elements' of hip-hop - MCing, DJing, break dancing (or breakin'), and graffiti - in addition to key topics such as religion, theatre, film, gender, and politics. Intended for students, scholars, and the most serious of 'hip-hop heads', this collection incorporates methods in studying hip-hop flow, as well as the music analysis of hip-hop and methods from linguistics, political science, gender and film studies to provide exciting new perspectives on this rapidly developing field.
'Can't Stop Won't Stop' traces the origins of hip-hop to the post-civil rights Bronx and Jamaica, drawing on interviews with performers, activists, gang members, DJs, and others to document how the movement has influenced politics and culture.
Can't Stop Won't Stop is a powerful cultural and social history of the end of the American century, and a provocative look into the new world that the hip-hop generation created.Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop became the Esperanto of youth rebellion and a generation-defining movement. In a post-civil rights era defined by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop crystallized a multiracial, polycultural generation's worldview, and transformed American politics and culture. But that epic story has never been told with this kind of breadth, insight, and style. Based on original interviews with DJs, b-boys, rappers, graffiti writers, activists, and gang members, with unforgettable portraits of many of hip-hop's forebears, founders, and mavericks, including DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck D, and Ice Cube, Can't Stop Won't Stop chronicles the events, the ideas, the music, and the art that marked the hip-hop generation's rise from the ashes of the 60's into the new millennium.
"Each of these chambers contains wonders of history, destiny, and mythology. Chamber Music is hip hop as race and class politics, as music and as poetry on the move. Through Ashon's vibrant textured prose we watch in awe as these young men seize on whatever the culture has to offer, sampling leftovers and legacies, making themselves into ferocious artists" --Margo Jefferson, award-winning author of Negroland"Stylistically loaded, reckless, funny, naked, thorough, thoughtful, mysterious, devastating, unrelenting, and compassionate. One of the most rewarding pieces of hip hop criticism ever written."--Jeff Chang, author of We Gon' Be All Right: Notes on Race and Resegregation and Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation Will Ashon tells, in 36 interlinked "chambers", the story of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and how it changed the world. As unexpected and complex as the album itself, Chamber Music ranges from provocative essays to semi-comic skits, from deep scholarly analysis to satirical celebration, seeking to contextualize, reveal and honor this singular work of art. Chamber Music is an explosive and revelatory new way of writing about music and culture.