A Tribe Called Quest - Beastie Boys - De La Soul - Eric B. & Rakim - The Fugees - KRS-One - Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Public Enemy - The Roots - Run-DMC - Wu-Tang Clan - and twenty-five more hip-hop immortalsIt's a sad fact: hip-hop album liners have always been reduced to a list of producer and sample credits, a publicity photo or two, and some hastily composed shout-outs. That's a damn shame, because few outside the game know about the true creative forces behind influential masterpieces like PE's It Takes a Nation of Millions. . ., De La's 3 Feet High and Rising, and Wu-Tang's Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). A longtime scribe for the hip-hop nation, Brian Coleman fills this void, and delivers a thrilling, knockout oral history of the albums that define this dynamic and iconoclastic art form. The format: One chapter, one artist, one album, blow-by-blow and track-by-track, delivered straight from the original sources. Performers, producers, DJs, and b-boys-including Big Daddy Kane, Muggs and B-Real, Biz Markie, RZA, Ice-T, and Wyclef-step to the mic to talk about the influences, environment, equipment, samples, beats, beefs, and surprises that went into making each classic record. Studio craft and street smarts, sonic inspiration and skate ramps, triumph, tragedy, and take-out food-all played their part in creating these essential albums of the hip-hop canon. Insightful, raucous, and addictive, Check the Technique transports you back to hip-hop's golden age with the greatest artists of the '80s and '90s. This is the book that belongs on the stacks next to your wax. "Brian Coleman's writing is a lot like the albums he covers: direct, uproarious, and more than six-fifths genius."
-Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop "All producers and hip-hop fans must read this book. It really shows how these albums were made and touches the music fiend in everyone."
-DJ Evil Dee of Black Moon and Da Beatminerz "A rarity in mainstream publishing: a truly essential rap history."
-Ronin Ro, author of Have Gun Will Travel
At its rhythmic, beating heart, Close to the Edge asks whether hip hop can change the world. Hip hop--rapping, beat-making, b-boying, deejaying, graffiti--captured the imagination of the teenage Sujatha Fernandes in the 1980s, inspiring her and politicizing her along the way. Years later, armed with mc-ing skills and an urge to immerse herself in global hip hop, she embarks on a journey into street culture around the world. From the south side of Chicago to the barrios of Caracas and Havana and the sprawling periphery of Sydney, she grapples with questions of global voices and local critiques, and the rage that underlies both. An engrossing read and an exhilarating travelogue, this punchy book also asks hard questions about dispossession, racism, poverty and the quest for change through a microphone.
In 1973, the music scene was forever changed by the emergence of hip-hop. Masterfully blending the rhythmic grooves of funk and soul with layered beats and chanted rhymes, artists such as DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash paved the way for an entire new genre and generation of musicians.
In this comprehensive, accessible guide, Paul Edwards breaks down the difference between old school and new school, recaps the biggest influencers of the genre, and sets straight the myths and misconceptions of the artists and their music. Fans old and new alike will all learn something new about the history and development of hip-hop, from its inception up through the current day, in The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music.
AN NPR AND PITCHFORK BEST MUSIC BOOK OF 2018 PICK
ONE OF TIME'S 25 BEST PHOTOBOOKS OF 2018
NEW YORK TIMES, ASSOCIATED PRESS, WALLSTREET JOURNAL, ROLLING STONE, AND CHICAGO SUN HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE PICK The perfect gift for music and photography fans, an inside look at the work of hip-hop photographers told through their most intimate diaries--their contact sheets.
Featuring rare outtakes from over 100 photoshoots alongside interviews and essays from industry legends, Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop takes readers on a chronological journey from old-school to alternative hip-hop and from analog to digital photography. The ultimate companion for music and photography enthusiasts, Contact High is the definitive history of hip-hop's early days, celebrating the artists that shaped the iconic album covers, t-shirts and posters beloved by hip-hop fans today. With essays from BILL ADLER, RHEA L. COMBS, FAB 5 FREDDY, MICHAEL GONZALES, YOUNG GURU, DJ PREMIER, and RZA
An updated edition of the best-selling biography of the unique and uncompromising Slim Shady. From his roots in a racially divided Detroit, through his work Dr. Dre and The Bass Brothers, to his position as a dominant cultural force and headline-grabber, the story of Marshall Mathers continues to cause controversy.
This updated edition brings things right up to date, analysing the success of Shady Records and 50 Cent. An important book for any Eminem fan, and for anyone interested in the powers of the modern media industry.
This Updated Edition includes:
- An album by album, track by track analysis
- Information on when and where the music was recorded
- A track index for easy reference
- 16 pages of pictures.
Chinaka Hodge came of age along with hip-hop--and its influence on her suitors became inextricable from their personal interactions. Form blends with content in Dated Emcees as she examines her love life through the lens of hip-hop's best known orators, characters, archetypes and songs, creating a new and inventive narrative about the music that shaped the craggy heart of a young woman poet, just as it also changed the global landscape of pop.
Praise for Dated Emcees:
In the old tellings hip-hop was a woman, a certain kind--one needing, even begging to be saved. In Dated Emcees, Chinaka Hodge gives her a voice and she tells of her loves and desires, her traumas and pains in words as hard, as lit, as loving, cunning, cutting, ecstatic, as tender and devastating as her big world requires. This is poetry that, in its infinite power and intimate grace, will still turn in your mind long after the music is over.--Jeff Chang, author of Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America
Hodge writes with an unpredictable, rare honesty. This collection quietly and simply illustrates love in a complicated world.--Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino
"This is an absolute powerhouse of a book, and a new pinnacle for Chinaka Hodge. There's enough beauty and heartbreak and melancholy and humor and sorrow in here for three collections, or two lifetimes. Hodge's writing is so incredibly specific but somehow universal, so honest and raw but somehow polished to unimproveability. She deserves a wide audience, an attentive audience, an audience that wants to be astounded."--Dave Eggers, author of The Circle
Chinaka Hodge is hands down, unequivocally, my favorite writer of words. All day. Every day. She writes with the grace of a dancer, the bars of a rapper, the heart of your best friend, and all of the swag and soul of Oakland. Dated Emcees made me cry. And I don't really do that. It doesn't use Hip Hop as a lens. It is Hip Hop. In the way that we, who have grown up with rap as our brilliant, estranged, mythological, abusive lover/father/son, are all Hip Hop. Aware of his flaws, and his potential. And loving him unconditionally. These are poems to read every day. To make mantras from. They are the best poems you've ever read.--Daveed Diggs, Actor/Rapper, star of Hamilton on Broadway
Every time I hear new work from Chinaka Hodge I wonder if she was always this good. She was, I'm pretty sure. And yet somehow, she's leveled up again. Dated Emcees is a dropped microphone, and a direct challenge to anyone listening. Step your game up.--George Watsky, author of How to Ruin Everything: Essays
"Ms. Hodge's collection complicates dogmatic notions of feminist principles and hip hop pathologies. She is the steward of a candid and sonorous new form, a lyrical journalism expressed in a meter that climbs from West Oakland's Bottoms to the peak of a Wonder-laced rocket love. Dated Emcees is outlined in the matter of black life, streamlined through the filter of black womb ... a smoke-filled lung in a sweat-filled club of safety and danger, and the bass of black moon."--Marc Bamuthi Joseph, arts activist, spoken word artist, US Artists Rockefeller Fellow
From the creators of 'Godspeed - The Kurt Cobain Graphic' and 'Eminem - In My Skin' comes a graphic novel that traces the events leading up to the death of one of modern music's most charismatic performers - Tupac Shakur.
Praise for Decoded "Compelling . . . provocative, evocative . . . Part autobiography, part lavishly illustrated commentary on the author's own work, Decoded gives the reader a harrowing portrait of the rough worlds Jay-Z navigated in his youth, while at the same time deconstructing his lyrics."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "One of a handful of books that just about any hip hop fan should own."--The New Yorker "Elegantly designed, incisively written . . . an impressive leap by a man who has never been known for small steps."--Los Angeles Times
"A riveting exploration of Jay-Z's journey . . . So thoroughly engrossing, it reads like a good piece of cultural journalism."--The Boston Globe "Shawn Carter's most honest airing of the experiences he drew on to create the mythic figure of Jay-Z . . . The scenes he recounts along the way are fascinating."--Entertainment Weekly
"Hip-hop's renaissance man drops a classic. . . . Heartfelt, passionate and slick."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)