Rap
Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies
Check the Technique
Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies
Paperback      ISBN: 0812977750

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 immortals

It'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
Chuck D Presents This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History
Chuck D Presents This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History
Hardcover      ISBN: 0316430978
A one-of-a kind survey of rap and hip hop history from 1973 to today by Chuck D, arguably the most influential rapper in the world.

In the more than 40 years since the days of DJ Kool Herc and Rapper's Delight, hip hop and rap have become a billion-dollar worldwide phenomenon. Yet there is no definitive history of the genre-until now.

Based on Chuck's long-running show on Rapstation.com, this massive compendium details the most iconic moments and influential songs in the genre's recorded history, from Kurtis Blow's Christmas Rappin' to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to Kendrick Lamar's ground-breaking verse on Control. Also included are key events in hip hop history, from Grandmaster Flash's first scratch through Tupac's holographic appearance at Coachella.

Throughout, Chuck offers his insider's perspective on the chart toppers and show stoppers as he lived it. Illustrating the pages are more than 100 portraits from the talented artists specializing in hip hop.
Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation
Close to the Edge
In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation
Paperback      ISBN: 1844677419

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.

The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music: A Fresh Look at the Art of Hip-Hop, from Old-School Beats to Freestyle Rap
The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music
A Fresh Look at the Art of Hip-Hop, from Old-School Beats to Freestyle Rap
Paperback      ISBN: 1250034817

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.

Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop
Contact High
A Visual History of Hip-Hop
Hardcover      ISBN: 0525573887
ONE OF AMAZON'S BEST ART & PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS 0F 2018
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

Damn Son Where Did You Find This?: A Book about Us Hiphop Mixtape Cover Art
Damn Son Where Did You Find This?
A Book about Us Hiphop Mixtape Cover Art
Hardcover      ISBN: 3863359771
Damn Son Where Did You Find This? is the first book ever to focus on the cover art of the modern US hip hop CD mixtape. From the bootleg recordings of Kool Herc in the 1970s to Lil' Wayne, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Drake's latest opus, CD mixtapes have been and continue to be an essential part of hip hop culture. A visual world that reached unseen levels at the turn of the millennium, uncensored, unregulated and extreme, it is the most anarchic of all genres of graphic design.

To make their music stand apart from the dozens of mixtapes regularly released on sites like datpiff.com, hip hop artists rely on cover art to catch listeners' eyes. The race for attention-grabbing covers led mixtapes to adopt a lurid movie-poster aesthetic: flashy and explosive.

Freed from label guidelines, legal opinion and moral hindrances, the five designers featured in Damn Son Where Did You Find This?--KidEight, Miami Kaos, Mike Rev and Tansta & Skrilla--created covers for the likes of Lil' Wayne, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, The Game, Tupac, Eminem, Raekwon, 2Chainz, Young Jeezy and A$AP. Along with 500 of these covers, interviews with the designers recount how they entered the hip hop mixtape industry, taking us through the creative process, describing how visual trends have come and gone, and how designing mixtape covers changed the trajectories of their lives. Originally published as a limited edition of 400 hand-numbered copies (which quickly sold out), Damn Son Where Did You Find This? is at last available as a trade edition.
Dark Story of Eminem (Updated Edition)
Dark Story of Eminem (Updated Edition)
Paperback      ISBN: 1849384584

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.
Dated Emcees
Dated Emcees
Paperback      ISBN: 0872867021

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


Death Rap Tupac Shakur: A Life
Death Rap Tupac Shakur
A Life
Paperback      ISBN: 1844497275

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.

Decoded
Decoded
by Jay-Z
Paperback      ISBN: 0812981154
Decoded is a book like no other: a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one of the most provocative and successful artists of our time.

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)