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Hip Hop Book Recommendations from WFY (Reblog)

Image and text source: Wired for Youth

Note: I recently found the following list of books about hip hop culture (some already well-known and respected must reads). Many of them are directly related to the roots of remix culture, others are great sources for understanding the politics of culture in the United States.

Recommendations follow:

Non-fiction: Hip Hop

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop : A History of the Hip Hop Generation
Jeff Chang
306.484249 CH

Considered one of the best books on hip-hop, “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” traces the evolution of hip-hop from its roots in the music of 1960s Jamaica throught its development in New York and its eventual spread throughout the mainstream world. Jeff Chang collected hundreds of interviews with important hip-hop pioneers to create this classic book. “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” is a must read for anyone interested in hip-hop, graffiti, and breakdancing history.

subjects: Rap (Music)—History and criticism, Hip-hop, Music—Social aspects.

Fight the Power: Rap, Race, and Reality
Chuck D
782.421649 D

Chuck D is considered one of the true titans of hip-hop. In “Fight The Power” he chronicles his life in the hip-hop world and his years spent as the lead MC for Public Enemy. He also discusses hip-hop history and its effect on American culture and politics.

subjects: Rap (Music)—History and criticism, Hip-hop, Popular culture—United States—History—20th century, Race relations

Hip Hop America
Nelson George
782.421649 Ge

This is an awesome history of hip-hop and also includes good information about related cultural expressions like graffiti art and breakdancing.

subjects: Rap (Music)—History and criticism. Hip-hop—United States. Popular culture—United States. Music and society—United States

Hip Hop Immortals Volume 1: The Remix
Bonz Malone
782.421649 MA OS

Another great collection of hip-hop photography. There are also short and insightful writings on hip-hop culture.

award: ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers: 2004

subjects: Rap musicians—Portraits.

Hip Hoptionary: the Dictionary of Hip-Hop Terminology
Alonzo Westbrook
782.421649 WE

Krunk? Throwed? Have you ever wondered what a word meant? Or maybe your curious about words used in hip-hop years back? Either way, check out this dictionary.

subjects: Hip-hop—Terms and phrases—Dictionaries. Rap (Music)—Terms and phrases—Dictionaries

Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur
Michael Eric Dyson
782.421649 S5279D

Dyson writes about Tupac’s life and discusses the limitless influence that Tupac had and still has on the hip-hop world. This is a must read for hip-hop fans.

subjects: Shakur, Tupac, 1971- Rap musicians—United States—Biography.

Move the Crowd: Voices and Faces of the Hip-Hop Nation
Gregor Ehrlich and Dimitri Ehrlich
782.421649 Mo (currently on order!)

This is another nice collection of hip-hop photography. It includes cool quotes from tons of famous hip-hop figures including Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav, Ice Cube, Russell Simmons, and P Diddy.

subjects: Rap musicians—United States—Quotations. Rap musicians—United States—Portraits. Hip-hop—United States. Rap (Music)—History and criticism.

The Rose That Grew From Concrete
Tupac Shakur
811.54 Sh

Before Tupac was a famous hip-hop artist, he was an unknown poet writing poems about urban life and struggles. Check out what he felt and wrote before fame.

award: ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers: 2001

subjects: American poetry—Afro-American authors.

The Vibe History of Hip Hop
Alan Light (ed.)
782.421649 Vi

This anthology contains wonderful writings about current hip-hop, hip-hop history, and urban culture. Just about any hip-hop subject you can think of is covered in this encyclopedic work.

subjects: Rap (Music)—History and criticism.

Who Shot Ya?: Three Decades of Hip Hop Photography
Photographs by Ernie Paniccioli, Edited by Kevin Powell
782.421649 PA

Great photos of some of the biggest stars in hip-hop. The older photos of current stars are tons of fun to look at.

subjects: Hip-hop—Pictorial works. Rap (Music)—Pictorial works.

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