Nelson George has been part of the hip hop world since day one, and he offers an insider's tour through a multimedia phenomenon of which rap music is only the audible manifestation - from the Sugar Hill Gang through Public Enemy, Sister Souljah, and C. Delores Tucker to Puff Daddy. His themes reflect those of hip hop itself - drugs, fashion, incarceration, basketball, entrepreneurship, technology, language. He recounts the troubling way in which Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street followed the leads of beverage companies and sports promoters who embraced hip hop in their bid to reach not just young black consumers but all young people. He looks at the motifs of violence and misogyny for which it is condemned, at the myths and realities of crossover, and at accusations that hip hop is merely the newest form of blaxploitation. George turns hip hop over and looks at it as a music, a style, a language, a business, a myth and a moral force, and when he's done it's clear why this book is not called The Death of Rhythm & Rap. Far from being the most marketable pathology in the world, as its critics have feared and sneered, hip hop has a dynamic energy and a message that plays directly across the map of the mainstream - which is why it has held its steady grip on American popular culture against all odds for over twenty years.
[S.l.] : Penguin Group US, 2005
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Nelson George offers an insider's tour through a multimedia phenomenon of which rap music is only the audible manifestation. Available as a downloadable ebook through 3M.