Multcolib My Librarian Karen E: A hip-hop primer
Annotation:The definitive history of the culture known as Hip-Hop, Jeff Chang traces the foundations from Jamaica to the South Bronx. A fascinating account of its humble beginnings, a better history has yet to be written. Especially well done is the section on hip-hop's rise on the West Coast.
Annotation:This is a helpful guide for beginners, more experienced emcees, and hip-hop listeners. Paul Edwards uses quotes he acquired from interviews with a huge variety of emcees, from E-40 to Aesop Rock, to guide the narrative. All of the essential elements of emceeing are broken down into 4 helpful parts: content, flow, writing, and delivery. Edwards even creates a 'flow diagram,' which is an easy-to-follow notation system for how rhythm and rhymes work.
Annotation:A quality sequel that goes beyond the first installment and explores more of the tools that your favorite rapper employs. Edwards' interviews a whole new cast of artists so they can shed light on techniques like triplet rhyming and breaking rhyme patterns.
Annotation:On this four-decade-long journey from the studios where the first rap records were made to the boardrooms where the big deals were inked, "The Big Payback" tallies the list of who lost and who won along the 40-year road to hip-hop's dominance.
Annotation:Bradley Adams convinces readers of the emcee's place in the upper echelon's of today's poetry. He explores hip-hop's history and its most memorable lyricists. A must-read.
Annotation:In 1994, a 19-year-old in Queens, New York, recorded what is arguably the greatest hip-hop record, or at the least, a classic that remains contemporary even today. In Born to Use Mics, each chapter is written by a different hip-hop scholar on a song from Illmatic. A unique take on analyzing an important record.
Annotation:Michael Eric Dyson has long been at the forefront of hip-hop scholarship and is a must-read author for those interested in hip-hop. Know What I Mean examines hip-hop music and culture within the context of our current society and his observations are insightful.
Annotation:Never one to shy away from sensitive topics, Tricia Rose is a commendable voice in the culture. Any of her books are quality, thought-provoking works and The Hip-Hop Wars is no different. From a local to a national level, anyone involved in hip-hop can relate to this book.
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The culture and music of hip-hop has a rich history that spans the last 40 years. In order to know where to take it, one must know where it's been. Here is a selection of books on different facets of hip-hop history, such as its history in the world of business, hip-hop as poetry, and a how-to guide for aspiring emcees. They were chosen by Portland's own MC, Mighty Misc (aka my son).