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10 books about hip-hop
Pick up one of these featured titles on hip-hop in May 2021.
Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop (CLARKSON POTTER) by Vikki Tobak
This book was published 3 years ago by Clarkson Potter and takes approximately 9.6 hours to read.
Featuring rare outtakes from over 100 photoshoots alongside interviews and essays from industry legends, Contact High- A Visual History of Hip-Hoptakes 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.
Promise That You Will Sing About Me: The Power and Poetry of Kendrick Lamar by Miles Marshall Lewis
Category: History & Criticism
This book was published this year by St. Martin's Press and takes approximately 8.5 hours to read.
From pop culture critic and music journalist Miles Marshall Lewis comes a book about the power and poetry of Kendrick Lamar! Kendrick Lamar is one of the most influential rappers, songwriters and record producers of his generation. Widely known for his incredible lyrics and powerful music, he is regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time. Promise That You Will Sing About Me explores Kendrick Lamar's life, his roots, his music, his lyrics, and how he has shaped the musical landscape of this generation. With incredible graphic design, quotes, lyrics and commentary from Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alicia Garza and more, this book provides an in-depth look at how Kendrick came to be who he is today, his world, how he creates his lyrics and music, and how he revolutionizes the music industry from the inside.
The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed by Shea Serrano
Category: History & Criticism
This book was published 6 years ago by Harry N. Abrams and takes approximately 8.0 hours to read.
The Rap Year Book takes readers on a journey that begins in 1979, widely regarded as the moment rap became recognized as part of the cultural and musical landscape, and comes right up to the present. Shea Serrano deftly pays homage to the most important song of each year. Serrano also examines the most important moments that surround the history and culture of rap music--from artists' backgrounds to issues of race, the rise of hip-hop, and the struggles among its major players--both personal and professional. Covering East Coast and West Coast, famous rapper feuds, chart toppers, and show stoppers, The Rap Year Book is an in-depth look at the most influential genre of music to come out of the last generation. Complete with infographics, lyric maps, hilarious and informative footnotes, portraits of the artists, and short essays by other prominent music writers, The Rap Year Book is both a narrative and illustrated guide to the most iconic and influential rap songs ever created.
The History of Gangster Rap: From Schoolly D to Kendrick Lamar by Soren Baker
Category: History & Criticism
This book was published 3 years ago by Harry N. Abrams and takes approximately 10.1 hours to read.
The History of Gangster Rap is a deep dive into one of the most fascinating subgenres of any music category to date. Sixteen detailed chapters, organized chronologically, examine the evolution of gangster rap, its main players, and the culture that created this revolutionary music. From still-swirling conspiracy theories about the murders of Biggie and Tupac to the release of the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton, the era of gangster rap is one that fascinates music junkies and remains at the forefront of pop culture. Filled with interviews with key players such as Snoop Dogg, Ice-T, and dozens more, as well as sidebars, breakout bios of notorious characters, lists, charts, and more, The History of Gangster Rap is the be-all-end-all book that contextualizes the importance of gangster rap as a cultural phenomenon.
The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur
Category: Photography & Video
This book was published 12 years ago by MTV Books and takes approximately 5.9 hours to read.
A collection of verse by the late hip-hop star Tupac Shakur includes more than one hundred poems confronting such wide-ranging topics as poverty, motherhood, Van Gogh, and Mandela.
Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation (PICADOR USA) by Jeff Chang
Category: History & Criticism
This book was published 16 years ago by Picador and takes approximately 18.2 hours to read.
Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop has been a generation-defining global movement. In a post-civil rights era rapidly transformed by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop gave voiceless youths a chance to address these seismic changes, and became a job-making engine and the Esperanto of youth rebellion. Hip-hop crystallized a multiracial generation's worldview, and forever transformed politics and culture. But the epic story of how that happened has never been fully told . . . until now.
The Tao of Wu by The RZA
This book was published 11 years ago by Riverhead Books and takes approximately 7.5 hours to read.
The leader of the Wu-Tang Clan describes his rise from a Staten Island-projects youth to an international performance artist, explaining the spiritual beliefs that he credits with his successes.
Damn Son Where Did You Find This?: A Book about US Hiphop Mixtape Cover Art by Tobias Hansson
This book was published 4 years ago by Koenig Books and takes approximately 4.9 hours to read.
Damn Son Where Did You Find This? is the first book ever to focus on the cover art of the modern US hiphop mixtape. A visual world that reached unseen levels at the turn of the millennium, uncensored, unregulated and extreme, it is a the most anarchic of all genres of graphic design.Freed from major label guidelines, lawyer opinions and moral hindrances the designers featured in this seminal book are truly unique - something that is hard to come by in today's global world of intertwined visual tendencies.Along with 500 cover artworks from designers KidEight, Miami Kaos, Mike Rev, Tansta & Skrilla, including interviews with artists and DJs which tell the stories of how they slipped into the hiphop mixtape industry.They take us through the creative process, how visual trends have come and gone, moral hazards and how designing mixtape covers changed the trajectories of their lives.This book is a document showing the work of five extraordinary Adobe Photoshop wizards who day after day, get up, draw up an epic scene centered around one or more rappers, and finish it off with blazing typography, all in the matter of a couple of hours and for as many hundred dollars.Created by graphic designer Michael Thorsby, and media producer Tobias Hansson
The Marathon Don't Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle by Rob Kenner
Category: Arts & Literature
This book was published this year by Atria Books and takes approximately 14.9 hours to read.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The first in-depth biography of Nipsey Hussle, the hip hop mogul, artist, and activist whose transformative legacy inspired a generation with his motivational lyrics and visionary business savvy—before he was tragically shot down in the very neighborhood he was dedicated to building up. In the ten years since he first met Nipsey Hussle in the offices of Vibe, journalist Rob Kenner followed Hussle’s career, paying close attention to the music and business movement he was building in Los Angeles. Ten years later, they spoke again. To Kenner, it became clear that Hussle had been underestimated his entire life—not just for his artistry but also for his intellect and intentions. For Nipsey Hussle, “The Marathon” was more than a mixtape title or the name of a clothing store; it was a way of life, a metaphor for the relentless pursuit of excellence and the willpower required to overcome adversity day after day. Hussle was determined to win the race to success on his own terms, and he wanted to see his whole community in the winner’s circle with him. Combining on-the-ground reporting and candid interviews with Hussle’s friends, family, and peers, The Marathon Don’t Stop traces the life and work of an extraordinary artist, placing him in historical context and unpacking his complex legacy. For the first time ever, members of his inner circle will speak about the man they knew and his determination to maintain integrity amidst the treacherous extremes of street life and the rap game. The Marathon Don’t Stop is a journalistic account of Nipsey Hussle’s life and times, making sense of the forces that shaped a singular figure in hip hop culture.
We estimate total reading time by multiplying a book's page count by an average reading speed of 2 minutes per page. Summaries sourced from Google Books.
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