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Best Critical History of Hip Hop
March 25, 2014 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Please give my your recommendations for the best book on the history of hip hop, that includes critical appraisals of the performers and groups, and a discography, and that is available in ebook format. If hip hop as a whole is too broad a topic, I'd accept a book with a narrower focus on just East Coast stuff, or just New York stuff.
posted by Ipsifendus to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know much about hip hop, but I found Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree to be well done and fantastically accessible for a relative ignoramus on the subject.
posted by Etrigan at 10:27 AM on March 25 [2 favorites]


The two best books I know are:

Can't Stop Won't Stop, by Jeff Chang

Hip Hop America, by Nelson George

I haven't read this one, but knowing what I know about ?uestlove, I think you might really love this:

Check the Technique Go to amazon and just look at the table of contents.

All of these are about the earlier period in hip hop/rap, because I'm old.
posted by janey47 at 10:52 AM on March 25 [2 favorites]


I was going to say Can't Stop Won't Stop as well. Chang also edited a cool anthology of essays on Hip-Hop aesthetics/history/etc. called Total Chaos.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:54 AM on March 25


Available as eBooks:
* The Anthology of Rap
* Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation
* Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies
* And It Don't Stop: The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years

Not available as eBooks, but highly recommended all the same:
* The Vibe History of Hip Hop
* Rakim Told Me: Wax Facts Straight from the Original Artists
* Yes Yes Y'All: The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip-Hop's First Decade

Seconding Etrigan's recommendation for Hip Hop Family Tree; the second volume will be released later this year, and it's a gorgeous read.
posted by evoque at 11:00 AM on March 25 [1 favorite]


Rap Attack by David Toop
posted by rhizome at 11:38 AM on March 25


nthing Can't Stop Won't Stop
The Poetics of Hip Hop is really good too, 'though that's not historical
posted by angrycat at 11:51 AM on March 25


There were some great answers in this previous ask.
posted by msbubbaclees at 12:55 PM on March 25


There's a God on the Mic by Kool Moe Dee.

Not en eBook, but should be available through most libraries.
posted by 99percentfake at 3:19 PM on March 25


You do want Can't Stop Won't Stop.
posted by cashman at 3:22 PM on March 25


My hip hop and the African American experience prof used Rap Music and Street Consciousness, and it's a solid book though my only beef would be that it's been ten years since she put it out, so it's not totally current.
posted by klangklangston at 4:28 PM on March 25


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