The big players in the music industry still very much controlled by the old, rich, exclusively white corporates got the message loud and clear: hip-hop could be exploited for financial gain, but it was not to be a platform for radical politics. It brought a new perspective to the music for me and had me digging for countless albums for weeks. Are the publishers trying to send a whole generation of readers blind? Can you pitch in a few bucks to help fund Mother Jones' investigative journalism? Me, I think it's straight-up fucking beautiful that these guys and a few girls choose to 'battle' with words, frequently on streetcorners or in the park or on the subway with nothing more than a ghetto blaster or a guy beatboxing making the beat with his mouth or - so I hear, these days - a fucking mobile phone churning out the backing. If the topic interests you, read it. The book is as much a cultural history as a music history. And yet, very fun and accessible. Chang jumps between decades and locales, skipping around in time and constantly i Panoramic biography of hip-hop: its birth, flourishing, and growing pains.
It turned into battles like who could out rap who and the beats got faster and better. It's the Karate Kid of rap movies! One of my favorite chapters is about Ice Cube's Death Warrant, the uber-macho gangster rap album that Chang first made me appreciate by showing how it evolved out of the race politics that defined L. We were born here to die. I was sad to miss Chang when he visited Powell's last week, wishing I could have gave him props for his efforts. Jeff Chang is hip-hop's John Reed. Nostalgia for the early days and in particular the sounds of the 90's is flooding through me.
The sections on the downfall of quality radio stations in the 90s to the 1996 Telecommunications Act, as well as his dissection of why popular music got shitty in the late 90s were surprising additions to his already eloquent discussion of hip-hop. How could one accept a definition of a Hip Hop Generation which excluded the culture's pioneers, like Kool Herc and Afrika Bombaataa, for being born too early? He's both fascinating and frustrating, but more the former than the later. Martin's Press in Octobe Jeff Chang has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music. The gap between rich and poor, and between people of colour and whites, was growing at an incredible rate, as was the prison population. Chang knows his stuff, and whether he's talking about gang wars in the Bronx, block parties and Jamaican sound systems or the birth of turntablism, his passion for his subject shines through.
Best book I read all of last year! Maybe some people would find this annoying, but I liked it. I thought it added psychological depth. I could go on about the amount of interesting and relevant detail which was omitted in favor of the filler mentioned in the previous paragraph, but I will stop now : Overall, a great read. Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop became the Esperanto of youth rebellion and a generation-defining movement. Hip-hop may have started in the South Bronx and been baptized in South Central, but its detour through Staten Island birthed the greatest rap collective ever. These are undoubtedly important sociological issues to discuss, but I simply feel a book on music is not the best venue for doing so. Who does hip-hop belong to, if anyone? Can't Stop Won't Stop is a dense little volume, telling the story of hip-hop alongside the stories of polarizing housing and economic reforms, police brutality, drug trafficking, and the fight inner-city communities have put up to surv I've spent a long time craving the perfect history of hip-hop.
There is so much about America that I don't know. As someone who's read works by James Q. Over the next 40 years, Rap transforms a generation, becomes the voice of a generation, and takes its place in the history of American popular music as Hip-Hop. This book has helped to put that criticism into context. Hip-hop culture realigned itself and re-imagined its roots, representing itself now as a rap thing, a serious thing, a Black thing. Not because Chang doesn't write clearly, because he does.
Another aspect of the book is the tension between culture and commerce, a perpetual inspiration to the hip-hop generation. Wu-Tang Clan is my favorite rap group so I'm definitely biased here and I counted a grand total of 2 references to what is arguably one of the most influential and commercially successful acts of all time. In other words, a generation come of age in the 70's and 80's - this book goes beyond the music, beyond the four elements to encompass the sociocultural trends of what was happening during the time period. This is one of the most urgent and passionate histories of popular music ever written. Chang jumps between decades and locales, skipping around in time and constantly introducing new subplots. Having given a brilliant description of the hip-hop generation, charting its highs and lows, Chang resists the temptation to give a prescription as to what needs to happen for hip-hop to regain its radical essence.
He doesn't slow down to spell things out, though, so the more prior knowledge you bring to this book, the more you'll appreciate it. Thing is a all rap isn't gangsta rap, and b gangsta rap uses genre conventions to generate excitement, make you laugh and entertain you, just like your favourite thriller. So over there you had the hip hop and over here we had what they called Trip Hop. Clair Drake Teaching Award at Stanford University. It is essentially a people's history. The South Bronx was a place of rapid economic deterioration, having lost 600,000 manufacturing jobs in the late 60s and early 70s. I'm a history buff and to see my own popular and personal experience as one from this generation tho' not a hip-hop head, per se laid out end to end on a chronology with a more comprehensive context, to lay it bare so I could make deeper connections, start to understand such divergent yet sometimes inherently cogent energies, was a reading journey I deeply appreciated.
Hip-hop crystallized a multiracial generation's worldview, and forever transformed politics and culture. More importantly, Chang's incredible research - really, amazing - is undermined by an overly simplistic political frame, which you could pretty much describe as 'Fuck the Man. This book belongs on your shelf next to Criminal Minded, Illmatic and All Eyez On Me. Something light and fun and interesting. Can you pitch in a few bucks to help fund Mother Jones' investigative journalism? Samy Alim, he received the St. In 1990, Neil Howe and William Strauss both baby boomers and self-described social forecasters set forth 'a neatly parsed theory of American generations in their book, Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069.