Saturday, December 01, 2007

New Book?

I just finished reading Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang, and it was pretty good. It essentially traces hip-hop from its origins in the Bronx to the present. I think Chang does a really good job of putting everything into historical perspective, blending the important events of the day and the important events in NYC or LA with how those events impacted hip hop culture and vice versa. I also enjoyed the fact that the book wasn't just about music, but about hip hop culture in general, discussing (in addition to music) graffiti artists, b-boys and other dancers, cultural and political activism, and street gangs, among other hip-hop-related topics. The parts about the gangs were good, mainly since street gangs are always interesting. I also thoroughly enjoyed the section on N.W.A. My only complaint is that there was practically nothing on Tupac or Biggy.

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. Maybe some literotica to freak everyone on the train out. Or turn them on.


i am the wall rust said...

tupac and big have very little to do with hip hop. they were rappers. there's a difference. big was actually more hip hop than pac, but his influence on hip hop since his death has been pretty minimal. tupac has inspired several wanna-be's...such as, for example, ja rule. thankfully it looks as if gangsta rap is dead--for the time being.

hopefully there wasnt much on jay-z--perhaps the most overrated hip hopper of them all. had tupac and big not died, jay would still be relegated to the sale rack.

GMYH said...

There was little (if anything) on Jay-Z.

Yes, I know Tupac and B.I.G. were rappers, but the book discussed other rappers in great length (including, but not limited to, NWA, Ice Cube solo, Public Enemy, and several rap pioneers (Grandmaster Flash, Sugarhill Gang, Bambaataa)). It's a fairly blurred line between hip hop and rap, and this book discussed both genres. All I'm saying is that I would have liked there to be more about Tupac and Biggie.

Raymond said...

I am not sure how you can distinguish which rap artists were hip hop and which ones were not. I always saw Hip Hop as a globe and Rap was one of the biggest continents on that globe. That is just me.

I would argue that both Pac and Biggie had enormous influence on the current hip hop community. Ready to Die was a tremendous story. Pac and Big were the greatest story tellers in Hip Hop since Rakim. I hope to god the book mentioned Rakim.