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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (December 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312242980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312242985
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A must-have for any rap aficionado. (Russell Simmons)

Essential brain-food for hungry hip hoppers. (Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Editor-in-Chief, The Source)

The best book I've ever read-and I can't read! (Chris Rock)

About the Author

Sacha Jenkins-much like rap great KRS One-is hip hip. Sachy-Sach, his sister Dominiqe, and

their artistically inclined, Haitian-born mom-dukes, Monart, moved to Astoria, Queens, NY from

Silver Springs, MD in the summer of 1977. Their Philadelphia, PA-reared, filmmaking/Emmy

Award-winning pop-dukes, Horace was already living in NYC at the time (100th Street & Central

Park West, to be exact...blocks away from the infamous Rock Steady Park). During the school

week, young Sacha spent his post three o'clock days playing stickball and skelly. Then...

1980: Sacha was blessed by an elder with an instrument of destruction that would forever change

his life. "PK," a local subway scrawler with some inter-borough celebrity, handed the young boy

a very juiced-up Pilot magic marker.


1988: Inspired by a the International Graffiti Times (a rag published by aerosol legend Phase 2

and David Schmidlap), Sacha would put together Graphic Scenes & X-plicit Language-a zine

dedicated to, yep, graf. And poetry. And anti-Gulf War rants. And humor. And towards the end,

in 1991, music.

1992: Beat Down, America's first hip hop newspaper, is launched by Sacha and a childhood

friend have a falling out. Bye bye, Black bird.

June, 1994: Ego Trip magazine is born.

1996: Sacha writes for Vibe, Rolling Stone, and Spin. He gets a Writer-At-Large then Music

Editor gig at Vibe.

Present: In his spare time, Sacha likes to play guitar, collect Planet of the Apes action figures and

listen to rap that isn't wack. He's a Leo.


In the summer of 1992, armed with his worthless LaGuardia Community College Associate Arts

degree, mulatto-born Elliot Wilson attempted to connect with The Source to no avail. Frustrated

20and full of half-black rage, Wilson vowed to one day show his smarmy colleagues in the world

of hip hop journalism what a tragic mistake they had made.


Befriending fellow W.C. Bryant High School alum Sacha Jenkins and L.C.C. student Haji

Akhigbade, Wilson became the Music Editor of the duo's burgeoning rap newspaper, Beat

Down. After the trio disbanded in the fall of '93, Wilson encouraged Jenkins to give the

publishing game another shot and the seasoned salt-and-pepper duo began to conceptualize

Ego Trip.


Wilson soon realized, however, that one cannot eat off props alone. When not contributing

toward ground-breaking. When not contributing toward ground-breaking Ego Trip scriptures,

he actively freelanced for Vibe, Rap Pages, Rap Sheet, Time Out New York and Paper. In 1995,

he endured a brief-but-successful stint as an Associate Editor at CMJ New Music Report where

he solidified the indie rock trade rag's hip hop coverage.


But it was in 1996 that he would enjoy a particularly sweet payback when he was wooed from

CMJ to become The Source's Music Editor. During his two-year tenure, he helped propel the

already established publication to the country's top-selling music title.


From Q-borough underachiever to Big Willie publishing mogul and now author, Elliot Jesse

Wilson Jr. is a living testament that dreams can and do come true.


Toiling for years as a truck-driving production assistant on the New York commercial filmmaking

scene, New York University graduate Chairman Mao needed direction. An aspiring DJ, his

addiction to acquiring wax had depleted his bank account. But in 1992, his chance meeting with an

ambitious young publishing entrepreneur/film intern named Sacha Jenkins introduced an

absurd solution to these fiscal woes-entering the world of music journalism! Mao began

contributing to Jenkins' Beat Down magazine in exchange for complimentary promotional

copies of hip hop records. He couldn't believe his luck.


Mao eventually exploited this writing scam so well that he actually began earning rent money

with his new vocation. While becoming a fundamental cog within Jenkins' and partner Elliot

Wilson's next publishing foray, Ego Trip, Mao enlightened Rolling Stone, Spin, Entertainment

Weekly and Vibe with his critical musings. Amongst his most noteworthy assignments: his

guest editorship for Rap Pages acclaimed DJ Issue in April of 1996 and is profile of The

Notorious B.I.G. in April of 1997 for the cover of The Source shortly before the rapper's

untimely death.


Currently Ego Trip's Editor-in-Chief and a Vibe Writer-at-Large, Mao still can't believe he

possesses a job that doesn't require him to sweep floors and chauffeur ad agency assholes.

When not clocking long-but-gratifying hours at ET's NYC HQ, he can be found in a record

store near you digging for archival additions to his now 20,000-piece strong record library.


Gabriel Alvarez was a long-haired, 20-year-old, L.A.-born Mexican with glasses trying to find a

job in 1991. The odds were against him. Nobody wanted him. The only alternative? Intern for

gratis at the latest magazine acquisition of Hustler publishing magnate Larry Flynt. Film Threat

was a cool, anti-Hollywood, punk rock-type rag that gave the mainstream film press the kind of

kick in the ass it needed. Alvarez quickly elevated to the position of Associate Editor.


Two years later, however, it was time to move on and Alvarez began working for another Flynt

publication. Rap Pages was a hip hop mag that needed new creative energies to help it realize its

potential. As Managing Editor, Alvarez expelled plenty of blood, sweat and tears and featured

special graffiti, DJ and breakdance issues that intrigued a growing readership. Another three

years later, though, it was time to roll the dice again.


His next job opportunity came in 1996 in the enticing form of Ego Trip, and amazingly creative

magazine outta New York City, that made him an offer he couldn't refuse: a Managing Editor

position demanding lots of hard work but no money. Displaying the sage decision-making skills

that have guided his entire career, Alvarez immediately packs his bags and heads for the

Rotten Apple. He begins freelancing extensively for The Source and Vibe. His status as an

important critical voice grows. He even cuts his hair. He couldn't be happier. Or more broke.


Alternately known as Asparagus, Prima, Gor-gee, Half-Black, Kinda-Black, Brent Rollins or

Milton Reese (depending on the time of day), Brent Rollins, ET's full-time Art Director and

part-time scribe, is the original "Afrocentric Asian, half man/half-amazin'."


But whatever he's called, he's called often by the entertainment biz. Before graduating from

UCLA with a BFA, Rollins had the fortunate opportunity to cut his teeth designing logos for films

like Spike Lee's Mo Better Blues and John Singleton's Boyz N The Hood as well as interning

at Fattal and Collins Design & Advertising. He punctuated his college career by creating graphics

for a FOX Network variety show, revamping the identity for TV's historic Soul Train and

studying for a French exam all during his senior finals week. C'est incroyable!


However, it was his subsequent two-year bid (1994-1996) as Art Director for Rap Pages magazine

which honed Rollins' talents. Since then, he's serviced clients such as Miramax Films, ICM, A&M,

Mo' Wax and SoleSide Records. Along the way, he's also created art for the Pharcyde, The

Notorious B.I.G., Gang Starr, Sir Menelik, Black Star, and The Refugee Project charity

organization. Between maintaining the 24/7 grind that has put food on his table and made his mom

proud, the design veteran continues to champion the maligned and forgotten genre of "weirdo-

rap." Big time.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
87%
4 star
10%
3 star
3%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 30 customer reviews
The amount of information packed into this book is amazing.
R. A. Freeman
You really need to have a deep love for hip-hop to appreciate this amazing book.
Richard
A great browsing book that will eventually have you reading cover to cover.
R. Riis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Andrea on November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
this book is a wonderful blend of information and irreverant humor. you can find everything about rap under the sun--from the first hip hop record ever recorded to what rappers are related to what songs slick rick wishes he had written. there are also list from lauryn hill, slick rick, big boi (of oukast) and dj premier, just to name a few. if you think you know everything there is to know about rap, you don't. but you will after reading this book!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMAD HALL OF FAME on December 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
this book has so many topics and is alot of fun.the best mc's,best rivials on wax,free-style.songs that mention po-po problems,cars,sex,girls,drugs,clothes,hoods,and dreams etc.. very well written.it gives another insight to the rap world that most folks don't hear about.the rappers that have worked with michael jackson and lauyrn hill's all-time favorite artists.2pac segement that will have you thinking? puffy gets dissed so much on record it ain't even funny.it's as important as anything that rolling stone has put out period in there history.must have book.fun,insightful,and a piece of history.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By G. Carr on November 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Pretty much everything that needs to be said has already been said here about this incredible book. Yes this book can rightly be considered the BIBLE of hip-hop history. Not only is it informative and entertaining, but it's done with tongue-in-cheek humor.

Now the reason why my review is biased is because I'm fortunate enough to be listed in this book. In 1983 I was part of the group Rickey G & the EverLOVING 5 MC's and we recorded the single "To The Max". Well... as far as I knew it was played a couple of times by Mr. Magic in New York, and that was about it. Yet lo and behold it's listed on the Holy Grail that is Hip Hop's Greatest Singles by Year (1983). The Editor's of this book have Exquisite Taste... but that's just my humble opinion. But in all seriousness, anyone who loves Hip Hop will thoroughly LOVE this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ego Trip unfortunately no longer exists as a magazine, but this book should be remembered as their most significant contribution to hip-hop as a cultural icon. It doesn't attempt to be objective--many of the lists reflect the originator's tastes and biases (see for example "Women Russell Simmons Wishes He Could Have Dated Before He Got Married")--but it does attempt to be thorough. From hip-hop history to fads to speculation on Tupac's death, Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists covers it all with tongue in cheek. Best of all, it doesn't attempt to glorify or deify--and they have pictures of the Biz Markie puppet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Freeman on August 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
The best critics truely love the art that they are critiquing. That is what is so special about this book. Don't let the title fool you this isn't a book of a bunch of top ten lists. In fact the list format makes it alot easier to read. The amount of information packed into this book is amazing. No book on rap, period, can compare to it. They start at the very begining and bring it right up to 1999. The writers for Ego Trip were satirical of a lot of things that surrounded hip-hop but, never in the typical sense. They love the music and it shows. Any person who has more than a passing interest in hip-hop deserves to read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Lazaro on June 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This highly debatable book of top/best/worst lists of hip hop culture is a must have for all hip hop heads! It makes a great conversational piece, and has opinions that run the gamut of old school and "new school" lists...

however... the opinions of the book ARE DATED...

This book was published in 1999, and so if you weren't into hip hop by then, then some of the lists will strike you oddly (I myself would ask what about Kanye? The Game? Lil Wayne? Bun B? Ludacris???... until I saw the publishing date, lol)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason Flint on May 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is one of my favorite books to read. It has everything i mean EVERYTHING you need to know about the rap game. You think you know it all huh? Playa think again. Cause they had all types of stuff that most people dont know about. Everything from beefs, orignal names, how people came up, best of lists, man they got it all. That must've took mad researching to come up with all that. Get this book, trust me, you won't need any other book. This book got it all. And its tight to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
ego trip knows it all. they have compiled every miscellaneous hip hop fact in this book, as well as many of their own opinions, some of which had me sayin "man, ego trip don't know ish". this book was destined to cause controversy between hip hop headz. as excellent a book as i expected from my favorite magazine. bring it back ya'll!
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