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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: 0.8 x 7.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"You hold in your hands a powerful tool, a document rich in humor and obsessive devotion.
Packed with history and compulsively readable, Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists is bound to spark
as many arguments as it settles. Buy the damn thing." --Joe Levy, Music Editor, Rolling Stone

"A must-have for any rap aficionado." --Russell Simmons

"Fearlessly funny, encyclopedic in scope, and sure to start more beef than Oscar Mayer, this
book-like everything Ego Trip touches-is pure hip hop." --Alan Light, Editor-in-Chief, Spin

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

"A wealth of useful information on one of the four elements of hip hop. Wow! Who had time for
this?" --Danny Hoch

"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.

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 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

30 of 31 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 mistermaxxx08 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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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 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By big al on January 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
this book is all and everything about hiphop. u can find anything from mia x's favorite recipre to cee-lo's favorite rock bands. this book gives great explanations of why they chose what they chose. it also gives reccomendations so now i can pick up some good old school hiphop i didn't know about. if ego trip still existed as a magazine i'd subscribe today. the writing is brilliant and is displayed in hilariou sfashion so you don't get bored. there are also lots of pictures of the biz markie puppet. what morecould a hiphop fan want from a book? if you want some insightful reading on hiphop or are a hiphop fan pick this wonderful book up. peace out.
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2 of 2 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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2 of 2 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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