From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up–This title offers a few fascinating twists that others books on the topic don't. The set has a more scholarly bent than many other available works on the subculture and delves into the lives and impact of the practitioners who were and are most representative of a geographical area. Readers will be treated to a study of hip hop as it was and is practiced in a host of areas throughout the United States, including the Bronx, Harlem, Houston, Boston, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and (in the most fascinating read of all) Hawaii, and in parts of Europe. Each essay examines a specific city, providing profiles of major artists and chronicling the progression of the style there, from its introduction to the present day. The articles are followed by a bibliography, a further-reading list, and a selected discography for each artist. Text boxes further explain concepts or provide more detail on a club, a park, or an event. Most of the set's few photographs are grainy and lack clarity. Still, this is a must-have for hip-hop fans.Carol Jones Collins, Hanover Park High School, East Hanover, NJ
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• Offers a unique regional emphasis highlighting diverse styles of rap in a way general encyclopedias on the subject miss
• Shows how each place contributes to a distinctive type of hip hop music and culture
• Includes revealing interviews with Run DMC, Da Beatminerz, The Force MDs, Hawaiian group Sudden Rush, and other artists
• Covers this pop culture phenomenon in a way that appeals to students and fans—but with a solid academic perspective that meets 21st-century curriculum standards for history and culture
• 24 essays in two volumes on U.S. cities that have developed distinctive hip hop identities, from New York and Los Angeles to surprising locations such as Minneapolis and Honolulu
• 20 contributors, each an established expert with connections to the location they are describing
• Nearly 100 images of key personalities, clubs, cities, and scenes
• A chronology highlighting the pivotal moments in the history of hip hop in the United States, from its African and Caribbean origins to the recent rise of Southern rap (Outkast, Ludacris, Lil Wayne)
• A rich bibliography of print and online sources for further exploration
• A comprehensive index of people, places, songs, and terms
"This two-volume reference profiles 23 local hip hop scenes across the US, from the Bronx to Honolulu, with a particular focus on the social contexts that fostered the hip hop styles of each region. Writing is intended to appeal to students and fans, but with an academic perspective that meets curriculum standards for history and culture. A 20-page introduction reviews the importance of geographical location in hip hop. Volume I covers the East and West coasts, and Volume II covers the Midwest, the South, and beyond. Each regional essay describes the history and current status of the local scene, touching on influential artists, label owners, clubs, and radio shows. The reference is illustrated with about 100 B&W photos of personalities and clubs, and includes interviews with key figures, a chronology, and indexes of people, places, songs, and terms."
Reference & Research Book News
"This set provides an excellent historical perspective of the development of hip-hop music and culture in the United States. Urban public libraries and academic libraries supporting curricula in modern culture, sociology, and yes, even music, will find it a welcome addition to their music collections."
Library Journal, Starred Review
"Hess' lengthy introduction and detailed time line demonstrate the depth in which he has researched this topic, making this work an important addition to public or academic libraries."
"This title offers a few fascinating twists that others books on the topic don't. . . . this is a must-have for hip-hop fans."
School Library Journal
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