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New York Ricans From the Hip Hop Zone Hardcover – December 20, 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions in Latino American Cultures
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st edition (December 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403960437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403960436
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,948,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this brief, scholarly book, freelance journalist Rivera acknowledges Puerto Ricans for their contributions to hip-hop music over the past 30 years. It's debatable just how much credit is deserved, considering Rivera comes up with only a handful of recognizable players who predate the culture-wide "Latino boom" of the past few years-Fat Joe, Angie Martinez and the late Big Punisher, the biggest-selling Latino rapper of all time. But she still crafts a persuasive revisionist history through painstaking research and original reporting. She points out that while Puerto Ricans and African-Americans collaborated to create hip-hop in the early 1970s South Bronx and shared a ghetto-based entitlement, Puerto Ricans had to "step lightly through the identity minefield." For much of the 1980s and '90s, Puerto Ricans' "participation and entitlement" were questioned as hip-hop became more exclusively African American. Many Puerto Rican performers further alienated themselves from the hip-hop center by embracing Latino culture and rapping in Spanish, while others identified more strongly with African Americans and downplayed their Caribbean roots. Since the mid-'90s, of course, hip-hop has begun to embrace Latino culture (such as J. Lo) for better or worse; Rivera is troubled by rap's Latino stereotypes of sexy "Butta Pecan Ricans" and "tough-guy papi chulos." The only serious difficulty with this useful book is in navigating Rivera's oft-impenetrable academese ("Behind inclusion lies the specter of subsumption and dismissal"). Then again, Rivera, who has a doctorate in sociology, may have intended this work for a liberal arts classroom: it's clearly not for the b-boys and b-girls.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


"...makes a noteworthy statement in the chapters of the Nuyorican Diaspora."--Aurora Flores, VIVA Magazine / New York Daily News
"Rivera's style, craft, and depth make this pioneering yet thoroughly accessible work a commendable addition..."--Bill Piekarski, Library Journal 3/1/03
"Author Raquel Rivera explains the significance of Nuyorican and Latin influences throughout the history of hip-hop music and culture."--The Source 4/1/03
"painstaking research and original reporting" -- Publishers Weekly

More About the Author

Raquel Z. Rivera is an author, scholar and singer-songwriter.

Author of New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone (Palgrave Macmillan 2003) and co-editor of Reggaeton (Duke University Press), she has also published numerous articles on Caribbean and Latino popular music and culture. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology and is Affiliated Scholar at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, New York City. Her areas of scholarly interest are popular music and culture, race and ethnicity, nation and diaspora, and the intersections between Latino and Africana studies.

Her musical debut as singer-songwriter is Las 7 Salves de La Magdalena / 7 Songs of Praise for The Magdalene (2010). Her songs weave together Dominican salves, Puerto Rican jibaro music, bomba and other Caribbean roots genres with a neo-folk approach that is quirky, playful and heartfelt.

Born in Puerto Rico, she has lived in New York City since 1994.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
finally theres a book out there that latinos of all cultures can relate to, and luckily for myself, Raquel Z. Rivera, was my professor for my Puerto Rican Culture class, and to be able to read her book and hear her story was learning experience i am very grateful for. read this book and you will learn much more than just about hip hop, you learn about struggle and identity, and how being puerto rican goes so much more further than what people assume.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vato-Curandero on April 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. As a Latino who from the Northeast who is now in his mid-20s, I remember the breakdancing craze and many of the hip hop artists Rivera writes about, who were big during my childhood.

One of the book's strengths is Rivera's attention to social and historical conditions that led to cultural production and social solidarity between Blacks and Puerto Ricans in New York City. As a non-Puerto Rican Latino, I've long been fascinated by the high degree of solidarity and unity between Blacks and Ricans, and Rivera's research shed much light on this topic.

Fortunately, I had the chance to meet Rivera shortly after reading this boook when she attended a seminar on Latino influence in hip hop in Philadelphia. She's a good author and a great person. Read this book, if you have an interest in either Latino Studies or hip hop's old school days.
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