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The New H.N.I.C.: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop Hardcover – January 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0814798959 ISBN-10: 0814798950

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The New H.N.I.C.: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop + Am I Black Enough for You?: Popular Culture from the 'Hood and Beyond + Young, Black, Rich, and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, the Hip Hop Invasion, and the Transformation of American Culture
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 169 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814798950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814798959
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,946,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This misguided thesis takes its title from the first solo album by Prodigy of the rap group Mobb Deep, H.N.I.C. ("Head Nigga in Charge"). Boyd (critical studies, Univ. of Southern California, Sch. of Cinema-Television) intends to illustrate the pervasive influence of hip-hop, to the point that it obliterated the effects of the Civil Rights Movement. However, he fails to provide ample evidence: after dismissing Martin Luther King and others' efforts in a mere three pages, he pontificates on comedian Chris Rock and hip-hopreneur Russell Simmons, among other topics, in prose that mixes poststructuralist rhetoric ("tropes") with gutter slang ("muthafucka"). In addition to that problematic polarity, the book is shot through with sweeping generalizations, distorted braggadocio, and a tired, threadbare caucasophobia. All in all, Boyd talks more about himself than the music and movement. Scholars seeking a deconstructionist perspective on rap music will be far better served by Russell Porter's Spectacular Vernaculars: Hip-Hop and the Politics of Postmodernism. A collection of cogent, insightful interviews with rap pioneers, It's Not About a Salary: Hiphop in Los Angeles from the Watts Prophets to the Freestyle Fellowship remains the richest primary sourcebook on the sociopolitical significance of this important genre. Not recommended.
Bill Piekarski, Angelicus Webdesign, Lackawanna, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“A convincing and entertaining case that hip-hop matters, Boyd's reading [of hip hop] is nothing less than inspired.”
-Mother Jones

,

The New H.N.I.C. brilliantly observes pivotal moments in hip hop and black culture as a whole . . . and [provocatively] raises the level of the hip hop discussion.”

-Black Issues Book Review,

“If you want to understand the direction of music today, read this book. Boyd expertly chronicles the birth of Hip Hop, its impact on all music and how the language and music defines a generation.”

- Tom Freston,CEO, MTV Networks



“Stand back! Todd Boyd brings the ruckus in this provocative look at how hip hop changed everything from the jailhouse to the White House—;and why it truly became the voice of a new generation.”
-Alan Light,Editor-in-Chief, Spin Magazine



“Those who are hip have always known that Black music is about more than simply nodding your head, snapping your fingers, and patting your feet. Like the proverbial Dude, back on the block, Dr. Todd Boyd, in his groundbreaking book The New H.N.I.C., tells us that like the best of this oral tradition, hip hop is a philosophy and worldview rooted in history and at the same time firmly of the moment. Dr. Boyd's improvisational flow is on point like be bop Stacy Adams and The New H.N.I.C.,in both style and substance, breaks down how this monumental cultural shift has come to redefine the globe. With mad props and much love, Dr. Boyd’s The New H.N.I.C. is the voice of a generation and stands poised at the vanguard of our future.”

-Quincy Jones,

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is great for anyone with a thin knowledge of hip-hop culture. Boyd drops a lot of names and poses hard but doesn't leave the thoughtful reader with very much by way of hard analysis. He doesn't even really explain what his thesis is beyond solipsistically refering to a generation's hunger to "get paid." The fact that NYU Press published this book and sanctioned it as "scholarly" work is a sad commentary on how deeply the ethos of entertainment and racial posturing have permeated contemporary American life. Boyd will certainly live to regret the title of this book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Read/Write on July 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
unfortunately, it's a really superficial analysis of an important movement. it doesn't go into the ambiguities of hip hop (like its issue with sexism) or even why, exactly, the civil rights movement is no longer relevant. there are no stats, no citations, no nothing. it's a very long, very passionate essay written by someone who really just had enough solid research to write a 3 pager but stretched it out over a few chapters.
i was really, incredibly disappointed -- i really wanted this book to go into hip hop as a political force, to discuss the mtv rock the vote campaign, and the emergence of nh2ed, and instead it was like "thugs are cool! mlk is lame! wheeeeeeeeeee!"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By V. Dacus on July 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although I am not impressed w/ the "N" word, as does the author, one has to respect Todd Boyd for being one of few from the older generation for analysing the so called Hip Hop generation and contemporay Black American youth in general from a historical standpoint.

No one can deny that the Civil Rights Movement became less relevant among Black Youth during the rise of the 1970 Pro Black Power Era (The Black Panthers, Nation Of Islam, 5 Percenters, Malcom X, ect.) Even Martin Luther King recognized the presence of SNCC, and even moved beyond race matters to engage in international affairs (Vietnam, Aparthied, Biafra Civil Wars).

However, very little, if anything, has been mentioned about how the Pro Black Era was instrumental in influencing Hip Hop w/ the decline of the "We Shall Overcome" assimilation fantasies. Nothing cited about the popularity of featuring Black Nationalism speeches over hard core production (Ava Muhammad, Malcon X, Louis Farrakhan), the raised consciousness of Garveyism, the African Medallions or how many White journalist were caught off gaurd for attempting to challenge artist they thought were "stupid" (Chuck D., Sistah Souljah, Wise Intelligent). Not even any mention about social activism w/ P.Diddy's Daddy's House, Russell Simmons and LL Cool J's SUCCESFUL campaign for Black youth to speak out againsts outdated school books in New York, or how Jay-Z donated THOUSANDS of dollars in procedes from his concert to families of Columbine victims (of which will never reach newspapers). More also could have been addressed on Hip Hop's presence from a global prespective such as it's influence on the Black youth of South Africa-Post Aparthied or Africa in general.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Spieckerman on May 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Boyd's book is not really like his other publications, "Am I Black Enough For You" is a scholarly investigation, "Young Black Rich and Famous" more of a standard non-fiction subject history approach. The New HNIC however is a manifesto. You won't find Boyd's words appended with footnotes and references. You won't find him carefully elaborating a declaration or assumption. He delineates his arena--drawing the line in the sand, putting the chip on the shoulder--in the entertaining introduction and that sets up how he'll play this game. This is one long rap. It's not a tome of scholarly resonance, it's Boyd telling things the way he sees it. It is his worldview, his opinions he doesn't back them up or justify them with the onerous works of other scholars that have approved tired old opinions. This feels fresh and vibrant. I disagree with some or a lot of what Boyd has to say, but his flow is so good that he makes you think and engage his words, ideas, rap. I'm not bound down trying to understand him having to sift through layers of obfuscation or completing missing a point because it's been clarified and backed up sixty times in one paragraph. No Boyd flows from one idea to the next, his flow is smooth and his position elegant enough to make it compelling, even to someone like me who would have disagreed with almost all of his positions before reading the book, but I can at least now understand them better having taken in this manifesto.Read more ›
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By DJ on March 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The thesis is provocative, but that's it. The work is--with regards to scholarship--deeply impoverished. Venerable writings on Hip Hop remain few--consult Robin Kelly's or Tricia Rose's forays on the subject for more engaged, scholarly readings.
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