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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written view of hip-hop, history, and modern culture.
I picked up this book because of a recommendation from my brother. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth at which hip-hop and urban sensibilities have shaped American and westernized culture as a whole. Steve Stoute brings a level of professionalism and authenticity, coincidentally two very important topics outlined in this book, to tales of the struggles of early...
Published on October 28, 2011 by Richard T Conley

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just OK - lacked focus
I saw this book written up in Business Week, and was pretty excited to read it. However I thought it lacked focus - was it a history of hip hop? was it Steve's memoir? was it a guide to incorporate tanning into your business model? The book gets SO close to being each of these, but follows through on none. Dissapointing in that regard, but still full of interesting facts...
Published on March 2, 2012 by Colleen


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written view of hip-hop, history, and modern culture., October 28, 2011
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I picked up this book because of a recommendation from my brother. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth at which hip-hop and urban sensibilities have shaped American and westernized culture as a whole. Steve Stoute brings a level of professionalism and authenticity, coincidentally two very important topics outlined in this book, to tales of the struggles of early hip-hop and the trials of its artists to be recognized as such. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to have a fresh, unbiased opinion on the history of marketing and culture as well as the effects of "tanning" on American and the world as a whole.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful, January 2, 2012
This review is from: The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy (Hardcover)
This is extremely well written and you can tell Stoute is an intelligent and creative person. In depth discussions about pop culture and various marketing ventures that have affected culture over the last 20 or so years. Very informative, recommended to anyone with an interest in hip hop, pop culture or marketing.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just OK - lacked focus, March 2, 2012
This review is from: The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy (Hardcover)
I saw this book written up in Business Week, and was pretty excited to read it. However I thought it lacked focus - was it a history of hip hop? was it Steve's memoir? was it a guide to incorporate tanning into your business model? The book gets SO close to being each of these, but follows through on none. Dissapointing in that regard, but still full of interesting facts and antecdotes on our culture.

Also, Steve grossly overuses the adjective "unapologetic". This was very distracting to me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What is Tanning?, March 14, 2012
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Literary Marie (MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy (Hardcover)
Steve Stoute, founder and CEO Translation Consulting & Brand Imaging, is one of the most credible sources to discuss tanning. He has a diverse background in the music industry, successful at brand marketing, and is in tune to the new generation of consumers. Steve Stoute was also inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement. His clients include McDonald's, State Farm, Target, Jay-Z and Reebok, Lady Gaga and MAC Cosmetics. He is also the managing director and CEO of popular hair and body care line Carol's Daughter. Enough receipts? Yes.

"Tanning of America" is an informative must-read for entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, and established companies who want to understand how to appeal to today's consumers. It's also an interesting read for hip-hop lovers and marketing gurus. I learned a lot of tips that will help improve my own brand, as well as enjoy an interview with Eminem, stories of Jay-Z and Run D.M.C., and the history of hip-hop. This book is a cost-effective lesson!

Visit (...) for more info.

Literary Marie of Precision Reviews
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!, February 21, 2012
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This review is from: The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy (Hardcover)
This book is a MUST read for all merchants and marketers who are striving to be authentic, relevant and valued in today's contemporary marketplace. Hip-Hop has indeed changed the color palette of our global cultural code from black, white, yellow, red and brown to - TAN. This historic transformation has definitely been a delight to watch happen over the years! Mr. Stoute has done a splendid job "translating" this experience for the reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most fascinating marketing book in a long time, February 18, 2013
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Fascinating story, from the first to the last page, especially when you've been involved in marketing (professionally) and hip-hop (as an avid listener) throughout the period Steve Stoute describes.
The book contains a fascinating mix of personal experience, case histories, musical references to actually prove that he title is correct - America has tanned.
Reading tip: listen to the songs he cites as you read along (I was happy to have most of them in my library).
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3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing....missing some key players in hip-hop, March 9, 2014
This review is from: The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy (Hardcover)
I was really disappointed in this real-life look into how America began to embrace hip-hop culture. I thought it missed some key players in hip hop, namely Public Enemy and GrandMaster Flash. Though they do a nod to them, I thought that they were much more influential in getting the word out to teens & the general public about what was actually going on in the poor, black communities vs. N.W.A. who should get some credit, but whose songs spoke more about the police vs. the real problem of the black communities: corporate greed, alcoholism & other drugs to induce genocide, etc. To quote Public Enemy's song Rebirth, "....These days you can't see who's in cahoots 'Cause now the KKK wears three-piece suits..." I think the message that P.E. sent out was more important vs. just the police, whom everyone was rapping about. Same for Grandmaster Flash....early on he spoke more of about what was going on in the community with his song "The Message".

The book did a decent job of speaking to Run-DMC & how they changed the game for hip-hop, but there wasn't enough nod to black women rappers (Salt 'n' Pepa, Queen Latifah, or Sister Souljah, to name a few) or white rappers (Beastie Boys, for example) who also helped to get listeners to cross over to hip-hop. I mean Run-DMC & Beastie Boys toured together for several months during the summer of '86 & '87, yet there was no mention of this, as I think this thoroughly helped to get both black & white teens at the time listening to all forms of rap, including house music which began it's birth around the same time as hip-hop was emerging.

I also think this book gives way too much credit to P. Diddy for selling merchandise & becoming a brand. Russell Simmons, Run-DMC, and LL Cool J were doing this LONG before P.Diddy and other rappers that are doing it today. Even The Temptations branded themselves - and this was before ip-hop even came about.

Overall, it's a decent read to give an overall synopsis of hip-hop. I just can't see what all the hype is about regarding it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't know what tanning meant until..., September 17, 2014
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I didn't know what to expect out of this book, I bought it as a recommendation from VC Ben Horowitz of a16z.

This is by far the best book on marketing I've read yet. The importance of cultural influences and historical context intertwined with an authentic voice are the keys to Stoute's Midas touch and deep understanding in what makes things cool to the masses.

This is a book that mixes history, real life experiences and interesting case studies that can be applied to the marketing principles of any brand in any country around the world.

If you end up reading Tanning and get a lot out of it, another similar book I recommend that you may enjoy would be Marc Ecko's book Unlabeled. Both books followed a similar arc and a similar story in which they both observed and rode the wave of hip hop culture to the shores of power, money and success. @walkeen
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15 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Tanning of America, March 23, 2012
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This review is from: The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy (Hardcover)
Very difficult to get passed the self absorbed position of the author. We all read books to see the insight of the author, understand their position while keeping an eye on our thoughts and views. This author would rather highlight is achievements than make his point and let us think.

In addition, he makes points that we all see and feel on a daily basis. Example: The sun will rise in the east and set in the west. Ok, we get it. We know this! He does not make us think. He does not make us challenge our own thoughts and form new ones.

He believes if Run DMC signed an endorsement deal that America was "tanning", but he makes a point about "black purchasing power". He can't have it both ways. He writes from a position that "white" people are some how different than blacks and if "white" people enjoy black music than the cultural lines are now "tanned". What? He believes Jay Z is the emperor of this movement with Run DMC being the pioneers. I suggest he educate himself on jazz before writing a ridiculous book like this again. If tanning is the result of hip hop I wonder what jazz is called?

White people eat soul food. Blacks eat chinese food. Italians eat mexican food. Is that tanning too? What an idiot! I was duped into purchasing this book. Don't waste your time, unless you want to read a book about a self absorbed, fictional author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'd like to thank Steve Stoute for writing what has been ..., February 27, 2015
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I'd like to thank Steve Stoute for writing what has been plain to me for so long. Hip hop has altered the mental landscape of this country, and everywhere else in the world that has been touched by it. More importantly, the way African Americans (specifically speaking about those of us descendants of African slaves in the USA) have influenced our country, by just being ourselves. No one wants to be us, but everyone wants to be like us. Every art form we've created has been absorbed into mass culture with minimal credit given to the creators. Thank you for giving credit, where credit is due.
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