From Publishers Weekly
In this wide-ranging, academic anthology of essays, interviews and panel discussions, 2005 American Book Award–winner Jeff Chang (Can't Stop, Won't Stop
) presents hip-hop's past, present and future as seen by some of its founding figures, guiding lights, journalists and scholars. From a post–civil rights era grassroots phenomenon born in the streets of the Bronx, N.Y., hip-hop has become a global cultural movement whose stylistic impact and social perspectives clearly extend beyond popular rap music. Part manifesto, part apologia, the collection takes on such topics as the aesthetics behind hip-hop photography and graffiti, offers an informative history of hip-hop dance and assesses hip-hop's effects on literature and theater, while pursuing debates about identity, sexuality and homophobia. Especially intriguing are pieces documenting hip-hop's sociopolitical influence in Cuba (Chang's interview with filmmaker Eli Jacobs-Fauntauzzi) and South Africa (an essay by Capetown natives Shaheen Ariefdien, performer/anthropologist, and Nazli Abrahams, an educator). Not surprisingly, amid talk about "keepin' it real" and multiculturalism, multiple definitions of hip-hop emerge—ideas and values that are as varied and contradictory as the book's attempt to critically scrutinize hip-hop in context. (Feb.)
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"What is historicized here sheds light on hip-hop's chaotic but rooted journey." -- Library Journal