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Why White Kids Love Hip Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality of Race in America Paperback – May 30, 2006


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Why White Kids Love Hip Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality of Race in America + Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation + That's the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Civitas Books; Reprint edition (May 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 046503747X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465037476
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 7.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A well-researched, thought provoking and ultimately convincing narrative that explores why hip-hop has had such a lasting impact on youth culture." Time Out New York"

About the Author

Bakari Kitwana was the Executive Editor of The Source from 1994-98; Editorial Director at Third World Press; and a music reviewer for NPR's All Things Considered. He currently freelances for the Village Voice, Savoy, The Source, and the Progressive, and his weekly column, "Do the Knowledge," is published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He is the author of The Rap on Gangsta Rap and The Hip Hop Generation. He lives in Westlake, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Aragon VINE VOICE on February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book offers a non-academic analysis of hip hop and why white kids love all aspects of hip hop culture. The book also uses hip hop as a lens to examine race relations in the US.

This is not a dry, academic read, and it is well-researched without listing the litany of facts. The book is written for a lay audience. Parents might find this useful to get a "handle" on their kids' fascination w/ hip hop culture. The audience for this book is a wide lay audience. It's an engaging read and most will read it quickly.

The author's section on Wiggas/Wanstas was the most compelling to me. The author did a great job of exploring how people (whites) might feel powerless in their own lives based on issues of class or just being angry about their situation and how hip hop music might speak to them, might take them to a different place.

I appreciated the tone and the writing style. This a book worth reading.
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By nask on August 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book had a lot of potential, but ended up being very disappointing. There was an interesting look at the data on radio listeners and who the primary audience of hip hop music actually is, as well as a somewhat interesting look at the role of Eminem as a white rapper. But overall, the book seemed to just meander through a series of unconnected and insignificant discussions, including interviews with random individuals who have no position or influence in the music industry or any other industry and in-depth explorations of certain movies that the author happens to think are important for reasons that really aren't apparent (especially as most people have never even heard of some of them). The author also uses several undefined terms (like "old racial politics" and "new racial politics," as well as many others) and makes a number of unsupported assertions throughout the book (far too many to catalog here), demonstrating a real lack of intellectual rigor.

Perhaps most importantly, the author is so immersed in hip-hop culture, from esoteric conferences to limited-circulation topical literature, that he seems pretty disconnected from larger reality. He doesn't seem to have an accurate picture of the demography of America, and vastly overestimates the influence of hip hop in American culture and politics. As a result, he spends pages analyzing "hip hop voters," which is a voting bloc of questionable existence in the first place, and talks a lot about particular election organizing efforts that don't seem to have had any impact on elections -- or anything else, for that matter. Towards the end of the book, he makes a very dramatic and overwrought statement that epitomizes these shortcomings: "Hip-hop is the last hope for this generation and arguably the last hope for America.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Hannon on January 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up in the late 70's and early 80's, when hip - hop culture was largely appreciated and also dominated by African and Carribean Americans and Hispanics. At that time, I recall most white kids I did come across were into rock and/or heavy metal, and really didn't give hip-hop a second thought. But, there were a few, and I do mean a serious I can count on one hand few, that did listen to it, and actually loved it. In that time a few (again, a very serious few) would even fully embrace the culture. When Hip-hop became more commercially available through mainstream media, that's when I began to notice more and more white kids getting into rap. I recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in, or study society and pop culture. It give should help to shed some light on this subject.
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By teacher on November 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was suggested at a teachers conference to better understand high school students. Not a sit down and read but is good for scanning reference.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By cameron king on August 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book starts out strong but fades away quickly.The author just makes assumptions on reasons why white kids love hip hop.More interviews and a deeper insight would have been nice.The author talked about movies like bulworth but failed to mention whiteboyz one of the best insights on white kids and hip hop but in a funny way.Don't waste your time and money.
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