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Young, Black, Rich, and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, the Hip Hop Invasion, and the Transformation of American Culture Paperback – March 1, 2008


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

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books; 2 Edition edition (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803216750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803216754
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Page for page, this slim volume is a powerful and provocative history of modern basketball and how issues of race, class and popular culture have played out both on and off the basketball court. Boyd's premise is unassailable: "Hip hop is a way of life that best defines the worldview" of contemporary professional and collegiate basketball players, a "redefinition of the American dream" as a "refusal to conform, and having the money to sustain this posture." Todd (Am I Black Enough for You?) details how the relatively low-key mass-market popularity of basketball in the 1970s belied its strong cultural position as "the sport of choice" in the black community, a free-flowing, improvisational sport more akin to jazz than the regimentation of baseball and football. He shows how "[b]asketball was becoming a Black sport, and not just in numbers but also in overall vibe and attitude," in cogent observations about the sport's best players: the cutting-edge excitement rooted in the urban playground brought to the NBA by Julius Erving; the larger national racial conflict during the Reagan era underlying the rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson; Johnson's crossover racial popularity bringing the NBA a mass market; Michael Jordan's "articulation of individual style" as an expression of a new political assertion in the black community; and the rise to prominence of the "bad boy" Detroit Pistons concurrent with the rise of gangsta rap. He takes on new players, such as Allen Iverson, who "were at the forefront of a generation for whom hip hop was the soundtrack of their lives"; this observation may explain why some see Iverson as a thug but "the hip hop generation sees Iverson as real, as authentic." (Oct.)Forecast: Because this book takes on issues of class and race in sports, it is bound to be controversial and garner media attention. But behind the hype lies a solid looko at the current state of basketball.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A powerful and provocative history of modern basketball and how issues of race, class and popular culture have played out both on and off the basketball court.”—Publishers Weekly
(Publishers Weekly)

“An insightful look at how African American basketball players and rappers have gone from being reviled by mainstream audiences to being imitated around the world.”—Essence
(Essence)

“Boyd effortlessly threads the past thirty years of basketball culture, the cost of being outspoken, and the pressures of a power structure and media glare that both cheers and reviles.”—Upscale
(Upscale)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By StephenHBKFan on July 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Aside from the numerous inaccuracies in this garbage, the author misspells names of relevant players,and writes his own skewed perspective of things to further his anti-white agenda. Pure shameful propaganda. Don't waste your time unless you have no interest in truth or knowledge.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ken on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Using the tools of a critical theorist, Todd Boyd sets out to analyze the quest for freedom of expression and existence, as it is played out on the basketball court and within the Black cultural renaissance of Hip-Hop music. American basketball, as it is played and lived by young African American men and Hip-Hop culture both resist being co-opted by mainstream America. They have both moved from the purlieus of the larger American popular cultural purview to occupy a unique space at the vortex of the American global marketing machine. Within this framework, America and the world, are live witnesses of the creative expression of black culture as it is lived and informed by black rather than white norms and of the global representation of American popular culture, in the face of black rather than white men. Such an analysis requires that one is able to navigate seamlessly between the theoretical constructs of critical theory, the lyrical genius of the Notorious B.I.G. and the choreographic grace of his Airness, Michael Jordan, all the while "keeping it real" as only a Black man can do. Boyd is successful in his methodological approach as he delivers with stunning detail the nuances of what it means to be young, black, rich and famous in America.

Boyd's expertise as a critical theorist is evident as he lays out the theoretical framework for the book and adeptly situates his theory within the venue of the National Basketball Association where Hip-Hop music has become the new national anthem. In addition, his background as a journalist and sports enthusiast gives him a solid foundation from which he recounts more than thirty years of basketball history.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
First off I applaud Dr. Boyd's effort to write a book of this nature regarding the Hip-Hop generation which I am basically apart of since I grew up in the "Reagan 80's". I feel that Dr. Boyd falls short of clearly depicting his parallelism between Hip-Hop and the NBA. There are many points that he does not clearly explain, or just doesn't address at all. The book also lacks depth and concrete research to support some of his information.
I honestly believe that Dr. Boyd "Free-styled" his way through writing this book heavily relying on his past experiences and knowledge of both entities.
If you are an avid fan of the NBA and Hip-Hop just as I am you will not walk away reading anything new from this book.
A book such as Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur by Michael Dyson provides a better depiction the Hip-Hop generation.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In the introduction to Young, Black, Rich and Famous, Dr. Todd Boyd boldly declares, "My mouthpiece is platinum, and the words the come from it are like pearls of wisdom tricked off with a whole new flava." Wow. He lays down the gauntlet. Thus, the question is, does his book measure up?
I think it does. In clear, evocative and passionate prose, Boyd weaves together the threads of basketball and hip-hop while placing them in a larger social, political and cultural context. He has a wonderful way of revealing backstory to give important events their proper perspective. He'll start with the point he is trying to make and then go backwards to describe the social, political and cultural events that set the stage, if you will, for the present situation. Then he will return to and support his original point. For example, in the chapter about the Detroit Pistons and their emergence as the "Oakland Raiders of basketball," he goes back to 1967, makes his way back to the present and then goes forward. It's interesting to note that this is an accepted cinematic convention and it's just as exciting and interesting to read it on the page.
When he's in his groove, flowin', as they say, he's unstoppable. The mouthpiece is platinum. The one person who pops into my mind is Rasputin-I'm sure if there was still a Tsarina of Russia, the empire would be in just as much trouble if Boyd turned his powers of persuasion on her! In the true style of hip-hop( it being at its core a highly personal narrative), Boyd interweaves his own personal and political belief system within the threads of bball and hip-hop. He states early on that he is "a master agent provacateur" and that he is. He manages to take two things that are often dismissed as pop culture and use them to challenge the reader, both intellectually and emotionally. And it's well worth it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By soulonice on July 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Boyd hits it on the head with this piece about basketball and hip-hop. The only way a book like this can be written the way it was is if you are a part of the culture yourself, because if not, it will not be easy to understand. I, for one, love it because he uses teams from the 80's, such as the Georgetown Hoyas, the early 90's with the Fab Five of the Michigan Wolverines, and other teams, players, and events in the game which took me back in time. When he speaks about these things, you can see the connection with hip-hop, such as Allen Iverson's influence, and others lack thereof. He uses lyrics from some of the hip-hop's greats, but like I mentioned before, you must be a part of the culture or at least familiar with it to see what he is trying to say. He keeps it real throughout the book and gives credit where it is due while being critical at the same time. 'Ball and hip-hop have a unique bond, and the significance of it cannot be ignored.
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