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Chuck D Presents This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History Hardcover – October 10, 2017
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If you want to understand our culture. To learn knowledge itself. Truth about the art form of poetry in motion. The struggle of our community through rhyme and rhythm. This is the book that inspired me long before I found my place in hip-hop. The power of self-expression. Unapologetically. Taught by the teacher himself. Chuck D!!!!―Kendrick Lamar
This book is required reading for those who claim to know hip-hop, love hip-hop, and want their information from a true Master and General of the hip-hop culture...Public Enemy #1, Chuck D!―Ice-T
Chuck D wasn't put here to play any games. He created the greatest hip-hop album in my opinion to date, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. But the very first minute he sonically appeared to us, I knew rap was changed forever. Power, awareness, strength, and militancy is his stance in a world obsessed with punishing poor people. I knew he would righteously and boldly die so that a little young boy he didn't even know from Queensbridge could live. He attacked wickedness head-on being the rappin' rhino terror that he is. He represented for all of us putting his life on the line and making the right music fighting for hip hop, the youth, truth, and justice. Chuck D made the lane for people like me to walk.―Nas
Reading this book is like reliving my life all over again. Chuck D is Dope!!!―LL Cool J
About the Author
Chuck D is considered one of the most influential lyricists in contemporary music. Both as a solo artist and as the leader of the ground-breaking hip hop group Public Enemy (which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013), he helped pave the way for political, social, and culturally conscious hip hop. Public Enemy's albums remain among the most critically acclaimed works in the genre, including It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet. A visionary in digital entertainment, Chuck D helped lead the filesharing movement, launched one of the first online entertainment websites, Rapstation.com, and digital-only record labels, the SpitSlam Record Label Group and Public Enemy were the second act to ever release an album in MP3 format. He is on the road three weeks out of each month touring with Public Enemy and his supergroup Prophets of Rage or speaking at tech and music conferences and colleges, and splits his days off between Long Island, Atlanta, and Southern California.
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But I am interested in how they’ve become the base of a billion dollar business and who listens to this so-called music.
And Chuck D’s fantastically well done illustrated day-by-day history has taught me plenty. It hasn’t made rap or hip-hop more palatable to me, but I am certainly more informed about what they are, who the artists are, how the genres grew (who would have thought the Great New York City blackout of July 13, 1977 and its “widespread looting and arson” would give rise to “an entire generation of hip hop DJs”?) and much, much more.
So here I am, an old man who doesn’t like hip-hop or rap, raving about a day-by-history of their birth and rise.
That’s how good this book is and ChuckD will forever be remembered as thr chronicler of hip-hop and rap from its obscure birth in 1973 through its rise to possibly the most popular music forms through 2016, especially among the young.
A truly worthwhile history.
The author: none other than the main rapper in the group Public Enemy, who led the Hip-Hop NY scene in 1987 with very political raps.
The contents: It can be read like an agenda, starting from 1973 and finishing in 2016, that lists the main Rap records releases with short and to the point comments. Here and there, Chuck D. give a few more info on specific rappers. Here and there, there are drawings of rapper's faces from artists like Akem, Amy Cinnamon, Shepard Fairey, Darren Holtom, Andrew J. Katz...
What do I think of it?
It is very easy to navigate. Each page references the year on the upper right, then in bold fonts the date of the month is printed, followed by the event that took place on that day.
If you want to know when an artist did release his albums, just search for the family name and you will see which exact page to look for.
As for the contents, there will not be much literature.As I wrote previously, it gives a few details on the contents of each album and notable points and album guests.
So this album is more to be used as a memento of times passed. It is not going to teach you about the Hip-Hop. It is not going to tell you anecdotes about the life or struggles of the rappers.
Of course, through it, you can learn who came first, who released what.
It indeed is not meant to be read as a book but more as an agenda
I consider this book has having a good place in my Hip-Hop library. I will certainly go back to it at regular times when I want to make sure of the date of a released album. This is the kind of book to offer to a Hip-Hop fan that interests himself/herself with the Hip-Hop history or for one that may want to know which very important album or artist may have been missed.
So when I got a chance to preview Chuck's history of hip hop, it was a big "YEAH!" for me.
And it did not disappoint. Chuck and Co. put together a fun, easy to read history of hip hop that you can kind of treat like a gigantic bathroom book -- and that's NOT meant as an insult. Rather, it's to describe the structure.
The title suggests you'll get 365 entries outlining things that happened on each day of the year, but that's not the case. Instead, the book goes year-by-year, each individual section outlining (in chronological order, natch) some key moments and events in hip hop history from that year. Each entry is concise and to the point. It's like a massive, decades-long highlight real. As structured, you can read the book front to back and get a sense for the ebb and flow of the genre over the years, or -- and this is why I liken it to a bathroom book -- you can just open it at random and read a few entries that look interesting to you. Both work.
The book is jam-packed with photos and illustrations, dense with fact and factoids, includes some rich commentary by Chuck D himself, and is just plain fantastic. I'd highly recommend this both to longtime hip hop fans as well as people new to the genre who want an easy to digest education on the who, what, when, where, and why of the music and the people behind it.
Huge, huge recommendation.
This book is a great reference and it is very well researched and put together. It was fun remembering how old I was and what I was doing when the songs/albums were released. This makes a great gift book as well. Highly reccommended.