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Gunshots in My Cook-Up: Bits and Bites from a Hip-Hop Caribbean Life Paperback – January 6, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As a former editor-in-chief of hip-hop magazine the Source and a fan since he was a nine-year-old living in Guyana, Hinds knows hip-hop as well as any journalist around. This account is part memoir, part behind the music: we get days in the life of Puffy, Lauryn Hill at the Grammys and guerrilla touring with the Wu-Tangs. We get Hinds's writerly woodshedding at Princeton and the Village Voice, the rise of the Source, sweaty clubs in Brooklyn and the escalation of the East Coast-West Coast feud until two of rap's superstars, Tupac and Biggie Smalls, are lost. An excellent storyteller, Hinds can write with equal intensity about his little brother's aspiration to be an MC, hiring an intern to go through "the Wack Box" or hurtling down the highway with Raekwon and Ghostface. Even though he knows it's business, Hinds's book works because he still believes in the power of this new, brash and still-not-fully charted art: this is a fan's memoir first, and a journalist's chronicle second.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A former editor of the Source magazine, Hinds has written a terrific work. As a ten-year-old in his native Guyana, Hinds first heard hip-hop via the Sugarhill Gang, who scored the first massive hip-hop hit in 1979 with "Rapper's Delight." He felt an instant attraction that grew into a great love when at 15 Hinds moved to New York City. Weaving details of his own relationships and travails with portraits of numerous hip-hop luminaries, Hinds shows how intricately his life and music are intertwined. Often, his relationships with industry movers and shakers (e.g., Russell Simmons) proved more personal than professional, and his two younger brothers have both tried their hand at hip-hop. When Hinds writes of the troubles that have surrounded the culture, readers will feel his pain and anger; and when he sings the praises of artists like Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean, they will be uplifted. For anyone interested in the culture of hip-hop-and the numbers keep growing-Hinds's effort should prove educational and enlightening. A fine complement to Nelson George's social and cultural history, Hip Hop America; recommended for all public libraries.
Craig Shufelt, Lane P.L., Fairfield, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (January 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743451376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743451376
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,674,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Carsten Knoch on January 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a good read, and certainly recommended for anyone who wants to understand the history and present 'state' of hip hop. It's also a decidedly entertaining read (for the most part) because it's a personal account: part autobiography, part history, part previously published articles from The Source, the influential hip hop magazine whose editor the author was for a number of key years during the 1990s. I think the book's main challenges are its somewhat narrow view of hip hop as the defining cultural trajectory of a generation, and the 'moral' force ascribed to it as a result. While I may agree with the author's taste in hip hop (he's more of a Tribe Called Quest/Fugees guy rather than a gangsta appreciator...) this is a limited take on what the music is, and should be. Another thing to be aware of here is that this is a 'grown up' fan's appreciation and not an authoritative history (and it doesn't claim to be). It's good - it'll make you think about hip hop as a cultural phenomenon. Just don't expect to agree with everything he says.
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Format: Hardcover
Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Gunshots in my Cook-Up is a gripping and compelling account of hip hop-the music, the business aspect,and the family and societal life of its aspirants. Hinds is indeed a great storyteller. His narrative of hip hop encounters and his personal life is reminiscent of the Black Griots of antiquity. Gunshots in my Cook-Up is a must read,not only for the hip hop generation,but for all age groups.
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By A Customer on October 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
if you know him from way back in his village voice and source days you know that few writers can touch selwyn seyfu hinds when it comes to honest and intelligent thought on hip-hop, and culture in general. this book is easily the best thing on hip-hop i've ever read, and is one of the best books i've read this year
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