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It's Bigger Than Hip Hop: The Rise of the Post-Hip-Hop Generation Hardcover – September 16, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Asante (b. 1982) decries the negativity of much of mainstream hip-hop. Though people his age “were born into the hip-hop generation, they feel misrepresented by it and . . . see the dangers and limitations of being collectively identified by a genre of music they don’t even own.” Their “lack of ownership . . . has allowed corporate forces to overrun hip-hop with a level of misogyny and black-on-black violence” that has led “some young folks to disown the label ‘hip-hop generation.’” A similar argument could be made about nearly every underground movement that achieves pop-music supremacy, but Asante feels mainstream marketing of hip-hop has robbed his generation of a valuable voice for enunciating social and political criticism and made the music “a conservative instrument, promoting nothing new or remotely challenging to mainstream cultural ideology.” He declares that “post-hip-hop,” rather than marking the death of rap, represents a shift to a more inclusive movement incorporating culturally significant subject matter. Weighty, probably vital reading for keeping up with youth culture and pop music. --Mike Tribby

Review

"An empowering book that moves you to action and to question status quo America. Reading It's Bigger Than Hip Hop is motoring through a new generation of America with one of its best storytellers."

- Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times

"M.K. Asante, Jr. combines drive, skill and a commitment that buoys us all. The hip hop community should feel extremely blessed to have those qualities attached to its forward movement."

- Chuck D

"M.K. Asante, Jr. is a rare, remarkable talent that brings to mind the great artists of the Harlem Renaissance."

Philadelphia Inquirer

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312373260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312373269
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,349,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
M.K. Asante Jr. is a gem. His book It's Bigger Than Hip Hop is one of the most in depth investigative books from our own community in quite some time. Asante's writing style is reminiscent of the great James Baldwin. The ancestors are watching and speak through Asante.

Hip Hop has become one of the most financially successful music genres of an entire century. Hip Hop reaches all ages, classes, races and countries. However, the image of Hip Hop that has spread in our communities and worldwide has changed over the years from its underground message of unity to consumerism/materialism by any means necessary. We have lost control of our own music yet when considering other black music genres from the past; blues, jazz, R &B we have never `owned' our music. History repeats itself. In retrospect, Ray Charles and Prince, to name a few, understood the need for us to own our lyrics, music, distribution houses, etc... (ex. When Prince wrote slave on his head to get out of a music contract and own his music).

Almost 40 years after the Civil Rights Movement and where are we? We integrated yet we never asked once what will happen to us after integration? We never had a plan. If considering that the former African-American segregated communities were small nations how is it that once we gained our `independence' we did not have a well thought out plan? Asante's book addresses some of those issues post-Civil Rights, post hip-hop. Every chapter needs to be read and analyzed in classrooms but specifically read between parent and child. This book needs to get in the hands of every African (Latinos too)
in the U.S., the rest of the Diaspora and Africa to fully understand our current state of affairs.

Chapter Glimpses:

Chapter 2: Keepin' It Real vs.
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Format: Hardcover
I was hip hop. A `70s baby, my teenage years stretched across hip
hop's awakening into proud and empowering lyrical expression. It
was a chain link of similarities, connecting the dots of every urban
experience, expressing the voice of every ghetto. Like Common, I
used to love H.E.R. But then, somewhere in my twenties, she abandoned
me. I became nothing more than a groupie, a video accessory and a
derogatory term. And my male counterparts became
unrecognizable, fake shadows of long forgotten pimps and, "keeping
it real," fools.

M.K. Asante remarkably captures the incredulous struggle that those
like me, the post hip hop generation, face when reconciling past hip
hop loyalty with current hip hop disdain.
IT'S BIGGER THAN HIP HOP is a classic work, a creative and
innovative approach to examining what hip hop was and is, and how
its growth and subsequent stagnation affect generations.

An example of his entertaining approach is demonstrated in Chapter
3, What's Really Hood?, when M.K. Asante engages in a colorful and
testy interview with "the ghetto." Yes, the ghetto finally speaks
and he has some truth to spread. As "the ghetto" explains his
history dating back from 1611, correlating past "ghettoization" with
modern Urban Renewal, he reminds the post hip hop generation of the
ignorance in blaming the poor for poverty.

In Chapter 10, Two Sets of Notes, M.K. Asante captures the struggle
of being taught incomplete truths, being fooled by "selective
memory," losing who we are as a people inside of the incessant white
lies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Through "It's Bigger Than Hip-Hop", MK Asante Jr. shows himself to be an incredibly gifted writer. Although, some may think that the content may strictly fall upon Hip-Hop conversation, those that are high in thinking and presently conscious will come to know the book as presented. Asante brings his writing full force as he shows why our problems in today's society are BIGGER THAN HIP-HOP and that hip-Hop itself has become a diluted art form that no longer wakes up the conscious but keep us oppressed. Some of the topics covered throughout the book are race, culture Hip-Hop and social justice. After reading this book, many will come away with the principles of being oppressed and that we all, no matter what race or creed we are in this fight together.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a dope book that touches on a little bit of everything. I like the history that was provided on certain subjects. I also think the personal stories adds more of a realistic insight into the overall book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Phenomenal book! Couldn't put it down. An inspiring story of a young man's life in the inner city- the struggles, the racism, the drugs and amazingly an alternative school in Philadelphia helped to turn his life around. Truly inspiring in knowing that there are schools like this- that believe in our youth , embrace their differences and encourage their talent.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
MK Asante's boldness, enthusiasm, and passion for his craft is readily apparent in It's Bigger Than Hip Hop. Through personal interviews with hip hop artists and activists as well as historical references, he educates his readers about Hip Hop's roots which traces back to Africa. He also informs about the purpose of Hip Hop as being more than just a musical genre, it's an essential mechanism for combatting oppression and seeking justice. I especially enjoyed Asante's creative examples used to express his views.

It's Bigger Than Hip Hop details the rich cultural heritage of African American music and how each form is interconnected through struggle and activism, including Hip Hop. Yet, it's been exploited by corporations and mass media. Asante points out that this exploitation has driven some away from using Hip Hop generation to define themselves. Rather, he reveals another term Post Hip Hop generation, which can revive the activism aspects of Hip Hop and bring about a positive change for the oppressed.

Overall, It's Bigger Than Hip Hop dictates the power of artistic expression, which can provide a light for those seeking to escape the darkness of oppression.
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