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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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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
For much of this book, the author makes vague statements which are supposed to be evidence (I.E. - "First and foremost among the reasons white kids love hip-hop is the growing sense of alienation from mainstream American life they experienced in the 1980s") but then makes little or no effort to show proof of such theories. This is discouraging.
What makes matters worse is that the author later goes on to dismiss the limited evidence that does exist showing whites are the dominant purchasers of hip-hop albums, and instead of inserting evidence which shows otherwise, he launches into page upon page of bizarre hypothesis' for potential ways blacks might still be the majority purchasers (ironically mentioning bootleg CDs). Ultimately I grew tired of reading his writing which became increasingly less academic.
His "expert" sources are also questionable - while at times he does move towards legitmate figures in the hip-hop community - I felt he vastly stretched for some of the opinions gathered for this book. For instance, I seriously wonder whether it was wise to include a very long section on a 19 year-old white female for who "hip-hop has been mainstream culture" for her entire life.Read more ›
Kitwana also overemphasizes the impact of hip-hop on the emergence of African Americans in popular culture and their impact on young Whites during the 1980s and 1990s. He concentrates so much on Michael Jordan and his first Nike ads with Spike Lee that he forgets about Dr. J, Mean Joe Green, and a host of others that paved the road for Jordan in the first place.
But Kitwana's biggest error is in glossing over the distance between Whites embracing hip-hop culture and Whites living anti-racist, social justice oriented lives. Like John Tuturro's character in Do the Right Thing, there are at least as many Whites who are hip-hop lovers but have as stereotypical an opinion of Blacks and other people of color as Whites who listen to honky-tonk. I don't that everything Kitwana says in Why White Kids Love Hip Hop is incorrect -- his book is just selectively incomplete.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Does not backup his conclusions with sufficient evidence, makes assumptions about the motives of groups without sufficient samples of groups who he speaks about. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Eman
Answered a lot of questions that I had and helped me to understand how we are affected by all of the dynamicsPublished 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
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... Read morePublished 24 months ago by nask
Was suggested at a teachers conference to better understand high school students. Not a sit down and read but is good for scanning reference.Published on November 26, 2012 by teacher
This book starts out strong but fades away quickly.The author just makes assumptions on reasons why white kids love hip hop. Read morePublished on August 19, 2012 by cameron king
As a white hip hop dj, i can't help but be grossly offended by just the title of this book. White folks love hip hop for the same reasons everyone else does: it's good music!Published on July 7, 2012 by Craig W
You're an idiot. It would literally take me 3 days to write about how wrong you are. So instead I'll paraphrase for your simple, narrow mind. Read morePublished on August 12, 2006 by I know