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Yes Yes Y'all: The Experience Music Project Oral History Of Hip-hop's First Decade

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0306812248
ISBN-10: 030681224X
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Based on the "Hip-Hop Nation" exhibit at Seattle's Experience Music Project and the project's ongoing Oral History Program, this history of the beginnings of hip-hop in 1970s New York City is a lavishly illustrated and lovingly compiled homage to the many artists who contributed to the birth of what soon became and remains today, more than 25 years later a worldwide cultural institution. Editors Fricke and Ahearn (director of the hip-hop film Wild Style) weave the insights and attitudes of nearly 100 of the key players into a multihued and multiracial tapestry that illustrates what the excitement of that era and its music was all about. Since the hip-hop style was first developed in the Bronx borough of New York City as a dance-floor alternative to the then-prominent "disco" sound, the oral narrative is dominated by the voices of well-known DJs: Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash. But much of the success of the book is derived from its exploration of the roots of other related hip-hop trends: how the massive new styles of graffiti were both a response to urban violence as well as a way to provoke the interest of downtown New York avant-garde artists; how the competitive world of break dancing was rooted in the rapidly changing and fading gang culture of the Bronx; and how many women were far more active and influential in all types of hip-hop styles than was obvious or recognized at the time. This is an excellent documentation of how early hip-hop expressed "a balance between pain and the celebration of music and movements."
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The authors, once and for all, define where hip-hop, literally, was born." -- Chicago Social April, 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (October 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030681224X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306812248
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #717,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This beautiful book attempts to trace the formation of hip-hop culture through interviews with those who were around for the first ten years. Fricke (a curator at the Experience Music Project museum) and Ahearn (photographer and director of the seminal hop-hop film Wild Style), attempt to document the New York City scene from about 1974-84 (right up to the formation of DefJam and Run-DMC) through photos, original party flyers, and the words of the DJs, MCs, b-boys (breakdancers), graffiti artists, and promoters who were there.
The early portion shows how DJ sound-system battles emerged in the early to mid '70s against the backdrop of a decaying Bronx, attracting youths to more or less impromptu parties in parks, streets, and playgrounds. Competition was fierce as to who had the loudest sound system and the best records, and tough security (gang members) was a necessity. One thing that gets disappointingly glossed over is how this copied what happened in Kingston, Jamaica ten years earlier. It was exactly the same: competing street sound systems, with competing DJs who would take the labels off records so spies couldn't find out what they were playing, gangs, violence-all the same. DJ Kool Herc, who lived in Jamaica until 1967, makes a fleeting reference to it, but that's all.
For the first few years, the DJs were the "stars" of the scene, offering an alternative to disco music. But as DJs started to learn how to manipulate their turntables to extend the "beats" from a song, eventually MCing started to become more vibrant. What had initially only been calls to the crowd to keep the party's energy up evolved into more and more sophisticated catchphrases, freestyle rhymes, and soon MCs were writing and memorizing lines.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes Yes Y'all is the [the best] -- a must read for everyone living through the hip-hop cultural revolution. That means you, hoss. Stemming from the ground-breaking hip-hop exhibit at Experience Music Project, Yes Yes Y'all embodies countless oral histories, photographs and artifacts that bring to life the rich history of MCs, DJs, B-Boys & Girls, and Graffiti artists. This publication is lavishly illustrated and lovingly crafted. It's a classic right outta the gate!
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Format: Paperback
I got the coolest book this passed Christmas, entitled �Yes! Yes! Yall! The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip-Hop�s First Decade � by Jim Fricke. This book focuses on Hip-Hop, and Black culture in America through oral history. Black urban culture gave birth to hip-hop and is the source of influence for today�s American culture. �Yes! Yes! Yall!� is a true period piece focusing on the growth of a new artistic movement. The book is very clear and is written as if you�re really listening to someone talk about Hip-Hop�s old school beginnings. This was a relaxing book to read, and very simplistic in form. As I was reading I felt as if I was sitting in a recreation center or classroom listening to the forefathers, and mothers of this great Black music culture.
The book starts by panting a picture of New York�s inner city in the early 1970�s to the mid 80�s. Each chapter focuses on all four elements of Hip-Hop, such as: d.j-ing, brake dancing, emceeing/rhyming or raping, and graffiti art. Looking at some of the old photos of B-boys and girls break dancing, the airbrushed clothing, party flyers, and old record jackets was very nostalgic.
The book highlights the fact that the whole subculture came out of unequal systematic conditions in the late 1970�s into the 80�s. This is a real honest approach to the history of the newest, and highly co-modified cultures. It�s filled with first hand accounts, stories of back stage antics, tours, emcee battles, dance battles, club fights, and groupies.
In chapter two titled, �The Forefathers�, many people interviewed gave his or her respects to the godfather of Hip-Hop (d.j Kool Herc). They would talk about how d.j Kool Herc would play all the best brake beats at that time. D.
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful book with great information, but...


I understand its a man's world and hip-hop as a reflection of society has been a man's game. but women also had a hand in the development of this culture. women always do. seldom does their labor or talents get acknowledged in the same way. its unfortunate, but its the way it is. very few women are mentioned in this book and i'm appalled that Lady Pink got no love. she is legendary. she is part of the Feminine Foundation of Hip-Hop. i think this book needs to be updated with HER INCLUDED and maybe a few other women while its in revision. otherwise, its just one side of the story, an impartial document, in my humble opinion.

Girls need heros too! Cultural Legends to look up to, to help guide them. I wish Jim and Charlie would have been more aware of that when telling this important story on the birth of a culture that now has the whole world's attention, women and men alike!

with that being said, i would still give this book as a gift to any hip-hop enthusiast in my life, but only after adding a few extra pages of my own. :)
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