9780140280227

Hip Hop America

George, Nelson

ISBN 10: 0140280227 / 0-14-028022-7
ISBN 13: 9780140280227
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
From the award-winning author of The Death of Rhythm and Blues comes Hip Hop America, the history of hip hop from its roots in the late 1970s to its emergence as the cultural force that today influences everything from movies to fashion, advertising to sports. It's the story of a society-altering collision between black youth culture and the mass media -- and it's very big business.

Called "the most insightful hip hop writer on the planet" by Rolling Stone, Nelson George offers an insider's tour through a multimedia phenomenon of which rap music is only the audible manifestation, and also includes drugs, fashion, incarceration, basketball, entrepreneurship, technology, and language. Examining hip hop as music, a style, a business, a myth, and a moral code, he turns hip hop over to look at the ways it has been treated by Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street to reach not just young black consumers but all young people. Hip Hop America shows us why against all odds, hip hop has held a steady grip on American popular culture for over twenty years.


Review:
Although it's been part of the cultural soundscape for over 25 years, hip-hop has been the focus of very few books. And when those books do pop up, they tend to be either overtly scholarly, as if the writer in question has just landed on some alien planet, or a bit too much like a fanzine. If there's anyone qualified to write a solid, informative, and entertaining tome on the culture, politics, and business of hip-hop, it's Nelson George. A veteran journalist, George is one of the smartest and most observant chroniclers of African American pop culture. Much as he broke down and illuminated R&B with his acclaimed book The Death of Rhythm and Blues, George now tackles hip-hop with the clarity of a reporter and the enthusiasm of a fan--which is fitting, because George is both. A Brooklyn native, he began writing about rap back in the late 1970s, when the beats and the lifestyle were not only foreign to most white folks, they were still underground in the black communities. Hip Hop America is filled with George's memories of the scene's nascent years, and it tells the story of rap both as an art form and a cultural and economic force--from the old Bronx nightclub the Fever to the age of Puffy. Highlighting both the major players and some of the forces behind the scenes, George gives rap a historical perspective without coming off as too intellectual. All of which makes Hip Hop America a worthwhile addition to any fan's collection. --Amy Linden

Review

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Hip Hop America (ISBN: 0140280227 / 0-14-028022-7)
George, Nelson
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