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The year is 1978. Saturday Night Fever is breaking box office records. All over America kids are racing home to watch Dance Fever, Michael Jackson is poised to become the next major pop star, and in Hollis, Queens, fourteen-year-old Darryl McDaniels—who will one day go by the name D.M.C.—busts his first rhyme: "Apple to the peach, cherry to the plum. Don't stop rocking till you all get some." Darryl's friend Joseph Simmons—now known as Reverend Run—thinks Darryl's rhyme is pretty good, and he becomes inspired. Soon the two join forces with a DJ—Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell—and form Run-D.M.C. Managed by Run's brother, Russell Simmons, the trio, donning leather suits, Adidas sneakers, and gold chains, become the defiant creators of the world's most celebrated and enduring hip-hop albums—and in the process, drag rap music from urban streets into the corporate boardroom, profoundly changing everything about popular culture and American race relations.
Through candid, original interviews and exclusive details about the group's extraordinary rise to the top—and its mortal end brought on by the tragic murder in 2002 of Jam Master Jay—Raising Hell tells of Run-D.M.C.'s epic story, including the rivalries with jealous peers, their mentoring of such legendary artists as the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, and the battles with producers, record executives, and one another. Ronin Ro delivers a meticulously researched, compellingly written, affecting behind-the-music tale of family, friendship, betrayal, murder, and the building of the culture and industry known as hip-hop.
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Ronin Ro is an award-winning author and music journalist. He has written for Spin, Rolling Stone, USA Today, Playboy, Vanity Fair, and Vibe. He is the author of five other books, including the critically acclaimed Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records.Review:
“Will enthrall both pop sociologists and armchair thrill seekers.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“A spicy, provocative, beautifully written take on one of hip-hop’s most storied groups. ” (--Michael Eric Dyson, author of Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur)
“Mesmerizing and provocative account of the lives of Run-D.M.C and Jam Master Jay...” (--Raquel Z. Rivera, author of New York Ricans and the Hip Hop Zone)
“In Raising Hell, one of hip-hop’s most important stories meets one of its most compelling storytellers.” (--Bakari Kitwana, author of Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes and the New Reality of Race in America)
“If Bob Woodward had street cred and could write about hip hop, his name would be Ronin Ro!” (--Dr. Todd Boyd, aka The Notorious Ph.D., is the author of Young Black Rich and Famous and The New H.N.I.C. He is Professor of Critical Studies in the USC School of Cinema-Television--Dr. Todd Boyd, aka The Notorious Ph.D., is the author of Young Black)
“A definitive book.” (New York Times on Have Gun Will Travel)
“Will enthrall both pop sociologists and armchair thrill seekers.” (Entertainment Weekly on Have Gun Will Travel)
“The read of the year.” (Chicago Tribune on Have Gun Will Travel)
“[Ro] pulls no punches in a work of nonfiction that reads like a novel.” (Miami Herald on Have Gun Will Travel)
“As gory as a car wreck that we are unable to turn away from.” (Washington Post on Have Gun Will Travel)
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