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Traces the history of rap music to its origins in blues, Motown, soul, R&B, and reggae, chronicling its 1970s rise to popularity and citing how its development evolved from the centuries-old griot traditions of West Africa.
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Gr 4-9-While a number of books look at the current popularity of rap music, Haskins focuses on its roots and evolution, giving readers a real sense of how it is part of a long history of social commentary through art. He discusses the place of women in rap, and also how it has transcended its roots in urban African-American culture to become a worldwide phenomenon. This well-researched account goes well beyond the standard secondary sources that are the fodder for much current nonfiction. The book's quotations are meticulously sourced, but the way they are integrated into the text makes the text seem more like a dissertation than an entertaining read. Many of the quotes provide a scholarly perspective and seem a bit beyond the interest level of the intended audience. That said, this book is well designed, though without enough photographs. Many of the photos that do appear are integrated into the text without traditional borders, which is a nice visual touch. Rap lyrics are included in a hip typewriter font. Besides the footnotes, there is an extensive and helpful bibliography that includes Web addresses, and a substantial index as well. A competent, up-to-date resource that will be primarily useful for reports.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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