Music Nelson George Hip Hop America

ISBN 13: 9780670871537

Hip Hop America

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9780670871537: Hip Hop America

The author of eight nonfiction books on African-American culture takes up where his The Death of Rhythm & Blues left off, and traces the origins of hip hop culture from the playgrounds of Harlem through major trends in rap music, movies, fashion, advertising, and sports. He reflects on issues of technology, drugs, incarceration, and language, and looks at how Hollywood and Madison Avenue embraced hip hop to reach young consumers. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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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

About the Author:

Nelson George, supervising producer and writer for the Netflix series "The Get Down," is an award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. He has written for Playboy, Billboard, Esquire, the Village Voice, Essence, and many other national magazines, as well as writing and producing television programs and feature films.

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