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"This book is the missing link!" -Fab 5 Freddy / "Brilliant! This captures the essence of hip-hop culture." -Cey Adams, visual artist, graphic designer, and author; founding creative director of Def Jam Recordings / "The photos and text are some if the the earliest record of hip-hop, even before it started being called hip-hop. No bookshelf or library or collection of books on hip-hop can dare call itself complete with this vibrant NO HALF STEPPIN' in it front and center." -Ernie Paniccioli, photographer, Hip-Hop Hall of Fame Inductee, and author of WHO SHOT YA? / "It's incredible!" -Prime Minister Pete Nice (3rd Bass) / "This book gives another great shot in the arm to hip-hop culture with an enjoyable reminder of what we had and our entertainment was also birthed from. Kid and I are humbled and honored to be on the cover for a book that needs to be in the library of every hip-hop historian and book collector. The work and priceless photographs that are in this masterpiece are incredible and salute to Claude Paradise Gray and Giuseppe Pipitone for an awesome work." -Christopher "Play" Martin / "The book is as much yearbook as oral history: It’s photo heavy, mostly from the collection of Mr. Gray, who was the main promoter of hip-hop nights at the club and was later a member of the politically militant group X Clan. The outfits — plenty by the hip-hop couturier Dapper Dan — are colorful and luxe, though by the end of the club’s run, they shift away from ostentation. In part, this stemmed from an informal ban on gold, prompted by a string of robberies that had made the club especially rowdy." -Jon Caramanica, The New York TimesReseña del editor:
Author Claude “Paradise” Gray was raised in the South Bronx. He was cofounder of the X Clan, whose 1990 album To the East, Blackwards is an Afrocentric and socio-politically conscious Golden Era hip-hop classic. Prior to that, he was host and entertainment manager for the Manhattan nightclub the Latin Quarter where he was a key figure in transforming it into an historical hip-hop venue. Paradise is also a noted writer, photographer, and hip-hop historian/archivist, as confirmed with this book, No Half Steppin', where his personal collection of photographs and memories—paired with an oral history from some of the club's most famous patrons—tell the story of the most important incubator of talent for the Golden Era of hip-hop.
During the mid- to late ’80s, legends were born in that bustling Times Square club—from Stetsasonic, KRS-One, and Eric B. & Rakim to Queen Latifah, Public Enemy, and A Tribe Called Quest. It was the perfect recipe for success for unsigned and up-and-coming artists, as it was the ideal place to be seen and hone your craft—and music-industry A&Rs were on-site to snatch up the hottest rappers. You could walk into the club a nobody and come out a star.
No Half Steppin' — An Oral and Pictorial History of New York City Club the Latin Quarter and the Birth of Hip-Hop's Golden Era is 212 pages with over 175 color photographs and flyers from the greatest time in hip-hop history. Oral history by participants Special K and Teddy Tedd, KRS-One, MC Shan, Eric B., DJ Kool Red Alert, Fab 5 Freddy, Just-Ice, Positive K, DJ Clark Kent, Kid, Dana Dane, TR Love, MC Serch, Chuck D, Grand Puba, Sadat X, Pete Nice, Prince Pau, Kurtis Blow, Mike Gee, Daddy-O, Wise, Ced Gee, Big Daddy Kane, Queen Latifah, Kool G Rap, and many many more.
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