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Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America
by Tricia Rose
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ISBN: 0819562750

Review: From Booklist , April 15, 1994.
Rap recordings are discussed almost everywhere today, from schoolyards and subways to the U.S. Senate and Supreme Court. Rose thoroughly analyzes several facets of the musical genre and provides an effective antidote to the severely flawed hip-hop coverage in mainstream media. She accurately traces rap's sonic history (proving thereby that music does not require conventional melody or harmony) and gives substantial information about the innovative rhythmic manipulations made possible by the techniques of sampling. She also makes clear the connections between rap's beginnings and the political turmoils that afflicted black and Latino urban neighborhoods throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In discussing what is probably rap's most controversial aspect--lyrics supposedly advocating "cop killing"--Rose vividly delineates the social conditions that bring about such fierce responses to real-life police brutality. Finally, she examines the often neglected role of women in rap in rewarding depth. Fans, scholars, and detractors alike stand to learn a great deal by studying Rose's commendable treatise. Aaron Cohen Copyrightę 1994, American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Fight the Power:
Rap, Race, and Reality

by Chuck D., Yusuf Jah
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ISBN: 0385318731

Book Description: George Clinton has called Chuck D "the Bob Dylan of Rap." His rejection of celebrity and his constant community activism have made him a hero. For the past five years he's been touring colleges and universities, delivering three hour lectures on everything from the music industry's corruption of young talent, the history of black music from Blues to Rap, his own controversial lyrics, problems in the black community, self-empowerment, contemporary culture and current political leaders to Public Enemy's rise to international stardom. All while maintaining his solo and Public Enemy's recording careers.

Fight the Power examines a multitude of complex social, racial and artistic issues. In his unmistakable voice, Chuck discusses the role of heroes and role models in the black community, Hollywood's negative images of blacks, the effect of gangsta rap, its images on the country's youth and the war between east and west coast rappers that may have spawned the murder of Tupac Shakur, the role of athletes and entertainers in eroding and strengthening values, and other vital contemporary concerns. Candid, thoughtful, and in your face, Fight the Power, the first substantial book by a rapper, offers readers a look into the culture of hip hop and the future of Black culture.

A Century of Jazz : From Blues to Bop, Swing to Hiphop
A Hundred Years of Music, Musicians, Singers and Styles

by Roy Carr
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ISBN: 0306807785

Rap and Hip Hop:The Voice of a Generation (African Diaspora)
by S. Ayazi-Hashjin
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ISBN: 0823918556

Am I Black Enough for You:
Popular Culture from the 'Hood and Beyond

by Todd Boyd
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ISBN: 0253211050

Review: From Booklist , February 15, 1997.
Boyd, an assistant professor of critical studies at the University of Southern California, fuses academic analysis with hipness in his compassionate and insightful dissection of how the media, especially Hollywood, define African American culture, particularly images of black men, and, conversely, how African Americans define American culture. The entertainment marketplace has become so enormous that there is finally some room for minorities, contends Boyd, but excess still sells best, and excessive and damaging images of black men still dominate. To understand why, Boyd examines the perspectives of two distinct generations, the "affirmative action" group that was "nurtured under the guise of upward social mobility" arising from the civil rights and Black Power movements, and the "Reaganomic" group that grew up under harsh and hopeless economic and social realities. Boyd considers the influence of figures such as Bill Cosby, Spike Lee, gangsta rappers and the filmmakers who chronicle their nihilistic ethos, and black basketball players. Boyd, compelling and thought-provoking, reveals how paradoxical life is for African Americans, even those at the top of their game. Donna Seaman Copyrightę 1997, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture
by Michael Eric Dyson
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Review: From Booklist , December 15, 1995.
American culture is sharply divided racially, nowhere more than over "gangsta' rap" music, which appeals to young blacks and repels older blacks and whites who cite it as evidence of moral decay and devolution. But Dyson holds that "the vilification .. . is far out of proportion to the problem [gangsta' rap] presents. The demonization of gangsta' rappers is often a convenient excuse for cultural and political elites to pounce on a group of artists who are easy prey." Dyson makes the fact that this isn't the first time such a group has been scapegoated by a nervous overclass the backdrop for a literate and compelling argument that cultural warfare over popular music and other matters he addresses is just a convenient way for society to avoid dealing with larger issues of race and class. Nervous parents, educators, and others with an interest in future generations and in racial and class hatred would do well to read his thoughtful assessments. Mike Tribby Copyrightę 1995, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Spectacular Vernaculars: Hip-Hop and the Politics of Postmodernism
(Suny Series in Postmodern Culture)
by Russell A. Potter
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ISBN: 0791426262
Droppin' Science: Critical Essays on Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture
(Critical Perspectives on the Past)
by William Eric Perkins (Editor), William E. Peerkins (Editor)
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ISBN: 1566393620

Black Studies, Rap, and the Academy (Black Literature and Culture)
by Houston A., Jr. Baker
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ISBN: 0226035204 (Hardcover)

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ISBN: 0226035212 (Paperback)

Synopsis: The former Modern Language Association president discusses the effects of pop culture and black studies on the academy, focusing on the Central Park jogger case and the obscenity trial of the rap group 2 Live Crew. By the author of Blues.

Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present
by Mark Costello, David Foster Wallace (Contributor)
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ISBN: 0880015357

Synopsis: The author of Infinite Jest and his co-writer discuss rap and popular culture, power, money, racial politics, and language in the first book to seriously consider rap and its position as a vital force in American culture. "Brilliantly written . . . (with) great wit, insight, and in-your-face energy."--Review of Contemporary Fiction.

Rebel for the Hell of It:
The Life of Tupac Shakur

by Armond White
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ISBN: 1560251220

Synopsis: Tupac Shakur has been deified as a Renaissance man in gansta rap. Paralleling his fame were a series of court and jail appearances and physical attacks which ended when he was gunned down on a Las Vegas street. In this first, full-length biography of the rapper, critic Armond White attempts to make sense of Shakur's life and death, examining the larger issues of rap and ghetto culture, exploitation in the music industry, and the black struggle for self-expression. Movie rights sold to HBO.

Chosen by Fate:
My Life Inside Death Row Records

by McKinley 'Malik', Jr. Lee, Frank B. Williams (Contributor), Lee McKinley
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ISBN: 0787114324

Review: The publisher, Dove Books , October 8, 1997. Behind the scenes at the controversial rap label In 1992, the gangsta rap of Death Row Records pumped through every 'hood in the nation. That's when McKinley Lee "Malik" signed on as Snoop Doggy Dogg's bodyguard. Malik made headlines when he killed a man while protecting Snoop. Then recording artist Tupac Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas and Notorious B.I.G in LA. Read about the inner workings of the most lucrative and dangerous rap label in history.

The Killing of Tupac Shakur
by Cathy Scott
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ISBN: 092971217X

Book Description: ho did it and why? Tupac Amaru Shakur was the most popular rapper in the world. No one symbolized the violence at the heart of gangsta rap more than Tupac, and he ultimately fell victim to that violence, gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas at age 25. This raw, no-holds-barred account discloses new information, including exclusive photo evidence, about the unsolved murder of Tupac: the failed investigation, the rap wars, the killing of Biggie Smalls, the Bloods-Crips connection, and the many possible motives leading to the murder that rocked the music world.

The author:
Cathy Scott, CRScott@aol.com , October 6, 1998
The second anniversary of Tupac's death has come and gone. Two years after his death, Tupac's music is selling more than ever -- including illegal bootlegged CDs. But his murder remains unsolved. The story is an unfortunate but true tragic tale about the murder of one of the biggest rap stars in the history of hip hop.

Tupac Amaru Shakur 1971-1996
by Quincey Jones, the Editors of Vibe Magazine (Editor), Vibe Magazine, Quincy Jones, Alan Light (Preface)
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ISBN: 0609802178

Book Description: "The tragedy of Tupac is that his untimely passing is representative of too many young black men in this country....If we had lost Oprah Winfrey at 25, we would have lost a relatively unknown, local market TV anchorwoman. If we had lost Malcolm X at 25, we would have lost a hustler nicknamed Detroit Red. And if I had left the world at 25, we would have lost a big-band trumpet player and aspiring composer--just a sliver of my eventual life potential."

From the Foreword: by Quincy Jones
The real story of Tupac's murder may not ever emerge. This may be the only lasting testament to the many faces of Tupac Shakur--of a life lived fast and hard, of a man cloaked in contradictions. A young man who was just starting to come into his own. "I believe that everything you do bad comes back to you. So everything that I do that's bad, I'm going to suffer for it. But in my heart, I believe what I'm doing is right. So I feel like I'm going to heaven." Tupac Shakur, June 1996

Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records
by Ronin Ro
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ISBN: 0385491344

Book Description: Death Row Records is one of the most successful music labels of all time. From its inception in 1992, it exploded on the rap music scene with sales climbing to the $125 million mark in just four years. Even more noticeable than the label's financial success is the effect it had on American youth culture, making gangsta rap more popular with suburban white youth and MTV viewers than traditional rock groups. But under the guidance of six-foot-four-inch, 300-pound CEO Marion "Suge" Knight, Death Row also became the most controversial record label in history--a place where violence, gang feuds, threats, intimidation, and brushes with death were business as usual.

Have Gun Will Travel details the spectacular rise and violent fall of a music label that had at its heart a ferocious criminal enterprise cloaked behind corporate facades that gave it a guise of legitimacy. With inside access no other writer can claim, Ronin Ro, the country's preeminent rap journalist, exposes the facts everyone else is afraid to divulge--from the initial bankrolling of Death Row by a leader of L.A.'s notorious Bloods gang, to links with New York's Genovese crime family. Have Gun Will Travel lays bare the full story behind this influential label, including the still-unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., as well as Suge Knight's rise to power, his fight with East Coast rap titans such as Sean "Puffy" Combs, and his eventual imprisonment.

Hip Hop America
by Nelson George
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ISBN: 0670871532

Review: [Amazon.com] 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

Got Your Back: My Life in Tupac's Last Year
by Frank Alexander (Introduction), Heide Sigmund Cuda, Heidi Siegmund Cuda
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ISBN: 0312181116

Review: From Booklist , July 19, 1998
This dispatch from America's favorite frightening subculture explores that most necessary component of the gangsta-rap-star lifestyle, the body guard. Alexander was Tupac Shakur's bodyguard during the last year of his life. That may not be an ideal professional credential, but it does lend him the authority to present, with the help of a freelance writer, the gangsta life from the perspective of, uh, security. His contribution to the literature of that wastrel lifestyle's excesses is significant for its lucidity and for his informed musings on the thug lifestyle in general and the death of Biggie Smalls in particular. Conjecture about shifting relationships in the big-money, bitter-rivalry gangsta world gains more credence when delivered by an insider, even or especially one who, like Alexander, professes no bitterness toward past or present rivals. In the welter of books about gangsta, Got Your Back stands tall, not to mention its packing slightly more ordnance than the others. Mike Tribby Copyrightę 1998, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Ladies First: Revelations from a Strong Woman
by Queen Latifah, Karen Hunter (Contributor), Latifah
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ISBN: 0688156231

Review Amazon.com: "I am not a psychologist or a sociologist," Queen Latifah points out. "I don't have any degrees, and I'm not an expert on life. What I am is a young black woman from the inner city who is making it, despite the odds, despite the obstacles I've had to face in the lifetimes that have come my way." In Ladies First, she talks about the importance of women making the move to be strong and self-reliant, using her own rise to stardom as a rapper and actress as an example. "I'm not a tomboy--I'm just an athlete." Later, as a teenager, she would sneak out at night and go with friends to New York City to explore the emerging hip-hop scene, eventually cutting her first single in 1987. She talks about the choices she's made about drugs and sex and how she's learned as much from her mistakes as from her successes. And she addresses, glancingly, the rumors about her sexuality that have dogged her for years, and why she'd rather just ignore them: "I want people to see me as someone who is proud and comfortable with who I am.... Be secure in yourself. You don't need me--or any other public person, for that matter--to validate you." --Ron Hogan

No Disrespect
by Souljah, Sister Souljah
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ISBN: 0679767088

Book Description: Rapper, activist, and hip-hop rebel, Sister Souljah possesses the most passionate and articulate voice to emerge from the projects. Now she uses that voice to deliver what is at once a fiercely candid autobiography and a survival manual for any African American woman determined to keep her heart open and her integrity intact in 1990s America.

Synopsis: An honest look at growing up as an African-American female in the inner city offers an account of the tense relationship that exists between African-American women and men, the Black church, guns and drugs, and Black nationalism. Reprint. 35,000 first printing. Tour.

Unplugged
by Ed Lover, Doctor Dre (Contributor), Ed Lover, Doctor Dre
Our Price: $11.00
ISBN: 0684823683

Synopsis: Integrating their trademark off-the-wall humor with a positive message, the zany comedy team shares candid commentary, political notes, financial forecasts, and wise insights into modern life, in a collection highlighted by black-and-white photographs.

Synopsis: The hottest comedy team around takes a hilarious look at women, money, sex, fame, and politics in a shocking, provocative book with a positive message. The self-proclaimed "ambassadors to the world beyond the ghetto" challenge status and authority with unforgettable pearls of wisdom, political sound bites, financial forecasts, and candid commentary on popular icons from Snoop Doggie Dog to Barbra Streisand.

Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists
by Sacha Jenkins (Editor)
Our Price: $15.96
ISBN: 0312242980

This item will be published in November 1999. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives.

From the underground:
Hip hop culture as an agent of social change

by Hashim A. Shomari
Our Price: $8.00 + $1.25 special surcharge
ISBN: 0964252309
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Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

The Hip Hop Years: A History of Rap
by Alex Ogg, David Upshal
Our Price: $22.50
ISBN: 0752217801

This item will be published in September 1999. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives.

Rap:This Game Of Exposure (Promoting Your RapRecord/Artist)
by Walt Goodridge
Our Price: $69.00
ISBN: 0962920215

Book Description: Step by step procedures for setting up an independent rap record label and gaining the most exposure for your independent release.

Bleep!:
Censoring Rock and Rap Music

(Contributions to the Study of Popular Culture, No 68)
by Betty Houchin Winfield (Editor), Sandra Davidson (Editor)
Our Price: $55.00
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ISBN: 0313307059

Book Description: Examining the various boundaries of American artistic tolerance, chapters address the societal and legal responses to rock and rap music. Artistic expression has historically clashed with mainstream views, resulting in apprehension acted upon internally and externally, especially when expression is aimed toward children or young adults. This work studies the mass media content and programming in network television, Rolling Stone magazine, and the New York Times reviews and spot news concerning rock and rap music. The National Endowment for the Arts, the FCC, and the music industry's internal responses to parents and adults are discussed as well. Inhibitions and censoring, it is argued, stem from adult concerns for a healthy functioning society and from anxiety about the impact of sexual explicitness and uncontrolled behavioral expression on adolescents. This work attempts to explain why societal intolerance has a pattern of limiting the lyrics and sounds of rock and rap music.

Break It Down:
The Inside Story from the New Leaders of Rap

by Michael Small, Al Pereira (Photographer)
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ISBN: 0806513616

Review: Synopsis Dozens of today's hottest rap stars--including L. L. Cool J., Public Enemy, NWA, KRS-One, and Salt-n-Pepa--discuss their private lives and their music, offering their opinion on rap music today. Original.

Synopsis: This comprehensive introduction to dozens of today's rap superstars--L.L. Cool J., Public Enemy, NWA, KRS-One, Salt-n-Pepa, and others--includes photos, profiles, and interviews. The book smashes outworn ideas about rap as the genre's outspoken new rulers discuss their private lives, their music, racism, crime, fashion, censorship, sexism, and religion.

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