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Hip Hop World

July 29, 2009

An excerpt from Hip Hop World (Groundwood Books):

Hip Hop WorldIT’S A HIP HOP WORLD, and you’re just living in it. For most music-addicted earthlings, hip hop culture is the predominant global youth subculture of today. For the non-music initiated, hip hop has become the black jewelry-laden elephant in the room filled with rock, country and classical music — an attention grabber whose influence is impossible to miss on the daily news, in school playgrounds, during water cooler conversations or in a political debate.

What is hip hop, and why should you care about it? Hip hop — a term coined by pioneering rapper Space Cowboy in the early 1970s to mimic a scat, and then popularized later by rapper Lovebug Starski — is quite simply the world’s leading counterculture, subculture and youth culture. Hip hop encompasses four distinct elements: vocalizing (rapping/emceeing), visual art (graffiti), dance (breakdancing) and manipulation of pre-recorded music (deejaying).

Much has been written about hip hop’s gritty African-American origins in the South Bronx, but the primary American consumers are young suburban whites whose fascination with black youth culture has led to Caucasian rappers Eminem and the Beastie Boys becoming two of the biggest-selling rap artists of all time. Once a predominantly African-American youth form of expression, or as legendary hip hop group Public Enemy’s lead vocalist Chuck D once called it, the black people’s CNN, rap has taken root around the world as a primary news source for disenfranchised Asian, South Asian, First Nations, Latin American, Australian, African, Middle Eastern and European publics.

Buy Hip Hop World here.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Scully permalink
    June 17, 2010 11:08 pm

    Dalton, “Hip Hop World” is a very intelligent book. I am a long-time political activist. It is not the music of my generation and I was put off by the corporate presentation that made hip hop look politically stupid and money grubbing. Thank you so much for your analysis, for revealing the richness of hip hop, and it’s international character.

  2. September 20, 2010 2:53 am

    I really enjoyed the book, great history taught in these pages, as well as many controversial issues. I think many young hip hop heads need more information of this sort in order to preserve the culture and keep it true to its roots.

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