MP3 player, smartphones, and DJ turntables – these are all our sources of hip hop music. But sometimes, we just want to consume hip hop music without the loud beats and dance crazes. We want to get serious about learning the art of hip hop. We suggest you to get a book about hip hop. In this article, we list down the best hip hop books that should be in your library:
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation (2005)
This book was written and produced by Jeff Chang, a music critic, and journalist. It was published in 2005 and won the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award. It talks about the earlier generation of the hip hop scene. It features stories of the pioneers of hip hop music, including DJ Kool Herc andAfrikaBambaataa. In fact, DJ Kool Herc wrote the introduction.
Hip Hop America (1998)
Hip Hop America was written by African-American music critic and filmmaker Nelson George. In this book, he discussed the impact of hip hop music on culture. It also provides a definitive account of how hip hop changed the black youth culture in mass media. Most of George’s anecdotes are surely worth the read.
How to Draw Hip Hop (2006)
Comic artist and hip hop artist Damion Scott, together with music journalist Kris Ex, wrote together a book called “How to Draw Hip Hop”. It explains the processes in writing hip hop music and most especially, culture. This includes the construction of hip hop look, the style of B-boys and B-girls, and the characters and environments of the hip hop culture.
Decoded is an autobiography book of American rapper Jay-Z, written by Jay-Z himself and published by Random House. It involves anecdotes, lyrics, reflections, and stories about his life. Jay-Z explained why he wants to write this book. First, he wanted to tell that hip hop lyrics is a form of artistic poetry. Second, involving in hip hop is such a powerful experience. Lastly, he wanted to create stories that everyone can relate to, through hip hop music.
The Wu-Tang Manual (2005)
The Wu-Tang Clan is a hardcore hip hop group from New York City. They have released four gold and platinum albums. In fact, their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (1993) is one of the greatest albums in the hip hop history. In 2005, member of the group and producer RZA released a Wu-Tang Manual. It contains stories about the members, movies, inspirations, and even merchandises. The manual is divided into four books, each with nine chambers.
The Way I Am (2008)
The Way I Am is a 2008 autobiographical book about American rapper, Eminem. It was authored by Marshall Matters and published by Dutton Adult. It contains personal stories, reflections, photographs, and lyric sheets of Eminem. This book is very special as it detailed how Eminem started from poverty, got into drugs, depression, and heartbreak rose to fame and inspired people.
Which of these hip hop books have you read already?