he's right in some ways, and i don't think that really interfers with the book.
academic tomes on hip-hop have a sobering tendency to come from artifice, revisionist histories written by out-of-touch scholars eager to stamp their name on uncharted territory.
This was not the book I was expecting, but I definitely liked the book I got.
The new culture seemed to whirl backward and forward—a loop of history, history as loop—calling and responding, leaping, spinning, renewing.”, “Public Enemy’s theme was Black collectivity, the one thing that had been lost in the post–Civil Rights bourgeois individualist goldrush. Back in those days at least, the gangs and the major movements for political change were not a million miles apart.
There is still great stuff, especially where the author helps place some songs and albums in the context of what was going on with LA police and gang culture at the time. Funding and support for radical music disappeared, and the big deals started going to those willing to promote misogyny and black-on-black violence. anyone interested in anything about hip hop, i just heard an interview with KRS where he criticized Jeff Chang and this book saying it was a little too "fan boy" and didn't compile contradicting sources and sort it out, just if "kool herc said it, it's true." This book seems like two books glued together. Reaganomics – the set of anti-poor economic policies associated with the Reagan government – was in full effect, and social welfare budgets were being cut left, right and centre. Great first post on what I am sure will be a fast growing and exciting website.
[Jeff Chang] -- Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop became the Esperanto of youth rebellion and a generation-defining movement.
A lot of useful information here. In under 500 pages, Jeff Chang has managed to give a detailed, fascinating and relevant history of hip-hop culture, covering almost every important aspect: the social conditions that gave rise to it, the stories of the people and communities that pioneered it and moved it forward, its transformation from a primarily party-oriented movement to a culture of resistance, its re-transformation to a culture of individualism and consumerism, and a peek into its future. The founders of hip-hop (DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Africa Bambaataa) get quite a lot of coverage. and Pac), the controversial mainstream phenomenons of the Fresh Prince and Eminem, and basically the second half of the 90s. Don’t just be like a drug dealer, like another pusher. Welcome back. It wasn’t overtly political, although it was implicitly political in that: 1) it brought young people from diverse impoverished communities together and gave them a way out of a culture of self-destruction; 2) it gave a powerful voice to oppressed people who weren’t supposed to have a voice. The man can write. Chang's sweeping coverage of hip-hop's origins and major developments up to the year 2000 is packed with intimate details, extensive contextualization, and utter respect for the artists. The gap between rich and poor, and between people of colour and whites, was growing at an incredible rate, as was the prison population. Impoverished young people, struggling to survive in a deprived area that the world had chosen to ignore, gave birth to a culture of music, dance (breakdancing) and art (graffiti) which the world couldn’t ignore, and which it eventually would have no choice but to adopt.  On Metacritic, the book received an aggregate score of 81/100 from twelve reviews—indicating "universal acclaim". Doesn't talk about hip hop directly, but lays out a history of the destruction of a community by the Cross Bronx Expressway that is heartbreaking. As a socio-economic/cultural history of hip-hop, it's brilliant and extremely comprehensive. In doing so, he summoned up a spirit that had been there at Congo Square and in Harlem and on Wareika Hill. Since this section focuses strongly on the artists and the development of the four pillars of hip-hop (DJing, MCing, breaking, and graffiti), it is a lot of fun to read. Gang life had become a central feature of many young people’s lives in the Bronx. Chang knows his stuff, and whether he's talking about gang wars in the Bronx, block parties and Jamaican sound, For those popular music fans who still can't see the innovation in hip-hop, maybe this book will help. Thank God for books like this to expose truths and tell stories that are neglected by the main stream. Now that the poorest sections of the population in urban US had a voice, it was natural to use it to decry the corporate/government attack on their communities, especially when the older generation of black radical politics – the civil rights and black power movements – had gone quiet (or had been ‘quieted’). In a post-civil rights era defined by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop …
It brought a new perspective to the music for me and had me digging for countless albums for weeks. Chang describes one of the most crucial events that shaped the early hip-hop generation: the construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway, between 1948 and 1972.
Hip-hop culture realigned itself and re-imagined its roots, representing itself now as a rap thing, a serious thing, a Black thing.”. History behaved as if reset to year zero. , In 2007, KRS-One criticized Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: "When I read Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop I didn’t see the scholarship. The Weather Underground and the Young Lords Party crawled toward the final stages of violent implosion.