Books on Music: Hip Hop Family Tree

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If you've been looking at the KPL Staff Best of 2013 lists, you've no doubt found something new that you hadn't seen before. For me, this years' big surprise was volume 1 of Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree, released in book form just last week- just in time to make it on my end-of-year list! Collected from nearly two years' worth of serialized strips on the weird tech/culture blog Boing BoingHip Hop Family Tree takes it way, way back to the formative years of hip hop. Starting with DJ Kool Herc spinning records at a local rec center in the South Bronx in the mid-70s and ending with the mainstream hip hop explosion of 1981, Hip Hop Family Tree covers a ton of ground in only a few years. Visually it's a treat as well, done in a yellowish, pulp comics look that wouldn't feel out of place next to a newsstand copy of X-Men in Times Square in 1979. Raw yet painstakingly researched, Hip Hop Family Tree is an essential read for hip hop fans. Ch-ch-check it out!


Hip Hop Family Tree


Posted by Stewart Fritz at 12/03/2013 01:22:22 PM | 

Thanks for the recommendation- I'll have to check it out! Speaking of hip-hop heads, the AV department has one of my favorite documentaries on the genre, "This Is The Life (How The West Was One)", about a late 80's/early 90's underground hip hop scene that was (and remains, in my opinion) hugely influential to this day. The once a week open mic nights held at the Good Life Cafe, a health food store in South Central, provided young folks a place to develop and refine their skills and styles, as well as an important sense of belonging to a creative community. Many rappers who started out there as youngsters are still around today and have only gotten better with time. This film tells a fun, fascinating and important story on hip-hop and the creation of an artistic community! It's heartening to see that hip hop is getting some of the respect it deserves!
Posted by: Andrea S ( Email ) at 12/12/2013 2:45 PM

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