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Rap and hip hop, the music and culture rooted in African American urban life, bloomed in the late 1970s on the streets and in the playgrounds of New York City. This critical collection serves as a historical guide to rap and hip hop from its beginnings to the evolution of its many forms and frequent controversies, including violence and misogyny. These wide-ranging essays discuss white crossover; women in rap; gangsta rap; message rap; raunch rap; Lation rap; black nationalism; and other elements of rap and hip hop culture, such as dance and fashion. Pictorial profiles, many by Ernie Paniccioli, enhance this collection, which brings together the foremost experts on the pop culture explosion of rap and hip hop.
Intelligent, sophisticated, and provocative, this 11-essay collection analyzes aspects of hip-hop that are usually neglected in books of this kind. Notable are the cogent studies of Latino contributions to both rap and hip-hop culture. For large public and academic collections. (LJ 5/15/96) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Perkins, a faculty fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois House at the University of Pennsylvania, has assembled a collection of essays about rap music and hip hop culture. He provides an introductory history of rap, followed by articles about the pioneering contributions of female and Latino American rappers. Essays dealing with the political and economic contexts of rap -- gangsta rap, rap with a message, and the racism inherent in rap's crossover to white America -- form the second part of the book. The third section features articles about hip hop culture, especially breakdancing and the use of public space for performance, and ends with an epilog by the editor. Though sometimes overly academic and ranging in quality from the workmanlike introduction to the excellent essay on message rap, Droppin' Science provides a revealing look at an important part of African American culture in the 1990s. It serves as a welcome addition to the growing legion of books and articles on the topic. Recommended to those interested in modern music and culture.David Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle