In Hip Hop World, Dalton Higgins comprehensively examines the hip hop scene as it exists throughout the world. The book reveals the form's musical inspirations from Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, African American sex satirists, comedians, civil rights-fuelled funk musicians, spoken word luminaries, and dub and Nuyorican poetry. Author Higgins examines hip hop's racial, multicultural, and multilingual listening audiences, the development of global rap slanguage and its influence on standard English ...
In Hip Hop World, Dalton Higgins comprehensively examines the hip hop scene as it exists throughout the world. The book reveals the form's musical inspirations from Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, African American sex satirists, comedians, civil rights-fuelled funk musicians, spoken word luminaries, and dub and Nuyorican poetry. Author Higgins examines hip hop's racial, multicultural, and multilingual listening audiences, the development of global rap slanguage and its influence on standard English lexicons, and hip hop herstory and cultural taboos around sexuality. He highlights the burgeoning Aboriginal hip hop scenes in Canada and Australia, and movements in colleges across North America and Europe that use hip hop lyrics and artistry to help engage students in learning. Critical of hip hopsters' use of language, the cult of bling, violence, and money, this book takes readers beyond a superficial look and delves into all the issues surrounding this form. Higgins taps into his own powers of pop culture prognostication to predict the future of the genre and the youth culture that spawned it, as this irresistible musical and cultural form spreads literally to the furthest reaches of humanity.
Dalton Higgins offers a very intellectual perspective on hip hop as not only a genre of music, but a global, cultural phenomenon. Higgins thoroughly examines the roots of hip hop, which, according to his sources, lie in poor urban neighborhoods such as the South Bronx. How then can a genre with such modest ancestry have transpired into the stereotypical hip hop scene of today? Higgins gives the example of the typical rap music video, which focuses on any or all of the following: excessive amounts of money, fast, expensive sports cars, massive mansions, diamonds and other "bling," and scantily-clad women. The evolution of hip hop is just one of the many topics addressed by Higgins in his manuscript. Intelligently written with painstaking detail and citations, it is well-suited for high school or college-aged students. Economics, globalization, and gender roles are all analyzed, creating a tone that is indeed very educational. It is part of the "Groundwork Guides" series. Reviewer: Jennifer Keeney
- Lynne Farrell Stover
This series features controversial and thought-provoking topics that include such timely titles as Being Muslim, Climate Change, Genocide, and Slavery Today. Short in length and containing strong points of view, these books offer the reader facts and opinions that work as springboards for classroom discussion and further research. Books in the series contain time lines, informative sidebars, indexes, and up-to-date reading lists. There are no illustrations. Hip Hop World is an examination of a widespread and influential youth culture. How and when the hip-hop subculture got started and what might be in its future bookend this well-sourced manuscript. In between, readers discover hip-hop's influence on music, language, dance, fashion, and art. Hip-hop's provocative views concerning race, sex, social class, gangs, and gender are discussed and explained. The author addresses hip-hop as a global phenomenon and describes how it is now being used as a tool for self-expression in Africa, Asia, and India. Reviewer: Lynne Farrell Stover
School Library Journal
Adult/High School—Higgins delivers a thoughtful examination of the globalization of hip-hop. Taking a thematic approach, he examines diverse topics relevant to the music: its back-and-forth ties to drug and gang culture, its preoccupation with money and bling, its overly sexual portrayal of women, issues of race, and more. Early chapters spell out hip-hop's early influences, but Higgins assumes readers have at least some familiarity with the superstars of the industry. Several short interviews with diverse talents like Chicago's The Cool Kids and South African rapper Tumi Molekane go a long way to highlight and reinforce Higgins's concepts. By the end of the book, the author's strong-minded thesis becomes clear: while the quality and importance of hip-hop is diminishing in the West, it is becoming one of the largest and most powerful artistic forces for self-expression and societal change in places like China, Saudi Arabia, and Aboriginal nations inside Canada and Australia. Although one-sided, Higgins's arguments and examples are sure to cause debate. The volume closes with a notes section that highlights works cited in each chapter. Although not a replacement for historical overviews like Jeff Chang's Can't Stop, Won't Stop (St. Martin's, 2005), Hip Hop World is an excellent title to place alongside it so fans both new and old can look at this art form in a serious, critical way.—Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA
A solid addition to the Groundwork Guide series, this overview of hip-hop covers an impressive amount of ground and spans the landscape of the art form's global origins and modern existence. In a work of nonfiction that reads something like a combination of academic treatise and an article in a music magazine, Higgins's journalistic roots shine through, and the pithy, unapologetically political narrative that results is sure to engage readers. There are quirks that may cause some to question for whom this guide is intended-as, for example, when the author parenthetically explains that the term "wack" means "not good," but later leaves the phrase "publishing cottage industry" undefined. However, the examination of issues of co-optation, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion and class (among others) in the field of hip-hop is provocative, intelligent and well-sourced. Interviews with a wide range of artists, informational sidebars about particular events and phenomena, a global timeline and lists of required reading and viewing round things out nicely. (Nonfiction. 12 & up)