One Nation Under a Groove: Rap Music and Its Roots

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Editorial Reviews

Rap music has been popular for more than two decades, but its roots stretch back much further. Haskins notes the genre's musical ties to blues, jazz, doo wop, and reggae and also points out the cultural impact several of these styles have shared. Along with an overview of the evolution of rap, he describes such related art forms as graffiti and break dancing that became integral parts of hip hop culture. The information presented is current, up to Eminem's 2000 Marshall Mathers LP and the impact of MP3 on the music industry. Haskins describes the controversial elements, such as gangsta rap, with objective clarity, not getting too far into the details of specific songs or lyrics. Separate chapters address women in rap, the international scene, and the African roots of the music. The book attempts to convey rap's historical importance and influence rather than chronicle every significant figure, which partially explains the fact that Dr. Dre, Death Row Records, and Yo! MTV Raps are not mentioned. The strong social history is offset by many factual errors that detract from the credibility of the book. The Geto Boys are not from South Central Los Angeles, for example, and misidentifying Rapper's Delight as a "number-one pop hit" distorts the lack of acceptance of early rap by pop radio stations. The Vibe History of Hip Hop (Three Rivers, 1999) brings a more intimate, accurate, and lively view of hip hop, whereas Haskins's effort is a flawed, but sometimes thought-provoking introduction to the history of rap. Glossary. Index. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. VOYA CODES: 2Q 4P M J (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, definedas grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000, Hyperion/Disney, 128p, . Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Steven Engelfried SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
From The Critics
This book should be a must read for anyone who thinks the history of rap begins in the 1970s. In this book, Haskins covers a wide range of time showing that the roots of rap actually began an ocean away in Africa. Haskins chronicles how spirituals sung by slaves influenced the Blues, Ragtime and Jazz, and how the themes prevalent in these musical genres have followed through to rap. Also discussed in vivid detail is the place of women in rap, and how rap has transcended its roots in urban African-American culture to become a worldwide phenomenon. For young people, you will find information on present day rappers such as Eninem, Tupac Shakur, and Queen Latifah. Most teenagers think they know all there is to know about rap. Reading this book should show them so much more. The book will be of enormous benefit to engage young people about the innovations in today's music and its handy glossary will help even the most knowledgeable music lover. Genre: Rap Music 2000, Hyperion, 160 pp., $15.99 and $16.49. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Kendra Lacy; Merritt Island, Florida
School Library Journal
Gr 4-9-While a number of books look at the current popularity of rap music, Haskins focuses on its roots and evolution, giving readers a real sense of how it is part of a long history of social commentary through art. He discusses the place of women in rap, and also how it has transcended its roots in urban African-American culture to become a worldwide phenomenon. This well-researched account goes well beyond the standard secondary sources that are the fodder for much current nonfiction. The book's quotations are meticulously sourced, but the way they are integrated into the text makes the text seem more like a dissertation than an entertaining read. Many of the quotes provide a scholarly perspective and seem a bit beyond the interest level of the intended audience. That said, this book is well designed, though without enough photographs. Many of the photos that do appear are integrated into the text without traditional borders, which is a nice visual touch. Rap lyrics are included in a hip typewriter font. Besides the footnotes, there is an extensive and helpful bibliography that includes Web addresses, and a substantial index as well. A competent, up-to-date resource that will be primarily useful for reports.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786804788
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 11/30/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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