The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop--and Why It Matters

Overview


Hip-hop is in crisis. For the past dozen years, the most commercially successful hip-hop has become increasingly saturated with caricatures of black gangstas, thugs, pimps, and ’hos. The controversy surrounding hip-hop is worth attending to and examining with a critical eye because, as scholar and cultural critic Tricia Rose argues, hip-hop has become a primary means by which we talk about race in the United States.

In The Hip-Hop Wars, Rose explores the most crucial issues ...

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The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop--and Why It Matters

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Overview


Hip-hop is in crisis. For the past dozen years, the most commercially successful hip-hop has become increasingly saturated with caricatures of black gangstas, thugs, pimps, and ’hos. The controversy surrounding hip-hop is worth attending to and examining with a critical eye because, as scholar and cultural critic Tricia Rose argues, hip-hop has become a primary means by which we talk about race in the United States.

In The Hip-Hop Wars, Rose explores the most crucial issues underlying the polarized claims on each side of the debate: Does hip-hop cause violence, or merely reflect a violent ghetto culture? Is hip-hop sexist, or are its detractors simply anti-sex? Does the portrayal of black culture in hip-hop undermine black advancement?

A potent exploration of a divisive and important subject, The Hip-Hop Wars concludes with a call for the regalvanization of the progressive and creative heart of hip-hop. What Rose calls for is not a sanitized vision of the form, but one that more accurately reflects a much richer space of culture, politics, anger, and yes, sex, than the current ubiquitous images in sound and video currently provide.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Renowned cultural critic Rose (Africana studies, Brown Univ.; Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America) ventures again into the world of hip-hop and produces another work that should challenge common feelings about the subject. In the first section of the book, "Hip Hop's Critics," she disputes several long-standing arguments made by the detractors of the genre. Rose then changes tack completely in the second section, "Hip Hop's Defenders," arguing against several of the platitudes often voiced by those standing up for it. This balance adds to the credibility of the book, but it's Rose's convincing arguments and challenges of assumptions that make this an important title. She attempts to bring both sides together in the final section, but it's easy to imagine her cries falling on deaf ears. In fact, the biggest problem with the book is that its challenging stance and lecturing tone aren't likely to attract the number of readers on both sides of the argument who would most benefit from Rose's analyses. This title definitely deserves readers; recommended for all music and culture collections.
—Craig Shufelt

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465008971
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 12/2/2008
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 226,014
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Tricia Rose is a professor of Africana Studies at Brown University. She specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century African-American culture and politics, social thought, popular culture, and gender issues. The author of the seminal Black Noise, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Top Ten Debates in Hip Hop

Hip Hop's Critics

1 Hip Hop Causes Violence 33

2 Hip Hop Reflects Black Dysfunctional Ghetto Culture 61

3 Hip Hop Hurts Black People 75

4 Hip Hop Is Destroying America's Values 95

5 Hip Hop Demeans Women 113

Hip Hop's Defenders

6 Just Keeping It Real 133

7 Hip Hop Is Not Responsible for Sexism 149

8 "There are Bitches and Hoes" 167

9 We're Not Role Models 187

10 Nobody Talks About the Positive in Hip Hop 201

Pt. 2 Progressive Futures

11 Mutual Denials in the Hip Hop Wars 217

12 Progressive Voices, Energies, and Visions 241

13 Six Guiding Principles for Progressive Creativity, Consumption, and Communityin Hip Hop and Beyond 261

Appendix Radio Station Consolidation 274

Notes 279

Bibliography 289

Index 293

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 21, 2010

    A great book for understanding the truth in hip-hop.

    I thought that The Hip-Hop Wars really was a great book. So many people have their own take on why the rap music industry is good or bad for individuals and for society for that matter. I have my own view, and my parents also have their views. I enjoyed how the book presented both sides of the argument. After seeing both viewpoints I agree with a couple opposing ones. Even if you don't like the other side of an argument, you should at least respect their view because you might find something you agree with. One thing i learned was that the rap industry is a business just like anything else. A lot of artists create lyrics that will sell. Music is there job and they're just trying to put food on the table for their family just as another person would. Not everyone has to like or listen to their lyrics. If you don't like it you can turn it off just like you would with a television show you if you don't like it. There is no one that is making you listen to it. I don't understand the people that complain about rap, they don't have to like it. I think people should just understand where some rappers come from with their lyrics. They write about how they grew up or how life was for them. It wasn't necessarily the most positive thing in the world. There for the music doesn't have to be positive. I feel like the book presented that well. It clearly described both views and how both views and correct in someways and how they both have flaws as well. Tricia Rose did an excellent job in writing a true demonstration of the hip-hip world.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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