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A Taste of Power

Posted March 27, 2006 3:55 am (about 4105 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Coming in at 450 pages, Brown's book is a quick, yet powerful read about the Black Panther Party from and insider's perspective. Read article

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Posted August 8, 2008 3:03 am (about 3240 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua If you’re familiar with Hosseini’s first book The Kite Runner, or the movie of the same name, you already know what to expect; living in Afghanistan is hard. Someone asked me what’s one thing that stood out to me about this book and I simply told her, “I’m glad I wasn’t born a female in Afghanistan.” Read article

All Music Guide to Hip Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap and Hip-Hop

Posted March 28, 2006 12:12 am (about 4104 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua The amount of information in here is overwhelming, but it's a handy reference for sure. Read article

All You Need to Know About Rappin'

Posted March 27, 2006 4:08 am (about 4105 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua This is more of a collector's item than an account of how to be down with hip hop (not that reading a book will necessarily do the trick!) Read article

Art of Emcee-ing, The

Posted August 23, 2006 5:42 pm (about 3955 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua An easy to follow stop by step guide for the aspiring hip-hop artist. Read article

Audacity of Hope

Posted December 29, 2008 3:10 am (about 3097 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua There isn’t anything particularly new here if you keep up with the news and have watched a fair number of his interviews. Having said that, it’s not a bad read, just not particularly insightful in a world of 24/7 media and seemingly limitless info on the internet. Read article

Bad Boy: The Influence of Sean Puffy Combs on the Music Industry

Posted March 12, 2006 12:43 pm (about 4119 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Already known for his blistering attacks against hip hop's material excesses and gangster/thug element, as well as the music industry that thrives on these topics, it should come as no surprise that Ro's account of Bad Boy Records' mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is critical, to say the least. Read article

Beastie Boys: Rhyming and Stealing

Posted April 12, 2006 11:11 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Biography. Read article

Boogaloo: The Quintessence of American Popular Music

Posted March 28, 2006 12:08 am (about 4104 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua I haven't read this book, but skimming through it, Kempton gives a critical analysis of African-American popular music, from its musical sensibilities to the business side of things. The usuals are here: Motown, James Brown, Sam Cook, etc. More contemporary figures include KRS-One, Tupac, Dr. Dre, and George Clinton. It's a dense read, but full of good information. Read article

Chosen By Fate: My Life Inside Death Row Records

Posted March 26, 2006 3:48 am (about 4106 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Snoop's former bodyguard tells his tale of rolling with the "Untouchable" Death Row, giving his perspective on the murder charges against himself and Snoop. Read article

Classic Material: The Hip Hop Album Guide

Posted April 12, 2006 10:25 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Review coming soon! Read article

Conscious Women Rock The Page

Posted July 15, 2008 5:53 pm (about 3263 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua While I haven’t come across many books that deal directly with hip hop and education most of the ones I’m familiar with are pretty good. Most recently, I got my hands on Conscious Women Rock the Page, a collection of lesson plans and activities for grades 6-12 exploring themes of social justice, including racism, sexism, sexual orientation, and class. Read article

Dangerous Times, The

Posted July 5, 2006 12:21 pm (about 4004 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Cleveland drug dealer finds redemption. Read article

Drive-By

Posted July 31, 2007 1:04 am (about 3614 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua In-depth look at the conditions that lead to the death of an Oakland teenager at the hands of his peers. Read article

Dying Ground, The: A Hip Hop Noir Novel

Posted April 12, 2006 10:21 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Set in Oakland, CA in 1989, this book revolves around Maceo Redfield, a former star high school athlete, who struggles to maintain the straight and narrow path and not fall to the temptations of the streets. Read article

Dying Ground, The: A Hip Hop Noir Novel

Posted March 26, 2006 4:33 am (about 4106 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Set in Oakland, CA in 1989, this book revolves around Maceo Redfield, a former star high school athlete who struggles to maintain the straight and narrow path and not fall to the temptations of the streets. Read article

Ego Trip's Big Book of Racism!

Posted March 26, 2006 4:58 am (about 4106 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua The second book by Ego Trip's motely crew of hip-hop malcontents will either deeply offend you or have you laughing out loud as they take an irreverent, humerous look at race relations in the U.S. and common stereotypes. Read article

Ego Trip's Book of Hip Hop Lists

Posted March 26, 2006 4:45 am (about 4106 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua A must have for true hip-hop fans. Read article

Eminem: Angry Blonde

Posted March 26, 2006 5:06 am (about 4106 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua There's not much here except for pictures and lyrics, as penned by Em himself. Read article

Fight The Power: Rap, Race, and Reality

Posted March 27, 2006 3:43 am (about 4105 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Public Enemy's front man gives his opinion on everything from affirmative action to the best MCs of all time. Read article

From Totems to Hip Hop: Poetry Across the Americas, 1900-2002

Posted March 27, 2006 11:41 pm (about 4104 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Read article

Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of the One

Posted March 28, 2006 12:22 am (about 4104 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Vincent argues that his book is merely an effort to garner interest in funk, not be the end all explanation. He’s certainly done that. Read article

Gangsta Rap

Posted January 21, 2007 3:46 am (about 3805 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Read the review! Read article

Gangsta: Merchandising Rhymes of Violence

Posted March 28, 2006 12:41 am (about 4104 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Ro lends a critical, if not disgusted, look at the music known as “gangsta rap.” Read article

Gunshots in My Cook-Up: Bits and Bites From a Caribbean Life

Posted March 28, 2006 12:57 am (about 4104 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua In spite of high expectations and my best efforts, I finished this book with mixed feelings. Read article

Haunting of Hip Hop, The

Posted July 5, 2006 12:22 pm (about 4004 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua A novel connecting contemporary hip hop with the last days of pre-colonial Africa. Read article

Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records

Posted March 29, 2006 12:49 am (about 4103 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua A less than flattering look at one of the most influential record labels in music history. Read article

Hip Hop America

Posted March 29, 2006 12:57 am (about 4103 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua George has been active in the hip-hop community for more than twenty years and it shows in his writing. Read article

Hip Hop and Rap

Posted April 12, 2006 10:40 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Complete lyrics to 175 songs. Read article

Hip Hop Tried 2 Kill Me

Posted November 16, 2008 4:57 am (about 3140 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Quite frankly, I’m pretty burnt out on “hip-hop literature” and between the title, the cover art, and the description on the back, I was expecting another clichéd tale from the ‘hood. Well, some of that is here, but it’s worth peeling back the layers as Fleetwood has some important things to say in his true account of his efforts to carve out a career in the field of hip hop. Included are many first-hand experiences addressing traps to avoid and tips on being successful at the independent level. Read article

Hip Hoptionary

Posted March 31, 2006 3:32 pm (about 4100 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua A book that attempts to document hip-hop slang? I have to admit, I was skeptical. Read article

Hip-Hop Poetry and the Classics for the Classroom

Posted March 31, 2006 3:38 pm (about 4100 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Dang. This is what I get for being unfocused. I had this great plan to do a book of hip-hop lesson plans that met California standards, but these guys beat me to it. I can't front though; they did an excellent job. Read article

Holler If You Hear Me: Searching For Tupac

Posted March 31, 2006 3:53 pm (about 4100 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua An excellent book that examines the legacy of the late Tupac Shakur. Read article

How To Rent-A-Negro

Posted March 22, 2009 5:01 pm (about 3013 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua This gem was passed to me by my friend Gloria while I was supposed to be relaxing down in Mobile, AL a couple of years ago. Instead of getting me to relax, it actually got my brain working harder, which was the author’s point. The basic premise of the book is that Black folks are sick and tired of White people objectifying them and taking them for granted. Since these interactions are inevitable, African Americans should be compensated for having to put up with this behavior and the book is full of faux invoices and advice for both the renters and rentees. Need an African American companion so you don’t look racist? Want to make money answering questions about poverty, gangs, and gospel music? Then this book is for you! Read article

I Got Thunder: Black Woman Songwriters and Their Craft

Posted December 29, 2008 3:12 am (about 3097 days ago)

By Demetrie Broxton An insightful review of a book highlighting interviews with prominent singers and songwriters, including Abbey Lincoln, Angelique Kidjo, Brenda Russell, Chaka Khan, Dianne Reeves, Dionne Warwick, Miriam Makeba, Narissa Bond, Nina Simone, Nona Hendryx, Oleta Adams, Pamela Means, Shemekia Copeland, Shirley Caesar, Tokunbo Akinro, Toshi Reagon, and Tramaine Hawkins. Read article

Ice Cube: Attitude

Posted March 31, 2006 4:00 pm (about 4100 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Information-wise, there are some useful things here as McIver brings together interviews and articles from numerous magazines and books without actually speaking to Ice Cube himself. Read article

Inner City Miracle

Posted May 11, 2008 8:40 pm (about 3328 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Autobiography of TV's Judge Greg Mathis. Read article

Journal of Hip Hop

Posted July 17, 2006 2:51 pm (about 3992 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Collection of hip-hop writings and activities for educators and music fans. Read article

King of Rock: Respect, Responsibility, and My Life with Run DMC

Posted March 31, 2006 10:25 pm (about 4100 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Like msot artist's autobiographies, D doesn't delve the really juicy details about what happened behind the scenes in his music career, yet this is still an insightful read. Read article

La Maravilla

Posted March 31, 2006 10:30 pm (about 4100 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua I’ve been a fan of Véa’s since picking up his book When God’s Go Begging back in 1998. Read article

Last King, The

Posted April 1, 2006 4:12 am (about 4100 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Let me not beat around the bush with this one. While I was a big fan of this book's predecessor, The Dying Ground, the follow up just wasn't working for me. Read article

Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, and God

Posted April 1, 2006 4:19 am (about 4100 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua In spite of the title and the fact that Simmons is a key figure responsible for hip-hop’s growth, this book is rather bland. Read article

Locke 1928

Posted April 6, 2008 3:15 am (about 3364 days ago)

By Monica Zarazua I remember walking in Oakland, CA during the 2006 May Day protests against anti-immigration legislation. Never before had I seen so many Latino people waving the U.S. flag. In that moment I realized that the traditional American symbols don’t define us. We define the symbols and places in which we live. The protest was a moment that shifted my perspective from being one of, “Only old U.S. vets wave the flag” to “This country should be proud to see such individuals and families carrying its flag”.

Reading Ryan’s book reemphasized the lesson I learned in May 2006. Not because the characters are exceptionally heroic but because their story is unique and specific to California in the early 1900s. Ryan is able to portray the depths to which the characters need one another, even as they seek self –determination. While her book is not politically motivated it is a contribution to the ever involving understanding of our culture and history. Read article

Lyrical Swords: Hip Hop and Politics in the Mix

Posted August 6, 2006 1:55 am (about 3973 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Read article

Makin' It: The Hip-Hop Guide to True Survival

Posted April 12, 2006 10:47 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua When it comes to education, teachers can be divided into to broad camps: those who teach students and those who teach subjects. Read article

Move the Crowd:Voices and Faces of the Hip Hop Nation

Posted April 12, 2006 1:36 pm (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Click here to see the review. Read article

Negroes With Guns

Posted April 12, 2006 9:42 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua I dug this book so much that I've used it to teach my high school Ethnic Studies classes. Read article

No Woman No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley

Posted April 12, 2006 10:00 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua There's no denying the tremendous impact that Bob Marley has had on music, politics, and popular culture. But while many deify him, it's no secret that he's just as flawed as many other idols, if not more. Read article

One Love, One Heart

Posted April 12, 2006 10:52 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua How can one talk about hip hop and not talk about reggae? If you know the history of hip hop, you know about it's strong Caribbean roots. Read article

Ordinary Me: From Survival to Success

Posted July 2, 2006 11:58 pm (about 4007 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Motivational book. Read article

Phat Beats, Dope Rhymes: Hip Hop Down Under Comin' Upper

Posted April 12, 2006 10:31 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Australian hip hop. Read article

Predator: Big Game

Posted August 17, 2010 11:51 pm (about 2500 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua A Navajo soldier named Enoch Nakai takes on the alien Predator, which he likens to the mythical Horned Monster of the Navajo Nayenezgani legend. Is this a work of high literature? Nope. Worth a read for sci-fi fans? Read article

Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones

Posted March 27, 2006 11:34 am (about 4104 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Beyond starting Vibe and the production work of his son, QDIII, few in the hip hop world appreciate the influence of Jones on hip hop. Read article

Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line; Michael Eric Dyson

Posted March 27, 2006 11:28 am (about 4104 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Dr. Dyson writes an important book on why race continues to matter in this country, whether we like it or not. He draws upon the contemporary issues of the period, which at the time of this book included The Million Man March and the O.J. Simpson trial. Read article

Rap on Rap: Straight-Up Talk on Hiphop Culture

Posted April 12, 2006 12:13 pm (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua A mix of essays and writings by everyone from Joan Morgan to Luther Campbell to Rev. Calvin Butts. Read article

Rap: This Game of Exposure

Posted April 12, 2006 11:06 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Promoting your rap record/artist. Read article

Reflecting Black

Posted March 27, 2006 10:37 am (about 4104 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Dyson connects the academic world with popular culture and the streets in this collection of his writings. Read article

Rhythm and Business: The Political Economy of Black Music

Posted March 27, 2006 11:05 am (about 4104 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Kelly has compiled a must-have collection of writings for anyone interested in social justice, economic empowerment, or making it in the music business. Contributors include Chuck D, Courtney Love, the NAACP, author Reebee Garofalo, and Artemis Records’ label head, Danny Goldberg. Read article

Rough Mix

Posted April 12, 2006 12:20 pm (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua While this book is not directly related to hip hop, it could be useful for anyone interested in the music industry. Read article

Ruminations

Posted April 12, 2006 10:05 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua I've heard nothing but rave reviews about this one, but it isn't in my budget yet! Comes with a CD. Read article

Small Island

Posted November 28, 2009 4:58 pm (about 2762 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Small Island is a complex, multi-layered book addressing a number of if issues such as race, gender, religion, and identity in general, set to the background of World War-II era England and Jamaica. Read article

Spook Who Sat By the Door, The

Posted March 12, 2006 12:31 pm (about 4119 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua As I skimmed my bookshelf the other day, I couldn't believe that I left this one off of the reading list! Read article

Street Soldier

Posted April 12, 2006 9:49 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua The term "soldier" is about as common in contemporary hip hop the word thug, n*gga, or b*tch, yet none of these yahoos can tell you what they're fighting for. Read article

Street Talk: Da Official Guide to Hip Hop & Urban Slanguage

Posted April 12, 2006 9:31 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Although it's been a minute since I've posted reviews, I still get a fair amount of requests to check out someone's work. Unfortunately, most of it is mediocre or flat out bad. However, some gems also come in, including this book by Randy "Moe Deezy" Kearse out of New York. Read article

Tengo Casi 500 Anos: Africa’s Legacy in Mexico, Central and South America

Posted July 5, 2009 2:38 pm (about 2908 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua It’s probably safe to say that most people think of Africa’s legacy in the Americas as primarily restricted to the United States and Brazil. As this book shows, this is far from the case. Read article

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Posted December 1, 2008 1:01 am (about 3125 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Hurston addresses common topics such as racism and sexism, but also class and skin color differences within the African American community. While in modern times these issues are more widely discussed, the original printing was in 1937, from a woman no less. Read article

Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride

Posted December 29, 2008 3:17 am (about 3097 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua To merely describe Twenty-Five Chickens as a history of Filipinos in California’s Bay Areas does an incredible disservice to an extraordinary woman’s tale of tracing her families roots in the Philippines and American south, to her present-day community activism. Although Filipino Americans are the heart of the story, the diversity of the Bay comes out, with everyone from Mexican farm workers to leaders in the gay rights movement playing a role in her life. Read article

Twilight

Posted March 22, 2009 4:49 pm (about 3013 days ago)

By Brenda Garcia Oakland Unity High School 9th Grader reviews one of her favorite books about love in the supernatural world. Read article

Understanding the Connections Between Black and Aboriginal Peoples

Posted April 12, 2006 1:33 pm (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua In this fast, easy read Dub explores the fascinating links between Africans and Indigenous people over the centuries. Read article

Voices in the Mirror

Posted April 12, 2006 9:37 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua While Parks is known as a documentarian, author, filmmaker, and unparalleled photographer, his own life is as interesting as any of his subjects. Read article

Westside: Young Men & Hip Hop in L.A.

Posted April 12, 2006 12:32 pm (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua The London-based Shaw writes about his encounters with various young Black males, trying to make a career in the L.A. hip-hop scene. Read article

When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost

Posted April 12, 2006 12:36 pm (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua A definite must-read. Moore speaks as a young woman of the hip-hop generation and her perspective on everything from sexism, to "strong Black Women," to "chickenhead envy." Read article

White Boy Shuffle; The

Posted April 12, 2006 12:45 pm (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Without a doubt, Beatty is one of the premiere contemporary wordsmiths. Read article

Who Shot Ya? Three Decades of Hip Hop Photography

Posted April 12, 2006 1:15 pm (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua At many levels, this is an important book for anyone interested in youth culture, much less hip hop. Read article

Why I Love Black Women

Posted April 12, 2006 11:26 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua OK, so this book isn't a "hip-hop book." Yet since hip hop is rooted in the Black community and Dyson is one of hip hop's most critical analysts and scholars, it would be a crime to leave this book off this list. Read article

Why White Kids Love Hip Hop

Posted April 12, 2006 10:12 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Due in stores in early January 2005 by the former Executive Editor of The Source magazine. Review forthcoming! Read article

Yes Yes Y'all

Posted April 12, 2006 11:34 am (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua This is one of the few books to focus on hip hop's real old school of the '70s and early '80s. Read article

Yo' Mama's Disfunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America

Posted April 12, 2006 1:02 pm (about 4088 days ago)

By Daniel D. Zarazua Don't let the title fool you, this is some serious reading. Kelley asks what exactly does it mean to be a part of the "underclass" or ghetto? Read article