It wasn't really an academic work - the tone was conversational and assumed a fair bit of knowledge of the main players in hip-hop in the past. Loved the allusion to DeLillo's great prologue from UNDERWORLD at the start ("Longing on a large scale is what makes history.") The writing is accessible, with wily turns of phrases and references that embrace the high & low, the mass popular & artistic aesthetic, the mainstream & the underground alike. The Baader-Meinhof gang lay in suicide pools in a German prison. Where the book fails is really in the final third where the focus narrows to activist culture (sometimes really tenously attached to hip-hop) and gives a lot of stage to some questionable ideas without questioning them. In a lot of ways, it felt like I am the ideal audience for this book. That’s the easy way out. Chang devotes the first few chapters to exploring the social conditions prevailing in New York, particularly the South Bronx, in the years leading up to the birth of hip-hop. This at least gives a hint as to how Chang sees hip-hop heads re-developing music as a weapon. Something light and fun and interesting. The title is sort of misleading that way, It really examines the sociological and political roots of not only hip-hop, but disco and soul. It's truly exceptional. It wasn’t overtly political, although it was implicitly political in that: 1) it brought young people from diverse impoverished communities together and gave them a way out of a culture of self-destruction; 2) it gave a powerful voice to oppressed people who weren’t supposed to have a voice. In many ways, although it is not directly about hip-hop, this is the most important section of the book, as this history gives some important clues as to what makes hip-hop so special, so important. he's right in some ways, and i don't think that really interfers with the book. There is still great stuff, especially where the author helps place some songs and albums in the context of what. Regardless of the final third, it's still one of the best music books I have ever read. It's flawed - by the second half I mostly tuned out as Public Enemy and Ice Cube (not my favourites) took centre stage and the political thrust of Jeff Chang's argument grew strained - but for putting the birth of the movement in perspective musically and culturally it's hard to beat. However, by the time the mid-80s rolled around, there was no escaping politics. Instead, he concludes his book with several important examples of grassroots activists from the hip-hop generation using the music and cultural imagery of hip-hop to positive effect in their communities. Chang gives vivid descriptions of the social degeneration that followed the economic degeneration, as the most prominent face of the South Bronx became the gangs, the slum landlords, the insurance scam fires, the race tensions, and the drugs. Sounds like a really good book, I’ll have to check it out soon. Reaganomics – the set of anti-poor economic policies associated with the Reagan government – was in full effect, and social welfare budgets were being cut left, right and centre. I would have liked more information on the context of any of the players - for instance, the South Bronx gang leaders. DJ Kool Herc wrote the introduction. I’m asking you to help me raise him up.”, For Herc, it’s all about people within hip-hop taking responsibility and working to address the issues faced by their communities. they pick landmarks and artists who, perhaps, are emblematic of the genre, but do not come from the perspective of a fan that's where jeff chang's "can't stop won't stop" is so successful. If we’ve got a problem, we’ve got to correct it. Thank God for books like this to expose truths and tell stories that are neglected by the main stream. While many white residents “moved north to the wide-open spaces of Westchester County or the northeastern reaches of Bronx County”, the majority of African and Latino residents had little choice but to move to the South Bronx, where there was a boom in social housing but a near-total lack of jobs. It would not really appeal to younger fans of hip-hop, though, because although it did discuss a lot of the founders of the movement and how they affected social culture, it did so in a superficial way without, again, really explaining to an outside/younger audience why these players were important. So much of it kept me thinking, "The more things change..." and I can't help but hope for an update for everything that's happened since 2005. Was the focus shifted to its musical values, this story would be c. If you are searching for a book, which will enlighten you about the most relevant ambassadors of hip-hop music, I guess this is not the right one for you then. The backlash didn’t take long to arrive.
Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation is a 2005 book by Jeff Chang chronicling the early hip hop scene.
Chang gives a detailed coverage of the emergence of Public Enemy – without a doubt the best-known and most important political rap crew in history (I’ll write more about them when I review Russell Myrie’s biography of PE, ‘Don’t Rhyme for the Sake of Riddlin’). Why tough? This book was not at all what I thought it was going to be.
In London, as in New York City, capitalism’s crisis left entire blocks and buildings abandoned, and the sudden appearance of pierced, mohawked, leather-jacketed punks on Kings Road set off paroxysms of hysteria. This book seems like two books glued together. But then again, I don't think an encyclopedic history of the music was what the author intended. This culture was born in the ghetto. The book was well received, winning an American Book Award in 2005. Jeff Chang combines the detailed knowledge and big picture understanding of the academic world with the passion and politics of the street (fittingly, he describes his location as “Brooklyn and Berkeley” (Berkeley is a university in California with a reputation for student activism)). seriously, a super super read, starts with Jamaican Dj'ing and goes into the 70's latino gangs of NYC and then through all the old school NY rap, gangsta rap, up to the present day. As a history of the music, it's not. I'm so thankful I got to read this book. Two turntables and a microphone, man! [Jeff Chang] -- Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop became the Esperanto of youth rebellion and a generation-defining movement. New hip-hop: Madiba’s Message (celebrating Cuban-Southern African solidarity), Book review: Jeff Chang “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop – A History of the Hip-hop Generation”. My only criticism is that it has a political bias (but so does much of hip hop culture, so in some ways, it's appropriate).
Since this section focuses strongly on the artists and the development of the four pillars of hip-hop (DJing, MCing, breaking, and graffiti), it is a lot of fun to read. Can't Stop Won't Stop is a dense little volume, telling the story of hip-hop alongside the stories of polarizing housing and economic reforms, police brutality, drug trafficking, and the fight inner-city communities have put up to survive and create meaning via popular cultural movements: music, dance, the visual arts.
It's impressibly expansive - from the birth of dub in jamaica, to the black panthers, b-boys, punk, the new wave art scene, police brutality, woeful/intentionally non-existent domestic policy in inner cities, public enemy, anti-semitism, the L.A. riots and beyond. , The book was criticized for its focus on the political aspects. Something light and fun and interesting.
after that it's pretty musical in it's context so you may have to start getting some records to keep up, but you'll be thankful. RESOURCES. LEGAL. Here was a vibrant, rebellious youth culture that spoke to the needs of working class and oppressed people everywhere. Great first post on what I am sure will be a fast growing and exciting website. There is so much about America that I don't know. SIX WORD REVIEW: Boom bap history, left of center. “East, west, north or south – we come from one coast and that coast was Africa. -- it had me at "Generations are fictions" then kept me for good with "It was a bad night for baseball in the South Bronx...", I found this a bit disappointing to be honest, but that's in large part because I was expecting something different. chang is so much better on social history/politics than he is on actually describing the music. Commercial hip-hop bears strange fruit: on Kanye West, Rebel Diaz, Billie Holliday and Troy Davis. Chang writes that, in Chicago, legendary Black Panther Fred Hampton (who was murdered in his sleep by police in an unprovoked raid on his home) was “forming alliances with the powerful Blackstone Rangers, Mau Maus, and the Black Disciples gangs. Just like any other music, hip-hop has an enormous emotional impact on the listeners beyond racial and cultural scope.
The founders of hip-hop (DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Africa Bambaataa) get quite a lot of coverage. Jeff Chang combines the detailed knowledge and big picture understanding of the academic world with the passion and politics of the … They also had a powerful effect on the South Bronx gangs, especially when the gangs and the revolutionary groups discovered a shared enemy: police. Some people fall in love. As fascinating and immersive as it was to learn about the rise of dub and reggae, the gangs of 70's NYC, and the timeline of the Rodney King Rebellion, these subjects could have been given more compact synopses in order to keep hip-hop in the spotlight. I wanted to know more about the hip hop itself and not about the context of segregation and crime and the other stuff that I read about all the time. Every month our team sorts... To see what your friends thought of this book, For those popular music fans who still can't see the innovation in hip-hop, maybe this book will help.
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