And It Don't Stop The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years

Edited by Raquel Cepeda; Foreword by Nelson George

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

384 Pages



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In September 1979, with the release of the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight," a cosmic shift occurred; though it went largely unnoticed by mainstream America, it would eventually give rise to a revolution spanning race and gender, class and culture, taste and commerce. And It Don't Stop is a cutting-edge collection of articles by the writers and journalists who bore witness to this revolutionary shift—namely, the rise of hip-hop music. This this important anthology traces hip-hop from its origins on the streets of the Bronx to its explosion as an international phenomenon.

These writings document the indelible moments in hip-hop's history, from the very first article about break-dancing (by Sally Banes), to Nelson George's profile of Russell Simmons (years before he became a corporate mogul), to Harry Allen's extended obituary for Jam Master Jay (who was murdered in Queens in 2002)—pioneering and sometimes controversial articles that created rifts between church and state, artists and journalists, critics and fans. The pieces collected here, totaling nearly 30 altogther, also record the rise and tragic fall of several of the art form's appointed heroes, such as Tupac Shakur, Eazy-E, and the Notorious B.I.G.

And It Don't Stop brings together powerful and provocative articles and interviews by some of the best writers ever to address hip-hop, including Touré, Kevin Powell, Cheo Hodari Coker, Greg Tate, Bill Adler, Hilton Als, Joan Morgan, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, and others.


Praise for And It Don't Stop

"And It Don't Stop does an excellent job of tracking both hip-hop's development and hip-hop journalism's increasingly strident critiques . . . Cepeda's selections are superb . . . [This] is an entertaining, thoughtfully compiled journey through hip-hop journalism."—Adam Mansbach, The Boston Globe

"A must-have for those who have defined as well as those who are curious about the culture."—Russell Simmons

"An insightful, ground-level, up-close view . . . This is some of the best journalism on hip-hop over the past twenty-five years—a valuable collection for hip-hop students, fans, and nostalgic observers alike."—Tricia Rose, author of Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America

"This engaging anthology captures the controversial moments of hip-hop from its birth in 1979 to now."—Black Issues Book Review

"And It Don't Stop is a collection of hip-hop's most vital moments—a historical documentation of the music's evolution and the journalism that evolved along with that music."—Peter L'Official,

"And It Don't Stop deals with big ideas in crisp, accessible language."—Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

"Whatever one's feelings about the 'hip hop nation,' it certainly has given rise to vibrant journalism. Thanks to Raquel Cepeda for collecting it in this important new book."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

"And It Don't Stop is long overdue . . . The voices in this collection are some of the most brilliant writers—hip-hop or not—of the last twenty-five years. I welcome this book."—Bobbito Garcia, author of Where'd You Get Those?: New York City's Sneaker Culture, 1960-1987

"Cepeda has finally done justice to the mother-wit, social power, and visceral passion of hip-hop journalism. Here's an indispensable collection of pioneering, bold, visionary, and cautionary writing, a must-have for anyone who loves this culture."—Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

"Once in a while a book comes along that commands attention. And It Don't Stop is hip-hop defined by its generation's best writers and observers—definite satisfaction."—Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, The Roots

"An irresistible compilation of the most stylish prose and revelatory interviews of the last twenty-five years on hip-hop, And It Don't Stop is required reading for any serious devotee of contemporary urban culture. Raquel Cepeda places hip-hop journalism in a historical framework: we not only discover how writing styles have changed over the years, but we also learn how the stakes in writing about hip-hop have transformed alongside the music and culture. It's a glorious reminder of how influential journalists have been, and continue to be, in helping to shape and create this thing we call hip-hop."—Jason King, associate chair of the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, New York University

"Hip-hop is the voice of the community, and its child, hip-hop journalism, adds a new element to the mix in another medium that goes way beyond the music industry to become a true organ of news. And It Don't Stop is essential reading. It captures the extraordinary eruptions of word, image, and sound that hip-hop inspired, and, in itself, continues the process of self-definition and community empowerment that has characterized the movement from the earliest days up to the present. Raquel Cepeda knew how to pick them. The articles she has chosen are a distillation of the significant events, personalities, conflicts, and philosophies that together shape the revolutionary impact of hip-hop on the world."—Henry Chalfant, coauthor of Spraycan Art

"Fans and scholars alike will sink their teeth into this impressive collection, which features the likes of Nelson George, Robert Christgau, and Hilton Als, not to mention Biggie Smalls, Afrika Bambaataa, and Mary J. Blige. Highly recommended for all popular music collections and an essential purchase for hip-hop collections."—Library Journal (starred review)

"Hip-hop music not only gave birth to new directions in American culture, it also reformulated cultural journalism. In this collection of 29 articles and essays, editor Cepeda chronicles the growth of hip-hop music and journalism. The collection (which includes contributions by Nelson George, Cheo Hodari Coker, Joan Morgan, Touré, and Greg Tate) begins by chronicling the early days of hip-hop culture in the South Bronx when break-dancers, graffiti artists, and deejays contributed to the atmospherics. The collection also examines the essential role of these writers (and their publications, including Vibe and Rap Sheet) in explaining and popularizing hip-hop, the strained relationships between writers and artists, the conflicts, and the occasional crossover. The book is divided into decades: the 1980s examines early efforts to report on hip-hop; the 1990s, when hip-hop journalism shifted to critical analysis while mainstream reporting focused on the 'Benjamins'; and the 2000s, with widespread use of hip-hop music and images in everything from fashion to fast-food jingles. This is an important look at an energetic, inventive culture and the writers who have covered it."—Booklist

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Read an Excerpt

And It Don't Stop!

Looking for the Perfect Beat
In the 1970s, hip-hop culture arose in and out of the Bronx--where Kurtis Blow claimed the people were fresh, by way of its innovative B-boys, rappers,...

Read the full excerpt


  • Edited by Raquel Cepeda; Foreword by Nelson George

  • An award-winning journalist, Raquel Cepeda has contributed to Rap Pages, Essence, The Source, Vibe, The Village Voice, GQ, and other publications. She also served as editor-in-chief of Russell Simmons's Oneworld and has appeared on various VH-1 programs, as well as on CNN and E!. This is her first anthology.

    Nelson George is the author of numerous books and novels that examine African-Americans through the prism of popular culture. His recent works include Hip-Hop America, Post-Soul Nation, and the novel Night Work. He co-authored Russell Simmons's autobiography, Life and Def. George was also executive producer of the HBO film Everyday People and the Trio documentary The 'N' Word.