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The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music

A Fresh Look at the Art of Hip-Hop, from Old-School Beats to Freestyle Rap

Paul Edwards

St. Martin's Griffin

The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music Download image

ISBN10: 1250034817
ISBN13: 9781250034816

Trade Paperback

240 Pages



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In 1973, the music scene was forever changed by the emergence of hip-hop. Masterfully blending the rhythmic grooves of funk and soul with layered beats and chanted rhymes, artists such as DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash paved the way for an entire new genre and generation of musicians. In this comprehensive, accessible guide, Paul Edwards breaks down the difference between old school and new school, recaps the biggest influencers of the genre, and sets straight the myths and misconceptions of the artists and their music.


Praise for The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music

“Don't mistake concise for basic. I've studied hip-hop for decades and I learned things from this book! Paul Edwards goes straight to rappers to expose the myths and seek out the truth. The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music is an entertaining and insightful read for everyone from seasoned hip-hop listeners to the casual fan.”—Mickey Hess, author of The Dirty Version, Is Hip Hop Dead? and editor of Icons of Hip Hop and Hip Hop in America

“Paul Edwards has done it again. Having long toiled in the mines of hip-hop knowledge, he has collected the wisdom of the greatest representatives of the art to present us with another fact-filled, eye-opening, myth-busting resource. Everyone from fans and artists to students and scholars will have much to learn from The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music.”—Mark Katz, author of Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ

“Combining Edwards's critical insight with stories from the people who lived it, The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music not only informs, it challenges a number of popular notions about this thing called rap, including some of my own. As KRS-One said, 'You must learn.'”—Jordan Ferguson, author of J Dilla's Donuts

“Part oral history, part investigative nitty-gritty, Paul Edwards' The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music answers the questions left obscured by the large and growing literature on the genre. From the very origins of the word to its worldwide word-up, this is the essential guide for both the hip-hop buff and the hopelessly baffled.”—Roy Christopher, author of The Medium Picture

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt

1. What Is Hip-Hop?

The term hip-hop made its first appearance at parties. Keith Cowboy, of the group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, started using the term around 1975, and it was then adopted by other popular...

About the author

Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards is a writer and researcher of hip-hop who has interviewed more than 100 rappers and has done extensive research on rappers' creative processes, musical theories, and lyrics. He is regarded as a leading expert on hip-hop and rap, and has been referred to as 'the Aristotle of Hip-Hop poetics' by internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet Dana Gioia. He holds a master's degree in postmodernism, literature, and contemporary culture from University of London.

Paul Edwards

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