Hip Hop

Rated 5.00/5 based on 2 reviews
In the early 1980s, I became the first reporter to travel to the South Bronx to document the origins of hip hop and this book remains the most authentic portrait of the first generation. It was recently updated with never-before-seen photos and illustrations. More

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About Steven Hager

I started out writing black comedy, but I'm best known as the first reporter to document hip hop and the instigator of the film Beat Street. I also founded the Cannabis Cup, organized the first 420 ceremonies outside of Marin County, and launched the hemp movement with Jack Herer while writing some landmark conspiracy articles.

Videos

The Original MC
The first emcee in hip hop history has been ignored and disrespected for far too long. In this video, Coke discusses how he got his name (from drinking chocolate milk), some of the errors in fact that have been circulated about him, and talks in detail about the night Kool Herc was stabbed at a party, an event which led to Coke withdrawing from the hip hop scene just before it went national.

Origins of HIp Hop
Where did the name "hip hop" come from? Back in 1981, Afrika Bambaataa told me it came from Love Bug Starski, but I recently found out that it actually started with Cowboy and Billy's going-away jam.

Birth of the Scratch
Grand Wizzard Theodore invented scratching and the needle drop while still in junior high school in the Bronx. He was not trained by anyone, but developed these revolutionary turntable techniques while practicing alone at home.

Also in History of Hip Hop

Also in Adventures in Journalism

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Geoff333 on Jan. 22, 2014 : (no rating)
The PDF of this book does NOT include any photos at all!

Shame - surely this is easy to rectify??
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: B.F. Spaeth on Jan. 26, 2012 :
Hip-Hop
by Steven Hager

Counter-culture visionary Steven Hager travels to the South Bronx in 1980, and takes us with him to show us a street-level view of how Hip-Hop culture began. He interviews and hangs out with all the major players and seminal figures of this embryonic scene that was about to explode. Steven is always way ahead of the curve, often the very first to report on a particular scene, with an unerring, almost mystical sense of where the culture is moving, where it’s been, and where it came from. Steve’s counter-cultural radar picks up blips and ehoes that give him an early warning of seismic events that will later explode on the cultural scene. His ground-breaking books and articles steer clear of pretentious academic theorizing and boring, bullshit analysis, focusing instead on the flesh and blood artists themselves, illuminating the mysterious ways in which our culture is formed. Hager takes you to the streets and into the clubs and art galleries, introduces you to the players, and lets them speak, as they tell us how it all went down.

Hip-Hop, by Steven Hager, is one of the great American history books. If Howard Zinn had written a book about Hip-Hop, it might have turned out something like this. You won’t find any posturing or pontificating in these pages—what you will find is the real story of how Hip-hop originated, and you’ll hear it from the people who made it happen. Steve did the legwork, and he’s got the goods, and he shares all the riches with us in an amazingly concise and entertaining way. We are told of the fiery baptism of hip-hop, as the old buildings crumble and fall, the flames rise, and the armies of the night emerge to roam and pillage through the destruction, as the American dream turns to nightmare.

Hager first sets the scene for us, as he encapsulates the history of that blighted borough, as it is first carved up and butchered by Robert Moses in the 1960’s, and then swiftly descends into a terrifying spiral of gang violence, destruction, and drugs in the late 60’s and ‘70’s. But from this carnage and terror, a great spirit of culture and creativity arises from its ashes, and Hager is on it like nobody’s business, as he chronicles the new art forms that are improvised and invented on the spot, amid the gutted buildings and charred streets.

This book is readable, my friends!

~Brian Spaeth
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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