The anthology of rap /
edited by Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois ; foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; afterword by Chuck D and Common.
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010.
description
xlvii, 867 p. : ill.
ISBN
9780300141900 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010.
isbn
9780300141900 (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
7307039
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-06-01:
Beats plus rhymes equals rap. Take away the beats, and one is left with poetry. Though it is certainly not a lesser artistic expression, poetry is not rap. Thus, the title of this compendium of rap lyrics is a bit problematic. Covering more than three decades of rap, from Afrika Bambaataa and Kurtis Blow to Mos Def and T.I., the volume includes lyrics from some of the most influential rappers and also from less-known rappers (e.g., Immortal Technique, Little Brother, Binary Star). Each rapper is afforded a concise introduction that highlights his or her contributions as a lyricist. Bradley (English, Univ. of Colorado) and DuBois (English, Univ. of Toronto) divide the anthology into four sections: "The Old School," "The Golden Age," "Rap Goes Mainstream," "New Millennium Rap." Each corresponds with a significant epoch of rap and begins with a thoughtful introductory essay. Yet throughout one wonders about the need for 700-plus pages of rap lyrics. When heard (with beats), Lil Wayne's "Dr. Carter" is phenomenal; when stripped of the beats and presented in text, the song deflates. Doubtless, this collection will be useful for those seeking the exact words of songs. But without the beats, rap is no longer rap. Summing Up: Recommended. With reservations. Public and comprehensive academic collections. R. Walsh Trinity College
Appeared in Library Journal on 2010-10-15:
The importance of virtuosity at wordplay becomes abundantly clear in the rich vocabulary of rap lyrics. In Bradley's previous Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop, he dissects the poetic structures in rap music, contextualizing the genre within the large canon of poetry. Here, Bradley and DuBois (English, Univ. of Toronto at Scarborough) expand upon this effort by reflecting on the history of rap music and its growing canon of lyrics. The anthology is organized around four eras of rap: old-school, the golden age, mainstream, and the new millennium. Within each of these sections, individual artists are identified for both their artistic influence and cultural impact. VERDICT Functioning as a rap reader, the anthology is largely a collection of lyrics. However, those uninterested in poetical analysis may read it as a chronology of rap that highlights significant figures in its short history and offers a window into how rappers harmonize the world through a distinct form of self-expression. [Previewed in "25 Reasons Why Academic Publishing Is Sexier Than You Think," BookSmack! 7/15/10.]-Joshua Finnell, Denison Univ. Lib., Granville, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This monumental encyclopedia of rhymes is great for hip-hop newbies or longtime fans, lyric lovers and poetry devotees. It''s an invaluable reference on hip-hop history spanning from Afrika Bambaataa to Kanye West."Toure
"This monumental encyclopedia of rhymes is great for hip-hop newbies or longtime fans, lyric lovers and poetry devotees. It''s an invaluable reference on hip-hop history spanning from Afrika Bambaataa to Kanye West."Toure, host of "Hip Hop Shop"
"This thrilling (but controversial) textual monument to a thrilling (but controversial) oral tradition wrestles the genre''s greatest lyricists out of the airwaves and into cold print. . . . [It] enables something wonderful: the ability to sit in perfect silence and roll around in, for example, the lust Keatsian soundplay of Jay-Z."Sam Anderson, New York Magazine , "The Year in Books"
"This thrilling (but controversial) textual monument to a thrilling (but controversial) oral tradition wrestles the genre''s greatest lyricists out of the airwaves and into cold print."--Sam Anderson, New York Magazine , "The Year in Books"
"What could have been an insufferable rap-snob collectible ended up being one of the first truly encyclopedic, essential anthologies on the form. . . . It''s an Ivy League master class in the language of hip-hop. Register today."--Foster Kamer, The Village Voice (Best Books of 2010)
"What you hold in your hands is more than a book. This is a culture. This is hip-hop. . . . This book offers a view of rap in full, from the root to the fruit."from the Afterword by Common
"What you hold in your hands is more than a book. This is a culture. This is hip-hop...This book offers a view of rap in full, from the root to the fruit."from the Afterword by Common
"Intelligent and authentic. . . written for both the hip-hop head and the uninitiated."James Johnson, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Listen along on YouTube and it''s a self-taught class on the genre''s history." New York Magazine
"Listen along on YouTube and it''s a self-taught class on the genre''s history."-- New York Magazine
"Listen along on YouTube and it''s a self-taught class on the genre''s history."--New York Magazine
"Reading The Anthology of Rap , which covers everything from Afrika Bambaataa to Young Jeezy, it''s hard not to appreciate rap''s astounding love of words, of the way they fit together and play off each other, and of how meaning can be layered upon meaning to get at a deeper truth. Which sounds an awful lot like poetry."--Joshua Ostroff, The Globe and Mail
"Some readers of poetry still wonder where the rhymes went. One answer is they left the ends of the lines and went inside the poem. But rhyme also strongly re-emerges in rap. Whatever the stakes or the messages contained in this monumental volume, the like-sounds that used to be the engine of English poetry drive and power these energetic lyrics."Billy Collins
"[The] anthology offers the good, the bad, and the offensive--and plenty of food for intelligent discussion."--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"[The] anthology offers the good, the bad, and the offensive--and plenty of food for intelligent discussion."Minneapolis Star Tribune
" The Anthology of Rap is among the best books of its kind ever published."--Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books
" The Anthology of Rap is among the best books of its kind ever published."Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books
" The Anthology of Rap is an instant classic. It brings together the lyric poetry of some of the greatest artists of our time. Hip Hop is here to stay and rap lives foreveron the stage and now on the page!"Cornel West
"The Anthology of Rapis an instant classic. It brings together the lyric poetry of some of the greatest artists of our time. Hip Hop is here to stay and rap lives foreveron the stage and now on the page!"Cornel West
"[ The Anthology of Rap ] makes the case for the immediate and enduring relevance of [rap''s] poetic tradition." Barnes and Noble Review
"[ The Anthology of Rap ] makes the case for the immediate and enduring relevance of [rap''s] poetic tradition."-- Barnes and Noble Review
" The Anthology of Rap reaffirms the enduring force of the written word--or at least the immaculately constructed freestyle."-- LA Weekly
" The Anthology of Rap reaffirms the enduring force of the written wordor at least the immaculately constructed freestyle." LA Weekly
"The Anthology of Rapreaffirms the enduring force of the written word--or at least the immaculately constructed freestyle."--LA Weekly
"The authors have built a poignant collection of rhythm and rhyme. . . . For hard-core hip-hop heads, this book confirms what we have always known: that some of the most innovative writing hails from the imagination of the rapper."--Idris Goodwin, The Boston Globe
"The authors have built a poignant collection of rhythm and rhyme. . . . For hard-core hip-hop heads, this book confirms what we have always known: that some of the most innovative writing hails from the imagination of the rapper."Idris Goodwin, The Boston Globe
"The editors have been bold and often brilliant. . . . The Anthology of Rap is as ambitious and intelligent as anyone might want, and more enjoyable than anyone might think. . . . If you want to hear how the latter part of the twentieth century sounded, you can''t do better than this book."Kevin Young, Bookforum
"[The] editors of The Anthology of Rap supply a much needed injection of energy and enthusiasm into our analysis of hip-hop''s lyricism."--Quentin B. Huff, PopMatters
"[The] editors of The Anthology of Rap supply a much needed injection of energy and enthusiasm into our analysis of hip-hop''s lyricism."--Quentin B. Huff,PopMatters
"The eye-opening essay by [Henry Louis] Gates. . . provides deep historical context for rap; it alone makes the book worth owning." Slate
"The eye-opening essay by [Henry Louis] Gates. . . provides deep historical context for rap; it alone makes the book worth owning."-- Slate
"The eye-opening essay by [Henry Louis] Gates. . . provides deep historical context for rap; it alone makes the book worth owning."--Slate
"These Rappers' lyrics love. Cut. Curse. Fight. Teach. Play. Pray. Testify. They bring us the pace of sound. The swiftness of sound. The discordant way of looking at the world of sound. The Blackness of sound. The new bebopic beat of sound. These are word sorcerers who love language and hablar sin bastón (speak without a crutch)."Sonia Sanchez
"These Rappers' lyrics love. Cut. Curse. Fight. Teach. Play. Pray. Testify. They bring us the pace of sound. The swiftness of sound. The discordant way of looking at the world of sound. The Blackness of sound. The new bebopic beat of sound. These are word sorcerers who love language and hablar sinbaston (speak without a crutch)."Sonia Sanchez
"These Rappers'' lyrics love. Cut. Curse. Fight. Teach. Play. Pray. Testify. They bring us the pace of sound. The swiftness of sound. The discordant way of looking at the world of sound. The Blackness of sound. The new bebopic beat of sound. These are word sorcerers who love language and hablar sin baston (speak without a crutch)."Sonia Sanchez
"This landmark work chronicles an earth-shattering movement with deep roots." The New York Times Book Review
"This landmark work chronicles an earth-shattering movement with deep roots."-- The New York Times Book Review
"This monumental encyclopedia of rhymes is great for hip-hop newbies or longtime fans, lyric lovers and poetry devotees. It's an invaluable reference on hip-hop history spanning from Afrika Bambaataa to Kanye West."Touré
"Intelligent and authentic. . . written for both the hip-hop head and the uninitiated."--James Johnson, Philadelphia Inquirer
Honorable mention in the Compilations/Anthologies category of the 2010 New England Book Festival, given by the JM Northern Media family of festivals
"Every great literature deserves a great anthology. Rap finally has its own."from the Afterword by Chuck D
"From the Sing Song cadence of the slave preachers to the emotional bravery of Tupac Shakur to the clarity of Queen Latifah...for all the hearts and heads and voices who have still to be heard: We Now Have an Encyclopedia. Good for us. Much needed. Much needed."Nikki Giovanni
"An exquisite display of the artistic talent seen with rap music."-- Boston Music Spotlight
"As ambitious and intelligent as anyone might want, and more enjoyable than anyone might think. . . . If you want to hear how the latter part of the twentieth century sounded, you can''t do better than this book."--Kevin Young, Bookforum
"As ambitious and intelligent as anyone might want, and more enjoyable than anyone might think. . . . If you want to hear how the latter part of the twentieth century sounded, you can''t do better than this book."--Kevin Young,Bookforum
"An essential contribution to our living literary tradition...This groundbreaking anthology masterfully assembles part of a new vanguard of American poetry."from the Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
"An exquisite display of the artistic talent seen with rap music." Boston Music Spotlight
"An English major''s hip-hop bible, an impossible fusion of street cred and book learning. . . . Reading [it] was the most fun I''ve had with a book in many months."-Sam Anderson, New York Magazine
"An English major''s hip-hop bible, an impossible fusion of street cred and book learning. . . . Reading [it] was the most fun I''ve had with a book in many months."-Sam Anderson,New York Magazine
"A great, necessary addition to the book collection of any contemporary music aficionado." Creative Loafing
"A great, necessary addition to the book collection of any contemporary music aficionado."-- Creative Loafing
"An awesome compilation: 920 pages of some of the baddest, phattest, flyist tracks ever dropped." Mother Jones
"An awesome compilation: 920 pages of some of the baddest, phattest, flyist tracks ever dropped."-- Mother Jones
"A complete encyclopedia of the history, personalities, beats, rhythm and rhymes of the musical genre from the old school of Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five to hip-hop and Kanye West." Los Angeles Times
"A complete encyclopedia of the history, personalities, beats, rhythm and rhymes of the musical genre from the old school of Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five to hip-hop and Kayne West."-- Los Angeles Times
"A great, necessary addition to the book collection of any contemporary music aficionado." --Creative Loafing
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, October 2010
Booklist, November 2010
Boston Globe, December 2010
Los Angeles Times, December 2010
New York Times Full Text Review, December 2010
The Australian, February 2011
Choice, June 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
From the school yards of the South Bronx to the tops of the "Billboard" charts, rap has emerged as one of the most influential cultural forces of our time. This pioneering anthology brings together more than 300 lyrics written over 30 years, from the "old school" to the present day.
Main Description
From the school yards of the South Bronx to the tops of the Billboard charts, rap has emerged as one of the most influential musical and cultural forces of our time. In The Anthology of Rap ,editors Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois explore rap as a literary form, demonstrating that rap is also a wide-reaching and vital poetic tradition born of beats and rhymes. This pioneering anthology brings together more than three hundred rap and hip-hop lyrics written over thirty years, from the "old school" to the "golden age" to the present day. Rather than aim for encyclopedic coverage, Bradley and DuBois render through examples the richness and diversity of rap's poetic tradition. They feature both classic lyrics that helped define the genre, including Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message" and Eric B. & Rakim's "Microphone Fiend," as well as lesser-known gems like Blackalicious's "Alphabet Aerobics" and Jean Grae's "Hater's Anthem." Both a fan's guide and a resource for the uninitiated, The Anthology of Rap showcases the inventiveness and vitality of rap's lyrical art. The volume also features an overview of rap poetics and the forces that shaped each period in rap's historical development, as well as a foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and afterwords by Chuck D and Common. Enter the Anthology to experience the full range of rap's artistry and discover a rich poetic tradition hiding in plain sight.
Main Description
From the school yards of the South Bronx to the tops of the Billboard charts, rap has emerged as one of the most influential cultural forces of our time. InThe Anthology of Rap , editors Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois demonstrate that rap is also a wide-reaching and vital poetic tradition born of beats and rhymes. This pioneering anthology brings together more than three hundred lyrics written over thirty years, from the "old school" to the "golden age" to the present day. Rather than aim for encyclopedic coverage, Bradley and DuBois render through examples the richness and diversity of rap's poetic tradition. They feature both classic lyrics that helped define the genre, including Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message" and Eric B. & Rakim's "Microphone Fiend," as well as lesser-known gems like Blackalicious's "Alphabet Aerobics" and Jean Grae's "Hater's Anthem." Both a fan's guide and a resource for the uninitiated,The Anthology of Rapshowcases the inventiveness and vitality of rap's lyrical art. The volume also features an overview of rap poetics and the forces that shaped each period in rap's historical development, as well as a foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and an afterword by Common. Enter theAnthologyto experience the full range of rap's artistry and discover a rich poetic tradition hiding in plain sight.
Main Description
From the school yards of the South Bronx to the tops of the Billboard charts, rap has emerged as one of the most influential cultural forces of our time. In The Anthology of Rap ,editors Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois demonstrate that rap is also a wide-reaching and vital poetic tradition born of beats and rhymes. This pioneering anthology brings together more than three hundred lyrics written over thirty years, from the "old school" to the "golden age" to the present day. Rather than aim for encyclopedic coverage, Bradley and DuBois render through examples the richness and diversity of rap's poetic tradition. They feature both classic lyrics that helped define the genre, including Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message" and Eric B. & Rakim's "Microphone Fiend," as well as lesser-known gems like Blackalicious's "Alphabet Aerobics" and Jean Grae's "Hater's Anthem." Both a fan's guide and a resource for the uninitiated, The Anthology of Rap showcases the inventiveness and vitality of rap's lyrical art. The volume also features an overview of rap poetics and the forces that shaped each period in rap's historical development, as well as a foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and afterwords by Chuck D and Common. Enter the Anthology to experience the full range of rap's artistry and discover a rich poetic tradition hiding in plain sight.
Bowker Data Service Summary
From the school yards of the South Bronx to the tops of the Billboard charts, rap has emerged as one of the most influential cultural forces of our time. In this book, the editors demonstrate that rap is also a wide-reaching and vital poetic tradition born of beats and rhymes.

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