Tag Archives: rap

2pac vs. Biggie: An Illustrated History of Rap’s Greatest Battle by Jeff Weiss and Evan McGarvey

Hip hop icons and rap innovators, the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur continue to influence, define, and change the genre years after their deaths. Despite the controversies surrounding the murders of Tupac and Biggie, ultimately it’s their art that remains their biggest legacy. The music of Biggie Smalls and 2Pac has inspired the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and more. The legacies of Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace — a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. — live on.

So does their rivalry, one of the greatest in music history. In 2pac vs. Biggie, hip hop experts Jeff Weiss and Evan McGarvey take an entirely new approach to investigation of that rivalry. Rather than focus on the countless conspiracy theories, they study the artist as artists, dissecting the lyrics of their hits (“California Love,” “All Eyez on Me,” “Changes” for 2pac, “Mo Money Mo Problems,” “Hypnotize,” “Big Poppa” for Biggie) and lesser-known works, performance and rhythmic styles, aesthetic appearances and what those meant, rises to power, and of course, their lives after death. The feud between 2pac and Biggie is broken down and looked at from all new angles, bringing to light little-known and surprising sides to each rapper’s persona and inner world.

Illustrated throughout with photographs, memorabilia, and artwork inspired by Tupac and Biggie, and with insert “versus” pages dissecting topics such as each artist’s presence in movies, critical reception, and literary influences, this book is a must-have for all rap and hip hop fans.

Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood by Ice-T

He’s a hip-hop icon credited with single-handedly creating gangsta rap in the 1980s. Television viewers know him as Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on the top-rated TV drama Law & Order: SVU. But where the hype and the headlines end, the real story of Ice-T — the one few of his millions of fans have ever heard — truly begins.

Ice is Ice-T in his own words — raw, uncensored, and unafraid to speak his mind. About his orphan upbringing on the gang-infested streets of South Central Los Angeles. About his four-year stint in the U.S. Army’s famed “Tropic Lightning” outfit. About his successful career as a hustler and thief, the car crash that nearly killed him, and the fateful decision to turn away from a life of crime and forge his own path to international entertainment stardom.

Ice by Ice-T is both a tell-it-like-it-is tale of redemption and a star-studded tour of the pop culture firmament. The acclaimed rapper and actor shares never-before-told stories about friends like Tupac, Dick Wolf, Chris Rock, and an antler-clad Flavor Flav, among others. Readers will ride along as Ice-T’s incendiary rock band Body Count narrowly escapes from a riotous mob of angry concertgoers in Milan, and listen in as the music legend battles the self-appointed censors over his controversial “Cop Killer” single.

Most of all, Ice is the place where one of the game’s most opinionated players breaks down his own secret plan for living, offering up candid observations on marriage and monogamy, the current state of hip-hop, and his latest passion: doing one-on-one gang interventions and mentoring at-risk youths around the country.

With insights into the cutthroat world of the street — and the cutthroat world of Hollywood — Ice is the inspirational story of a true American original.

Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood
by Ice-T and Douglas Century

One World/Ballantine
Available April 19, 2011 in Hardcover

Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office

An in-depth look at the business behind Jay-Z’s hip-hop empire.

Jay-Z is one of the most recognizable names in entertainment. He’s been called one of the greatest rappers of all time, but music may end up as just a small part of a brilliant career. His combination of intelligence, instinct, and swagger have earned him a chain of nightclubs, a stake in the New Jersey Nets, and the status of a media mogul. Amazingly, he honed his business philosophy not at a fancy B school, but on the streets of Brooklyn, New York as a crack dealer in the 1980s.

Empire State of Mind is the story behind Jay-Z’s rise to the top as told by the people who lived it with him-the childhood friend who got him into the drug trade, the DJ who convinced him to stop dealing and focus on music, Damon Dash, Fab Five Freddie, and other hip-hop and business innovators.

Jay-Z’s story is compelling not just because of his celebrity, but also because it is a blueprint for success in any setting-a classic rags-to- riches American dream.

Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office
by Zack O’Malley Greenburg

Portfolio Hardcover
Available March 17, 2011 in Hardcover

Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey

Hip-Hop Culture’s first official luxury, large format book will inspire, entertain and educate all generations of readers with its comprehensive exploration of the birth, evolution and global impact of Hip-Hop Culture over the last four decades. Composed of exclusive first-person testimonials from the B-Boys and B-Girls who live and breathe Hip-Hop, 30 original essays and 40 original, individual profiles of influential “game changers” written by Hip-Hop’s top journalists and authors, one-of-a-kind Polaroid portraits captured by celebrated photographer Jonathan Mannion and hundreds of powerful images compiled by key eyewitnesses to the Culture.

Gabriel Alvarez (Author), Dan Charnas (Author), Cheo Hodari Coker (Author), Selwyn Sefu Hinds (Author), “Chairman” Jefferson Mao (Author), Kierna Mayo (Author), Marcus Reeves (Author), Carlito Rodriguez (Author), Greg Tate (Author), Dave Tompkins (Author), Jordan Sommers (Editor), Mike Thompson (Illustrator), Jonathan Mannion (Photographer), Martha Cooper (Photographer), Joe Conzo (Photographer), Charlie Ahearn (Photographer), Janette Beckman (Photographer), Trevor Traynor (Photographer), Estevan Oriol (Photographer), Laura Levine (Photographer), Ricky Powell (Photographer), David Corio (Photographer), Afrika Bambaataa (Introduction)

Aria Multimedia Entertainment
Available February 8, 2011 in Leather Bound

The Anthology of Rap

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.

The Anthology of Rap
Adam Bradley (Editor), Andrew DuBois (Editor), Common (Afterword), Chuck D (Afterword), Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Foreword)

Yale University Press
Available November 9, 2010 in Hardcover