Can't Stop Won't Stop : A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-12-27
  • Publisher: Picador

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Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop has been a generation-defining global movement. In a postcivil rights era rapidly transformed by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop gave voiceless youths a chance to address these seismic changes, and became a job-making engine and the Esperanto of youth rebellion. Hip-hop crystallized a multiracial generation's worldview, and forever transformed politics and culture. But the epic story of how that happened has never been fully told . . . until now. Jeff Changhas been a hip-hop journalist for more than a decade and has written forThe San Francisco Bay Guardian,The Village Voice,Vibe,The Nation,URB,Rap Pages,Spin, andMother Jones. He was a founding editor ofColorlines Magazine, senior editor at Russell Simmons's www.360hiphop.com, and co-founder of the influential hip-hop label SoleSides, now Quannum Projects. He lives in California. Winner of the American Book Award Winner of the Asian American Literary Award Winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award New York Magazine's Best Music Book of the Year Winner of the ARSC Award for Excellence Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop became the Esperanto of youth rebellion and a generation-defining movement. In a post-civil rights era defined by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop crystallized a multiracial, polycultural generation's worldview and transformed American politics and culture. But that epic story has never been told with the kind of breadth, insight, and style that informs this study. Based on original interviews with DJs, b-boys, rappers, graffiti writers, activists, and gang members, and with unforgettable portraits of many of hip-hop's forebears, founders, and mavericksincluding DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck D, and Ice CubeCan't Stop Won't Stopchronicles the events, ideas, music, and art that marked hip-hop's rise from the ashes of the 1960s into the new millennium. Here is a powerful work of cultural and social history that documents the end of the American century while taking a provocative look at the new world the hip-hop generation has created. "The birth of hip-hop out of the ruin of the South Bronx is a story that has been told many times, but never with the cinematic scope and the analytic force that Chang brings to it. Robert Moses unleashes the destructive juggernaut of the Cross-Bronx Expressway; landlords set fire to worthless tenements; police stand by and do nothing; and, against a backdrop of gang warfare, peacemaking d.j.s lay down the heavy beats and spidery loops around which a rapping, dancing, graffiti-painting culture grows. This is one of the most urgent and passionate histories of popular music ever written. Chang is blind to no one's greed or viciousness, but he retains an idealistic view of a music that speaks the truth about the alternately stultifying and horrifying urban landscapes that the parents who hate hip-hop have made."The New Yorker "Can't Stop Won't Stopgives us the bustling, rumbling, all-or-nothing personality of the hip-hop generation while launching us into a desire for its ideals. 'Concede them a demand and they would demand more,' [Chang] writes. 'Give them an apocalypse, and they would dance.' Dancing in the streets is the eternal image in Chang's powerful new history of America in the last three decades. Scattered legend is now transcribed: America built the 'hood, which created a global culture of ghetto chic and hip-hop couture. As celebrity threatens hip-hop's integrity, it propels the movement to look for its roots. W

Author Biography

Jeff Chang has been a hip-hop journalist for more than a decade and has written for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, Vibe, The Nation, URB, Rap Pages, Spin, and Mother Jones. He was a founding editor of Colorlines Magazine, senior editor at Russell Simmons’s 360hiphop.com, and cofounder of the influential hip-hip label SoleSides, now Quannum Projects. He lives in California.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi
DJ Kool Herc
Prelude 1(6)
Loop 1: Babylon Is Burning: 1968-1977
Necropolis: The Bronx and the Politics of Abandonment
Sipple Out Deh: Jamaica's Roots Generation and the Cultural Turn
Blood and Fire, with Occasional Music: The Gangs of the Bronx
Making a Name: How DJ Kool Herc Lost His Accent and Started Hip-Hop
Loop 2: Planet Rock: 1975-1986
Soul Salvation: The Mystery and Faith of Afrika Bambaataa
Furious Styles: The Evolution of Style in the Seven-Mile World
The World Is Ours: The Survival and Transformation of Bronx Style
Zulus on a Time Bomb: Hip-Hop Meets the Rockers Downtown
1982: Rapture in Reagan's America
End of Innocence: The Fall of the Old School
Loop 3: The Message: 1984-1992
Things Fall Apart: The Rise of the Post--Civil Rights Era
What We Got to Say: Black Suburbia, Segregation and Utopia in the Late 1980s
Follow for Now: The Question of Post-Civil Rights Black Leadership
The Culture Assassins: Geography, Generation and Gangsta Rap
The Real Enemy: The Cultural Riot of Ice Cube's Death Certificate
Loop 4: Stakes Is High: 1992-2001
Gonna Work It Out: Peace and Rebellion in Los Angeles
All in the Same Gang: The War on Youth and the Quest for Unity
Becoming the Hip-Hop Generation: The Source, the Industry and the Big Crossover
New World Order: Globalization, Containment and Counterculture at the End of the Century
Appendix: Words, Images and Sounds: A Selected Resource Guide 469(28)
Notes 497(28)
Acknowledgments 525(2)
Index 527

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