Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Eleven top hip-hop books

At Vulture.com Paul Thompson tagged eleven "books on hip-hop that are essential for any fan of the genre, though many of them are just as gripping for someone who couldn’t pick Puff out of a lineup." One title on the list:
Sweat the Technique: Revelations on Creativity From the Lyrical Genius by Rakim (2019)

When he was barely 20 years old, Rakim was widely considered the most technically inventive MC in hip-hop; soon, he and Eric B. would become the first rap act to sign a million-dollar record contract. Yet he still felt like an outsider: caught between generations of artists, the city and his home on Long Island, the spiritual world and the corporeal. In Sweat the Technique, Rakim recounts his formative experiences in rap (like arguing with Marley Marl about whether he should be allowed to record while lounging on a couch), explaining the way he used to subdivide the pages in his notebook to make each syllable in every verse land perfectly, and finally shedding some light on one of the most tantalizing unrealized collaborations ever, his ill-fated deal with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue