As a person who grew up with Hip Hop music, I'm surprised there aren't more books of this quality on the subject. This book was a journey starting in my childhood and spanning my teens, twenties and early thirties. I am too young to remember the disco era, but I remember the first time I heard Rappers Delight and Planet Rock. I remember Run DMC, the Beasties Boys, The Fat Boys, Too $hort, and so on. It was so interesting to hear the behind the scenes stories of how all of those careers came to be. I would have liked more stories about West Coast artists, and artists that might not have been the huge commercial stars that the book focused on. One other conspicuous omission was the 2 Live Crew banned album story that I recall being huge at the time. I could have lived without the chapters about all the clothing lines, Sprite and Vitamin Water. I think that the book would be better if it were about the art of Hip Hop with a little business sprinkled in. I can't imagine why someone with more Interest in business than art would bother with this book. Also, the author could have been more critical of the downside of huge commercial success instead of painting such a perfectly rosy picture of the commercialization of Hip Hop. But even though this book is not perfect, anyone who grew up on Hip Hop will devour it, and be left wanting more. It's a pretty spectacular book, and I would love to read more from this author.
Great writing, great narration, engrossing story. This book is a great model of what audiobooks should be. Kevin R. Free's narration is fantastic - it's great to hear younger voices as narrators, who bring a freshness and vitality to the audiobook genre. And Dan Charnas's story is both comprehensive and fascinating. Bravo on all fronts!
I enjoyed the historical aspects of the topic. Hearing about the different players that helped create Hip Hop was nice because outside of bits and pieces from other sources, I didn't have an overview of how it came to be.
Later in the book, while the story is still good, it starts dealing with radio and the importance that it played and at this point my attention started to wain. It's still great history at this point but what I enjoyed most was the history of the people and the record labels and while the radio/magazine sections are important to the overall history, I just didn't care about these people enough. After a while of wanting the story to go back to the actual people making the music I had to remind myself that this book is not about the history of Hip Hop, it's about the history of the Business of Hip Hop. Big difference.
This is my first book by both the author and narrator and I would seek out books by either in the future.
Culture, Entrepreneurship, and Hustle
Rick Rubin, Chris Lightly, too many to name
Too many stories to choose from
I could listen to it all day
Great story and performance.
Absolutely. I read 30-40 books a year, primarly in business, finance, and self help.The narrator was great! It was well written. The author tied stories and characters together flawlessly!
Too many to name. But Dan Charnas was so thorough. As someone who was in the music industry for a few years and who is approximately the same age as hip hop, I couldn't stop listening!
He was great! I could picture everthing like a movie.
Yes, if it was practicle. It was definitely the longest audiobook I ever listened to, but it could have been longer.
I am going to buy the book to go in my library,
This book was awesome. I knew pretty much nothing about the history of hip hop as a genre when I started and I learned so much. I really, really enjoyed it.
It's definitely long. And there are times when there's a bit too much detail about certain aspects of the industry (I definitely got bored when they started talking about hip hop artists getting sponsorship from different kinds of flavored water), but it was really excellent overall.
I especially enjoyed the sections about the early history of R&B, DJs, and the disco scene and how that connected with the rise of hip hop.
Coming from a person who has watched (and listened) to the culture grow, it was fascinating to hear how all the little bits and pieces that I picked up over the years were related one way or another. Having grown up in New York during the period that most of the book takes place, it explains HOW events in Hip Hop came to be.
This book covers ALOT of players in the industry. It is hard to pick a favorite. I did find Rick Rubin's story to be very interesting.
His voice and style were perfect for this story. His normal speech is comfortable to listen to and he also sprinkles in authentic slang when appropriate. You get the feeling that Kevin is familiar with the events in the book by the way he reads. On a funny note, he pronounces the rapper's name Treach as Treech. Based on Kevin's reading of this book I have searched for other books that he has done.
Yes. Hearing the story of what happened to DJ Scott La Rock. Being a fan it was common knowledge back then what happened to him but I did not know the particulars.
Great book. Great performance. If you were of music listening age in the late 70's and are a fan you will gain great insight as to how each little progression came to be. And for all fans of Hip Hop, you will get accurate information on what occured to bring this music to the dominance it now enjoys.
The narrator brings the hip-hop feel to the book. Rapping old hooks and recreating the quotes in an authentic accent.