- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Ebury Press; New Ed edition (2 Aug. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0091912210
- ISBN-13: 978-0091912215
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation Paperback – 2 Aug 2007
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"Jeff Chang has spent the last decade researching a vivid and fascinating book which should remain the definitive history for at least as long ... Finally, rap gets the definitive history it deserves" (Q)
"Energetic and exhilarating ... There is a fearless sweep to this book. A distinct achievement" (Daily Telegraph)
"Inflammatory, illuminating, and anything but myopic, the scope of Chang's work is awe-inspiring" (DJ Shadow)
"Can't Stop Won't Stop knows hip hop to be the most significant musical-cultural revolution since rock and roll and tells its story from the bottom up" (Word)
"Has to rate as one of the most comprehensive studies of hip-hop history yet published" (Rock Sound)
From the streets of the Bronx to the hills of Ghana, this is the definitive history of hip-hop - now in mass market paperbackSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Chang is excellent on the forces that drove the emergence of hip hop in its early days, casting his net wider than merely recounting anecdotes relating to hip hop's 'founding fathers' Chang illuminates the subject matter by looking deeper at the topic, unearthing insights such as; 'if blues culture had developed under the conditions of oppressive, forced labour, hip hop culture would arise from the conditions of no work.' So far, so well written. The further the book progresses however, a book about hip hop with the political context from which it emerged in the background becomes a book about the politics of multi-culturalism and race relations in America in the 1980s/90s with hip hop in the background. One learns much about Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan but little about Run DMC and Tupac Shakur. Anyone who bought this book due to an interest in learning more about hip hop as I did will no doubt feel short-changed as a result.
The underlying problem with the book is focus. What is the book about? a history of the 'hip hop generation'? What does that term even mean? Nowhere is it defined and therein lies the problem.Read more ›
This means that it only sporadically delves into Hip-Hop music, b-boying, and graffiti (the elements of Hip-Hop culture). Chang is more interested in the generation of people who have grown up with Hip-Hop and he focuses on race, multiculturalism, the socio-economic background, and politics.
This makes it a tough book to review - taken on its own merits, it's extremely well done, but it comes off as disappointing to anyone who wanted a definitive history of Hip-Hop as a culture or music genre. As the book progresses, Chang's personal preferences for what he thinks should be the main points covered increasingly put Hip-Hop into the background, with politics, multiculturalism, and race taking center stage.
The book "Yes, Yes, Y'all" is the superior history to me, because although it doesn't cover as many years as "Can't Stop...", it successfully captures the voices of the people who were present in the creation of Hip-Hop, and it doesn't try to put a racial or political spin on everything that is said or done (it is entirely in the words of the pioneers).
So to sum up - "Can't Stop Won't Stop" is good if you're interested in multiculturalism, politics, and socio-economics, but not so great if you're a Hip-Hop fan.
That said the whole movement is put into context giving a vivid history of gang culture, the development of Jamacian dancehall, the orgins of crack, the police brutality in California (and elsewhere) during the 90's to mention just a few of the other facts included. This is something of a treasure trove and gives wonderful and vivid detail of what Chang ends up citing Robin D G Kelly's idea of polyculturalism - understanding that a culure is made up of, and referencing, different quite distinct culural experiences. From that it's fair to conclude that Chang's ideas are academic at times but his writing style is very readable. Taking the voices of the people involved to tell the story also gives this book a great sense of the authentic. Speaking of this, I could almost recommend it just for Kool DJ Herc's blistering forward where the original Hip-Hop DJ strikes out in wonderfully eloquent style. His introduction should be read, and acted upon, by Barack Obama for its clarity of vision.
Due to Chang's particular interests the early years feel more detailed and the story clearly told.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It met my expectations and exceeded them. Brilliant book! Amazing buy. Thank you so muchPublished 8 months ago by Valerie Ebuwa
Brilliant book, teaches you a lot about the history & racism in America.. Also the beauty of music.. Really enjoyed it.Published on 24 Feb. 2014 by Sara
If you like history then you might enjoy this book. Great selection of words thoughout and tells and very thorough.Published on 6 Jun. 2013 by si
very useful and interesting book for those who want to know about the real history of hiphop and not only that story that everyone knows from the tvs and mediasPublished on 24 Feb. 2013 by elettra
Got this book for a friend that worships hip hop. He absolutely loved it and continues to quote from it as if it's gospel.Published on 20 Nov. 2012 by Felix Mgbemere