Dan Charnas- The Big Payback (The History of the Business of Hip-Hop)
This bible sized book is literally a chronological tale of the growth and evolution of Hip-Hop from conception to full fledged global cultural tidal wave. With a topic this vast a book this big will always to tell to much and not enough at the same exact time simply due to its length. The grand detail and overall story arc covers so much and at the same time may leave the reader wanting more or wonder why in such great detail their favorite obscure artist was overlooked or skimmed past. This is a great book for any true fan of the culture; it may be too much for someone who is just learning about the rich history of Hip-Hop. If the reader doesn’t know who the Beastie Boys are then the detailed story of their discovery and signing to famed Def Jam label may seem like excess. Perhaps the origins of the Wu-Tang Clan may not appeal to fans born in the mid 90’s and raised on “old school” acts like G-Unit (something new comer Chief Keef actually said before about G-Unit). Stories of Ed Lover and the earlier days of Yo MTV Raps and Hip-Hop’s commercial break through to mainstream American television may almost seem like fiction to a younger audience. The entire book is broken up into albums, side A and B included for authentic vinyl heads, and runs all the way up to the present Kanye West days. For those who want to get a better grasp of how Hip-Hop got to become the global force that it is today I definitely recommend this book.