Hip-Hop Is History



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Orion Books
11 June 2024
ISBN: 9781399621618
352 pages

From the publisher

A must-read for old-school hip-hop heads and burgeoning fans alike - Time

‘Hip Hip is not History, it’s Our story. Brilliant book’
Craig Charles

Hip-Hop Is History melds a detailed chronological retelling of the genre’s story with occasionally hair-raising memoir ‘

‘Sharp and lyrical analyses of hip-hop’s evolution with fascinating, up-close recollections of the genre’s turning point… an exuberant account of a dynamic musical genre and the cultural climate in which it evolved" - Publishers Weekly

When hip-hop first emerged in the 1970s, it wasn’t expected to become the cultural force it is today. But for a young Black kid growing up in a musical family in Philadelphia, it was everything. He stayed up late to hear the newest songs on the radio. He saved his money to buy vinyl as soon as it landed. He even started to try to make his own songs. That kid was Questlove, and decades later, he is a six-time Grammy Award-winning musician, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, a New York Times bestselling author, a producer, an entrepreneur, a cofounder of one of hip-hop’s defining acts (the Roots), and the genre’s unofficial in-house historian.

In this landmark book, Hip-Hop Is History, Questlove skilfully traces the creative and cultural forces that made and shaped hip-hop, highlighting both the forgotten but influential gems and the undeniable chart-topping hits-and weaves it all together with the stories no one else knows. It is at once an intimate, sharply observed story of a cultural revolution and a sweeping, grand theory of the evolution of the great artistic movement of our time. And Questlove, of course, approaches it with not only the encyclopaedic fluency and passion of an obsessive fan but also the expertise and originality of an innovative participant.

Hip-hop is history, and also his history.

‘A must-read for music lovers, cultural history buffs, and hip-hop fans… Questlove’s illuminating and insightful survey is as personal as it is expert’

‘A memorable, masterful history of the first 50 years of an indelible American art form’
Kirkus Reviews

The musician and Oscar-winning director traces the first 50 years of hip-hop… Questlove pairs the history of hip-hop with a personal reflection on how the genre shaped his identity during his childhood in Philadelphia
The Week