In this follow-up to What is Punk? (2015), the author-and-illustrator team takes on hip-hop, in consultation with hip-hop historian, cultural critic, and Brooklynite George.
In rhythmic, rhyming verse, Morse offers a genealogy of hip-hop royalty that begins with the Boogie Down Bronx’s DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash and walks readers into today with Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar. In between the origins and now, readers find a rare gender-inclusive narrative of hip-hop history that uplifts B-girls like Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott along with legendary male groups such as NWA and Wu-Tang. Veteran hip-hop heads might note some chronological inconsistencies—a page for Eminem before Biggie and Tupac?—and, as with anything hip-hop, there will be some controversy over who makes it and who gets cut. Where’s Scarface? Master P? These debates should only stand to enhance the experience; it’s as much a part of the culture as the break-dancing, graffiti, and fashion that have influenced people all around the world. What everyone will agree upon will be the magnificent 3-D clay illustrations, which include an intricately produced remake of Tribe Called Quest’s legendary “Midnight Marauders” cover. Tying these images back to their original sources makes for quite the history lesson. Make sure to keep a device nearby.
A must-read reference for any hip-hop family. (Informational picture book. 5-adult)