THE NEW BEATS

EXPLORING THE MUSIC, CULTURE, AND ATTITUDES OF HIP-HOP

A respectful tribute to the controversial and important musical form hip-hop from Fernando, a writer for The Source magazine. Stitched together with youthful enthusiasm from journalistic accounts, textual research, interviews, and song lyrics, the book gives basic information for uninitiated readers as well as rich material for devotees, and responds to hip-hop's critics. Fernando covers a lot of ground—from Jamaican ``toasting,'' a precursor of modern-day rapping, to the birth of deejaying and rapping in the Bronx—as he explores hip-hop's economic, political, and cultural context: urban poverty, drugs, racism, media controversy. Overall, Fernando thinks, ``America now stands in the midst of a renaissance of black culture, propelled to a large degree by the energy of hip- hop.'' He credits the music with raising black consciousness, spurring community activism, and giving young black men from the streets a legitimate way to make a living. Fernando defines basics like ``scratching'' (a technique of manually moving the record with the needle in the groove to create a scratching noise), then goes into greater depth, for instance, explaining that the now-standard technique was pioneered by a 13-year-old working with Grandmaster Flash. However, the author's focus is limited and lopsided. A self- described purist, he prefers ``authentic'' hip-hop to ``co-opted'' or ``mainstream'' music not aimed at the ``core audience'' of urban black males; thus he discusses at length rapper KRS-ONE and the group EPMD as well as Public Enemy and NWA. But Fernando ducks many tough questions about the machinations behind the huge and profitable business of turning these groups' messages into mass- market products. Also missing almost completely are jazz-influenced and more intellectually oriented hip-hop, female rappers, and any group or artist not from California or the East Coast. A commendable effort, but lacking in perspective, offering more insider tidbits and accolades than analysis. (50 b&w photographs, not seen)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 1994

ISBN: 0-385-47119-X

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Anchor

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1994

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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