A pioneering expert in the study of hip-hop explains why the music mattersand why the battles surrounding it are so very fierce.
Renowned cultural critic Rose (Africana studies, Brown Univ.; Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America) ventures again into the world of hip-hop and produces another work that should challenge common feelings about the subject. In the first section of the book, "Hip Hop's Critics," she disputes several long-standing arguments made by the detractors of the genre. Rose then changes tack completely in the second section, "Hip Hop's Defenders," arguing against several of the platitudes often voiced by those standing up for it. This balance adds to the credibility of the book, but it's Rose's convincing arguments and challenges of assumptions that make this an important title. She attempts to bring both sides together in the final section, but it's easy to imagine her cries falling on deaf ears. In fact, the biggest problem with the book is that its challenging stance and lecturing tone aren't likely to attract the number of readers on both sides of the argument who would most benefit from Rose's analyses. This title definitely deserves readers; recommended for all music and culture collections.