Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey The Book

Photo courtesy of Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey

Who doesn’t like a good coffee table book? In today’s “I want it now” generation of instant gratification: music downloads, Twitter, text messages, e-books, and Tumblr posts to name a few, it just seems like the art of the publication is going the way of a pager. “Hit me on the hip”, which sounds so dated and something your hip grandmomma might have said, has been replaced with “text me” or in the music sense, drop your demo in my Dropbox account. Same goes for magazines and books. Why carry around Complex magazine when you can get a million Twitter updates a day (complete with tiny URLs) from them if you follow them and look at everything on your phone? When I got a copy of Decoded for Xmas this year, I was sad to see that it was also available in e-book form. Who would want a clear cut coffee table book to look at on an e-reader? I’m all for the Kindle, which I proudly own, and I actually read a lot more with. However, I own a good amount of elegant, photo inspired coffee table art, music, and design books I would never even think of looking at on the Kindle. Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey, is a book that you wouldn’t even think to put in an e-reader. Weighing in at around 18 pounds, that’s right, 18 pounds and leather bound, this 420 page book references in detail, four decades of the life we call Hip Hop. Included inside are ” hundreds of poster size photographs, exclusive testimonials from your favorite DJs, MCs, Graffiti Artists, B-Boys and Producers plus unique profiles of iconic game changers


Eric B. and Rakim photo courtesy of Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey

“Coffee table books are usually associated with iconic subjects, culturally significant events or impactful movements, and hip-hop culture is all of the above.”

written by Hip-Hop’s most respected journalists and authors”. From the Roots of Hip Hop to New Millenium, no other book has captured the history of the life we call Hip Hop so thoroughly. Editor-In-Chief Jordan Sommers has called on the legends of the game: MC’s, Producers, Graff artists, DJ’s, B-Boys (the founders) and whoever else has helped shape Hip Hop to come up with an a book that will be the authority on the culture.  From The Cold Crush Brothers playing a high school gym shot by Joe Conzo to Jay-Z on stage headlining Coachella by Zack Cordner, this book covers everything in between in great detail. Sommers remarked ““Coffee table books are usually associated with iconic subjects, culturally significant events or impactful movements, and hip-hop culture is all of the above. I thought the time was right to do a book that has the size, scope, depth, quality and significance as the culture itself”. This book is not for the casual Hip Hop fan. With a price tag of $299.99 (without shipping costs), you are definitely digging deep in your pockets to get this. The great thing about this book, is that a portion of the donations go right back to the Zulu Nation Cultural Center in the Bronx. You get a chance to give back what Hip Hop has given to you, and in return you have this in depth archive of the culture. I think that’s a fair trade.

Purchase Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey here.

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