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Hip-Hop Is History by Questlove with Ben Greenman (Hardcover)

Hip-Hop Is History by Questlove with Ben Greenman (Hardcover)

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Nonfiction - History - Music - Rap & Hip Hop


This is a book only Questlove could have written: a perceptive and personal reflection on the first half-century of hip-hop.

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 skillfully 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 encyclopedic 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.


Questlove is a six-time Grammy Award-winning musician, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, drummer, DJ, producer, director, culinary entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, cofounder of the Roots, and the musical director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where the Roots serves as the house band. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Mo' Meta Blues, Creative Quest, Music Is History, and his first children's book series, The Rhythm of Time, as well as the James Beard Award-nominated somethingtofoodabout, Mixtape Potluck, and the Grammy-nominated audiobook Creative Quest. Questlove made his directorial debut with the Academy Award-, Grammy Award-, and BAFTA Award-winning documentary film Summer of Soul, which broke the record for the highest-selling documentary to come out of the Sundance Film Festival. Questlove is a cofounder of Two One Five Entertainment. He is the publisher of AUWA Books, an imprint of MCD / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Ben Greenman is a New York Times bestselling author and New Yorker contributor who has written both fiction and nonfiction. His novels and short-story collections include The Slippage and Superbad. He has been Questlove's collaborator on a series of books, including Mo' Meta BluesCreative Quest, and Music Is History, and he has written memoirs with Sly Stone, George Clinton, and Brian Wilson. His writing has appeared in numerous publications.

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