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Columbia College Chicago
Rap and Hip Hop Resources

Rap and Hip Hop Resources

compiled by
Andrew Leach
Librarian and Archivist
Center for Black Music Research

Introduction

This web page provides a list of resources relating to rap music and hip hop culture. In addition to being a resource for those beginning to conduct research, this list should also prove useful to librarians when providing reference service in these subject areas. Librarians with collection development responsibilities and educators may find this list valuable as well.

This web page is not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography on rap and hip hop. Rather, the sections below are selected lists of resources that may be used as reference sources or starting points for research. Additionally, since music is the primary focus of this web page, all resources devoted to hip hop culture are general in scope, and many worthwhile resources devoted specifically to non-music elements of hip hop, such as breakdancing and graffiti, have not been listed.

The citations below are arranged into sections by types of information that people may need. Black discs (•) and soft highlighting indicate sources within a given section that are particularly recommended. Unless otherwise noted, citations for monographs refer to the most current editions.

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Definitions and Overviews

Hip Hop

  • Toop, David. "Hip hop." The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London: Macmillan, 2001.
    Also available at: Oxford Music Online

Rap

  • Bowman, Rob. "Rap." The Harvard Dictionary of Music. 4th ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003.
  • Bynoe, Yvonne. "Rap." Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip-Hop Culture. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006.

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Bibliographies

  • Chang, Jeff. "Words, Images, and Sounds: A Selected Resource Guide." Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2005. 469–495.
  • Cleary, Robert M. "Rap Music and Its Political Connections: An Annotated Bibliography," Reference Services Review 30 (Summer 1993): 77–90.
  • Ranck, John. Classified Hip-Hop, or I Wanna Blow Up Like Marilyn Monroe's Skirt
    http://remixtheory.net/?p=221

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History

  • Fricke, Jim. Yes Yes Y'all: The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip Hop's First Decade. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press, 2002.
  • Hager, Steven. Hip Hop: The Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap Music, and Graffiti. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984.
  • Light, Alan, ed. The VIBE History of Hip Hop. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1999.
  • Ogg, Alex, and David Upshal. The Hip Hop Years: A History of Rap. New York: Fromm International, 1999.

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Biographical Information

  • Bogdanov, Vladamir, ed. All Music Guide to Hip Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap & Hip Hop. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2003.
    Online version: Allmusic.com (http://www.allmusic.com/)
  • Bynoe, Yvonne. Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip-Hop Culture. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006.
  • Contemporary Musicians. Gale Research, Inc., 1989–
  • Hip Hop Divas. New York: VIBE/Three Rivers Press, 2001.
  • Hoffman, Frank. Rhythm and Blues, Rap, and Hip-Hop. New York: Facts On File, 2006.
  • McCoy, Judy. Rap Music in the 1980s: A Reference Guide. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1992.
  • Nelson, Havelock, and Michael A. Gonzales. Bring the Noise: A Guide to Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture. New York: Harmony Books, 1991.
  • Stancell, Steven. Rap Whoz Who: The World of Rap Music. New York: Schirmer Music, 1996.

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Additional Reference Sources

  • "Essays," "Label Descriptions," "Essential Albums," "Essential Songs," and "Non-Rap Artists Who Influenced Rap." Bogdanov, Vladamir, ed. All Music Guide to Hip Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap & Hip Hop. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2003. 557–627.
  • Jenkins, Sacha, et al. Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1999.

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Discographies and Guides to Recordings

  • Billboard.com
    http://www.billboard.com/
  • Bogdanov, Vladamir, ed. All Music Guide to Hip Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap & Hip Hop. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2003.
    Online version: Allmusic.com (http://www.allmusic.com/)
  • Fresh, Freddy. Freddy Fresh Presents the Rap Records. Saint Paul, Minn.: Nerby Pub. LLC, 2004.
  • McCoy, Judy. "A Selected Discography." Rap Music in the 1980s: A Reference Guide. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1992. 186–219.
  • RapReviews.com
    http://www.rapreviews.com/
  • Shapiro, Peter. The Rough Guide to Hip-Hop. 2nd ed. London: Rough Guides; New York: Distributed by Penguin Putnam, 2005.
  • Whitburn, Joel. Joel Whitburn's Top R&B Albums, 1965–1998. Menomonee Falls, Wis.: Record Research, 1999.

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Recordings

  • The Hip Hop Box. Hip-O Records 440 069 588–2.
  • Hip Hop Essentials. Tommy Boy TB 1634-2 – TB 1645-2.
  • Kurtis Blow Presents The History of Rap: Vol. 1: The Genesis. Rhino R2 72851.
    Kurtis Blow Presents The History of Rap: Vol. 2. The Birth of Rap. Rhino R2 72852.
    Kurtis Blow Presents The History of Rap: Vol. 3: The Golden Age. Rhino R2 72853.

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Magazines and Journals

Publications Exclusively or Primarily Devoted to Hip Hop and Rap

  • Ego Trip
  • Hip-Hop Connection
  • Rap Pages
  • Rap Sheet
  • Rock and Rap Confidential
  • Scratch
  • The Source
  • Straight No Chaser
  • VIBE
  • Wax Poetics
  • Words, Beats & Life Hip Hop Journal
  • XXL

Popular Music Magazines

  • Billboard
  • Blues & Soul
  • Melody Maker
  • Mojo
  • Rolling Stone
  • Spin

Scholarly Music Journals

  • American Music
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Popular Music
  • Popular Music & Society

African-American Scholarly Journals

  • African American Review
  • Callaloo
  • Journal of Black Studies
  • Transition

African-American Magazines

  • Black Enterprise
  • Ebony
  • Jet

General Publications

  • Los Angeles Times
  • New York Times
  • Newsweek
  • Time
  • The Village Voice

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Databases

Music Databases

Databases on African-Americans

General Article Databases

Additional Databases

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Additional Articles and Essays

  • Cepeda, Raquel. And It Don't Stop?: The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years. New York: Faber and Faber, 2004.
  • Chang, Jeff, ed. Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop. New York: Basic Civitas Books, 2006.
  • Forman, Murray, and Mark Anthony Neal, eds. That's the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2004.
  • Perkins, William Eric, ed. Droppin' Science: Critical Essays on Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.
  • Sexton, Adam, ed. Rap on Rap: Straight Up Talk on Hip Hop Culture. New York: Delta, 1995.

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Information about Songs

  • Allmusic.com
    http://www.allmusic.com/
  • Kulkarni, Neil. Hip Hop: Bring the Noise: The Stories behind the Biggest Songs. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2004.
  • Price, Emmett George III. "Appendix B: Fifty Influential Hip Hop Records (Singles)." Hip Hop Culture. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2006. 303–312.
  • Whitburn, Joel. Joel Whitburn Presents Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles, 1942–2004. Menomonee Falls, Wis.: Record Research Inc., 2004.

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Lyrics

  • Beckman, Janette. Rap: Portraits and Lyrics of a Generation of Black Rockers. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991.
  • Hip-Hop & Rap: Complete Lyrics for 175 Songs. Milwaukee, Wis.: Hal Leonard, 2003.
  • Ogg, Alex. Rap Lyrics: From the Sugarhill Gang to Eminem. London: Wise Publications in association with Omnibus Press, 2002.
  • Stanley, Lawrence A., ed. Rap: The Lyrics. New York: Penguin, 1992.

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Dictionaries and Glossaries

  • Fab 5 Freddy. Fresh Fly Flavor: Words & Phrases of the Hip-Hop Generation. Stamford, Conn.: Longmeadow Press, 1992.
  • Rap Dictionary
    http://www.rapdict.org/
  • Stavsky, Lois, I.D. Mozeson, and Dani Reyes Mozeson. A 2 Z: The Book of Rap & Hip-Hop Slang. New York: Boulevard Books, 1995.
  • Westbrook, Alonzo. Hip Hoptionary: The Dictionary of Hip-Hop Terminology. New York: Harlem Moon, 2002.

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Video Materials

  • Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme. Directed by Kevin Fitzgerald. 2000. Palm Pictures, 2004.
  • Scratch. Directed by Doug Pray. 2001. Palm Pictures, 2002.
  • Wild Style. Directed by Charlie Ahearn. 1982. Rhino Home Video, 2002.

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Web Sites