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Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hopby Jeff Chang
Synopses & Reviews
It's not just rap music. Hip-hop has transformed theater, dance, performance, poetry, literature, fashion, design, photography, painting, and film, to become one of the most far-reaching and transformative arts movements of the past two decades.American Book Award-winning journalist Jeff Chang, author of the acclaimed Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, assembles some of the most innovative and provocative voices in hip-hop to assess the most important cultural movement of our time. It's an incisive look at hip-hop arts in the voices of the pioneers, innovators, and mavericks.With an introductory survey essay by Chang, the anthology includes: Greg Tate, Mark Anthony Neal, Brian B+” Cross, and Vijay Prashad examining hip-hop aesthetics in the wake of multiculturalism. Joan Morgan and Mark Anthony Neal discussing gender relations in hip-hop. Hip-hop novelists Danyel Smith and Adam Mansbach on "street lit" and "lit hop". Actor, playwright, and performance artist Danny Hoch on how hip-hop defined the aesthetics of a generation. Rock Steady Crew b-boy-turned-celebrated visual artist DOZE on the uses and limits of a "hip-hop" identity. Award-winning writer Raquel Cepeda on West African cosmology and "the flash of the spirit" in hip-hop arts. Pioneer dancer POPMASTER FABEL's history of hip-hop dance, and acclaimed choreographer Rennie Harris on hip-hop's transformation of global dance theatre. Bill Adler's history of hip-hop photography, including photos by Glen E. Friedman, Janette Beckman, and Joe Conzo. Poetry and prose from Watts Prophet Father Amde Hamilton and Def Poetry Jam veterans Staceyann Chin, Suheir Hammad, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Kevin Coval. Roundtable discussions and essays presenting hip-hop in theatre, graphic design, documentary film and video, photography, and the visual arts. Total Chaos is Jeff Chang at his best: fierce and unwavering in his commitment to document the hip-hop explosion. In beginning to define a hip-hop aesthetic, this gathering of artists, pioneers, and thinkers illuminates the special truth that hip-hop speaks to youth around the globe.” (Bakari Kitwana, author of The Hip-Hop Generation)
"In this wide-ranging, academic anthology of essays, interviews and panel discussions, 2005 American Book Award — winner Jeff Chang (Can't Stop, Won't Stop) presents hip-hop's past, present and future as seen by some of its founding figures, guiding lights, journalists and scholars. From a post — civil rights era grassroots phenomenon born in the streets of the Bronx, N.Y., hip-hop has become a global cultural movement whose stylistic impact and social perspectives clearly extend beyond popular rap music. Part manifesto, part apologia, the collection takes on such topics as the aesthetics behind hip-hop photography and graffiti, offers an informative history of hip-hop dance and assesses hip-hop's effects on literature and theater, while pursuing debates about identity, sexuality and homophobia. Especially intriguing are pieces documenting hip-hop's sociopolitical influence in Cuba (Chang's interview with filmmaker Eli Jacobs-Fauntauzzi) and South Africa (an essay by Capetown natives Shaheen Ariefdien, performer/anthropologist, and Nazli Abrahams, an educator). Not surprisingly, amid talk about 'keepin' it real' and multiculturalism, multiple definitions of hip-hop emerge — ideas and values that are as varied and contradictory as the book's attempt to critically scrutinize hip-hop in context." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The author of the award-winning Cant Stop, Wont Stop assembles the most innovative and provocative voices in hip-hop to assess the future of the most important cultural movement of our time
Music journalist and American Book Award winner Jeff Chang presents a stunning and incisive look at hip-hop in the voices of those most intimately involved--prominent artists, writers, musicians, and performers who consider not simply where hip-hop has been but where it's going.
About the Author
Jeff Chang is the author of Cant Stop, Wont Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, for which he was awarded the 2005 American Book Award. He has been featured on Vibe Magazines Top 100 Juice” List. Chang tours extensively, lecturing at universities, museums, and community arts organizations around the country. He lives in Berkeley, California.
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