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This title in other editions

To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic

by

To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

View the #LINK<Table of Contents>#.   Read the #LINK<Introduction>#.

SEE ALSO: Pimps Up, Ho's Down: Hip Hop's Hold on Young Black Women by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting.

Upon finishing To The Break of Dawn any objective fan will acknowledge that Cobb has done a commendable job in chronicling rap's evolution and explaining its multiple influences and impact."

City Paper<

"To the Break of Dawn dissects the evolution of hip hop lyricism from its most primitive beginnings to its current manifestation as a global phenomenon. Author Jelani Cobb examines issues of race, geography, genre and bravado in this overview of hip hop's lyrical art. Covering words from B.I.G., Cube, Obie Trice and Pimp C, Cobb offers an intellectual and up-to-date report on hip hop's most powerful element."

The Source Magazine

"What makes William Jelani Cobb's To the Break of Dawn so refreshing is that it centers on what hip-hop is, rather than on what it does. Eschewing the common practice of treating rap lyrics as just another way to talk about race, politics or the self, Cobb treats them as art. His aim is ambitious: to articulate hip-hop's aesthetic principles while tracing its roots back to the [ancestral poetic and musical traditions' of black oral culture, from Sunday sermons to gut-bucket blues. To the Break of Dawn celebrates lyrical invention, the artists and even the particular rhymes that make hip-hop great. For the uninitiated, it is Hip-Hop 101, offering a rich overview of rap's verbal artistry. For the aficionado, it alternately affirms and challenges deeply held beliefs of what is valuable in hip-hop."

Washington Post Book World

"On literally every page [Cobb] displays a tremendous command of language and history as he [examines the aesthetic, stylistic, and thematic evolution of hip hop from its inception in the South Bronx to the present era.' But make no mistake: this groundbreaking work is an artfully constructed and vividly written look at [the artistic evolution of rap music and its relationship to earlier forms of black expression.' Much of the book's pleasure also comes from Cobb's ability to [freestyle' serious and humorous insights-from how artists such as Tupac and Nas sometimes [stepped outside the conventions of hip-hop to pen sympathetic narratives about the sexual exploitation of young women,' to how LL Cool J's pioneering [I Need a Beat' sounded [like he'd raided every entry in an SAT book.' "

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Vital stuff for hip hop fans eager to know more about their favorite cultural idiom's development and underpinnings."

Booklist

"At a time when academics are just beginning to recognize hip hop as a legitimate form, William Jelani Cobb, a child of rap himself, brings an unparalleled level of understanding to the music. His historically informed yet hip-to-the-tip viewpoint roots readers in the art form rather than the hype."

—Chuck D

"With poetic passion and surgical precision, William Jelani Cobb's engaging exploration of the hip hop aesthetic lovingly demonstrates that, when it comes to beats and rhymes, the beauty of the (bass) god resides in the details."

—Joan Morgan, author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost

"Finally, a hip hop study that captures the verve and swagger that marked the work of our critical forebears Albert Murray and Amiri Baraka. In his brilliant new tome, William Jelani Cobb bridges the gap between the majesty of the blues and the gully regality of hip hop."

—Mark Anthony Neal, author of New Black Man

"Wow! To the Break of Dawn is a crucial contribution to hip hop history. I'm thrilled that William Jelani Cobb has documented hip hop's relationship to the blues. If you want to truly understand how hip hop was born, read this book."

—MC Lyte

"To the Break of Dawn tells the serious story of hip hop's artistic roots, and in the process revels in the great MCs who stand at the crossroads of music and literature. In a crowded field of hip hop scholars, pundits, and journalists, To the Break of Dawn puts William Jelani Cobb way out in front."

—Ta-Nehisi Coates

"Upon finishing To the Break of Dawn, any objective fan will acknowledge that Cobb has done a commendable job in chronicling rap's evolution and explaining its multiple influences and impact. Here's a fresh look at a music that continues to electrify, confound, alienate, and fascinate."

Nashville City Paper

He'll idle with some prelim scratches to let the crowd know what's coming next. And if his boy got skills enough, if the verbal game is tight enough, that right there will be the kinetic moment, that blessed split-second when beat meets rhyme.

With roots that stretch from West Africa through the black pulpit, hip-hop emerged in the streets of the South Bronx in the 1970s and has spread to the farthest corners of the earth. To the Break of Dawn uniquely examines this freestyle verbal artistry on its own terms. A kid from Queens who spent his youth at the epicenter of this new art form, music critic William Jelani Cobb takes readers inside the beats, the lyrics, and the flow of hip-hop, separating mere corporate rappers from the creative MCs that forged the art in the crucible of the street jam.

The four pillars of hip hop—break dancing, graffiti art, deejaying, and rapping—find their origins in traditions as diverse as the Afro-Brazilian martial art Capoeira and Caribbean immigrants' turnstile artistry. Tracing hip-hop's relationship to ancestral forms of expression, Cobb explores the cultural and literary elements that are at its core. From KRS-One and Notorious B.I.G. to Tupac Shakur and Lauryn Hill, he profiles MCs who were pivotal to the rise of the genre, verbal artists whose lineage runs back to the black preacher and the bluesman.

Unlike books that focus on hip-hop as a social movement or a commercial phenomenon, To the Break of Dawn tracks the music's aesthetic, stylistic, and thematic evolution from its inception to today's distinctly regional sub-divisions and styles. Written with an insider's ear, the book illuminates hip-hop's innovations in a freestyle form that speaks to both aficionados and newcomers to the art.

Review:

"Hip-hop is dead. That's what rap legend Nas claims in the title of his latest album. He just might be right. According to Nielsen Soundscan, album sales in all genres declined by nearly 5 percent in 2006, largely attributable to the increasing popularity of digital downloads. Rap sales, however, plummeted by more than 20 percent, the most of any genre. Ironically, this downturn comes at a time when... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

To the Break of Dawn dissects the evolution of hip hop lyricism from its most primitive beginnings to its current manifestation as a global phenomenon. Author Jelani Cobb examines issues of race, geography, genre and bravado in this overview of hip hop''s lyrical art. Covering words from B.I.G., Cube, Obie Trice and Pimp C, Cobb offers an intellectual and up-to-date report on hip hop''s most powerful element. --The Source MagazineAt a time when academics are just beginning to recognize hip hop as a legitimate form, William Jelani Cobb, a child of rap himself, brings an unparalleled level of understanding to the music. His historically informed yet hip-to-the-tip viewpoint roots readers in the art form rather than the hype. --Chuck DWith poetic passion and surgical precision, William Jelani Cobb''s engaging exploration of the hip hop aesthetic lovingly demonstrates that, when it comes to beats and rhymes, the beauty of the (bass) god resides in the details. --Joan Morgan, author of When Chickenheads Come Home to RoostFinally, a hip hop study that captures the verve and swagger that marked the work of our critical forebears Albert Murray and Amiri Baraka. In his brilliant new tome, William Jelani Cobb bridges the gap between the majesty of the blues and the gully regality of hip hop. --Mark Anthony Neal, author of New Black ManWow To the Break of Dawn is a crucial contribution to hip hop history. I''m thrilled that William Jelani Cobb has documented hip hop''s relationship to the blues. If you want to truly understand how hip hop was born, read this book.--MC LyteTo the Break of Dawn tells the serious story of hip hop''s artistic roots, and in the process revels in the great MCswho stand at the crossroads of music and literature. In a crowded field of hip hop scholars, pundits, and journalists, To the Break of Dawn puts William Jelani Cobb way out in front.--Ta-Nehisi CoatesOn literally every page he displays a tremendous command of language and history. . . . This groundbreaking work is an artfully constructed and vividly written look. . . . Brilliantly displays how hip-hop has its own aesthetic. . . . Much of the book''s pleasure also comes from Cobb''s ability to ''freestyle'' serious and humorous insights. --Publishers WeeklyHe''ll idle with some prelim scratches to let the crowd know what''s coming next. And if his boy got skills enough, if the verbal game is tight enough, that right there will be the kinetic moment, that blessed split-second when beat meets rhyme.With roots that stretch from West Africa through the black pulpit, hip-hop emerged in the streets of the South Bronx in the 1970s and has spread to the farthest corners of the earth. To the Break of Dawn uniquely examines this freestyle verbal artistry on its own terms. A kid from Queens who spent his youth at the epicenter of this new art form, music critic William Jelani Cobb takes readers inside the beats, the lyrics, and the flow of hip-hop, separating mere corporate rappers from the creative MCs that forged the art in the crucible of the street jam.The four pillars of hip hop--break dancing, graffiti art, deejaying, and rapping--find their origins in traditions as diverse as the Afro-Brazilian martial art Capoeira and Caribbean immigrants'' turnstile artistry. Tracing hip-hop''s relationship to ancestral forms of expression, Cobb explores the cultural and literary elements that are at itscore. From KRS-One and Notorious B.I.G. to Tupac Shakur and Lauryn Hill, he profiles MCs who were pivotal to the rise of the genre, verbal artists whose lineage runs back to the black preacher and the bluesman.Unlike books that focus on hip-hop as a social movement or a commercial phenomenon, To the Break of Dawn tracks the music''s aesthetic, stylistic, and thematic evolution from its inception to today''s distinctly regional sub-divisions and styles. Written with an insider''s ear, the book illuminates hip-hop''s innovations in a freestyle form that speaks to both aficionados and ne

Synopsis:

In the United States, the question of women in the armed services has been continuously and hotly debated. Among feminists, two fundamentally differing views of women in the military have developed. Feminist antimilitarists tell us that militarism and patriarchy have together pressed women into second class citizenship. Meanwhile, feminist soldiers and their advocates regard martial service as women's right and responsibility and the ticket to first class citizenship.

Citizenship Rites investigates what is at stake for women in these debates. Exploring the perspectives of both feminist antimilitarists and feminist soldiers, Ilene Feinman situates the current combat controversy within the context of the sea change in United States politics since the 1970s-from ERA debates over drafting women to recent representations of military women such as the film GI Jane. Drawing on congressional testimony, court cases, feminist and antiracist political discourse, and antimilitarist activism, Feinman addresses our pressing need for an analysis of women's increasing inclusion in the armed forces while providing a provocative investigation of what this changing role means for women and society alike.

Synopsis:

View the Table of Contents. Read the Introduction.

aTo the Break of Dawn marks a crucial turning point in hip-hop writing. . . . By opening the discourse on hip-hopas aesthetic, Cobb spearheads a new sub-genre, and perhaps a return or revolution in hip-hop aesthetics.a

--Black Issues Book Review

a P]eels back the many digitized layers of hip-hop to explore the evolution of the MC, from African folkloric traditions to the global (and often hypercommercial) phenomenon it is today.

a--Utne

SEE ALSO: Pimps Up, Hoas Down: Hip Hopas Hold on Young Black Women by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting.

aTo the Break of Dawn is smart, funny, conversational — a book to touch off serious study of the modern MC.a

--The Austin Chronicle

aUpon finishing To The Break of Dawn any objective fan will acknowledge that Cobb has done a commendable job in chronicling rapas evolution and explaining its multiple influences and impact.a

--City Paper

aTo the Break of Dawn dissects the evolution of hip hop lyricism from its most primitive beginnings to its current manifestation as a global phenomenon. Author Jelani Cobb examines issues of race, geography, genre and bravado in this overview of hip hopas lyrical art. Covering words from B.I.G., Cube, Obie Trice and Pimp C, Cobb offers an intellectual and up-to-date report on hip hopas most powerful elementa

--The Source Magazine

aWhat makes William Jelani Cobb's To the Break of Dawn so refreshing is that it centers on what hip-hop is, rather than on what it does. Eschewing the common practice of treating rap lyrics as just another way to talk about race, politics or the self, Cobb treats them as art. His aim is ambitious: toarticulate hip-hop's aesthetic principles while tracing its roots back to the aancestral poetic and musical traditionsa of black oral culture, from Sunday sermons to gut-bucket blues. To the Break of Dawn celebrates lyrical invention, the artists and even the particular rhymes that make hip-hop great. For the uninitiated, it is Hip-Hop 101, offering a rich overview of rap's verbal artistry. For the aficionado, it alternately affirms and challenges deeply held beliefs of what is valuable in hip-hop.a

--Washington Post Book World

aThis book makes an important contribution to hip-hop history. . . . Cobbas writing style is engaging, and the book benefits from the legitimacy provided by the authoras background: he is a former MC who grew up with the culture.a

--Choice

aOn literally every page Cobb] displays a tremendous command of language and history as he aexamines the aesthetic, stylistic, and thematic evolution of hip hop from its inception in the South Bronx to the present era.a But make no mistake: this groundbreaking work is an artfully constructed and vividly written look at athe artistic evolution of rap music and its relationship to earlier forms of black expression.a Much of the book's pleasure also comes from Cobb's ability to afreestylea serious and humorous insights-from how artists such as Tupac and Nas sometimes astepped outside the conventions of hip-hop to pen sympathetic narratives about the sexual exploitation of young women, a to how LL Cool J's pioneering aI Need a Beata sounded alike he'd raided every entry in an SAT book.a aa

--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

aVital stuff for hip hop fans eager to know more about their favorite culturalidiomas development and underpinnings.a

--Booklist

aAt a time when academics are just beginning to recognize hip hop as a legitimate form, William Jelani Cobb, a child of rap himself, brings an unparalleled level of understanding to the music. His historically informed yet hip-to-the-tip viewpoint roots readers in the art form rather than the hype.a

--Chuck D

aWith poetic passion and surgical precision, William Jelani Cobb's engaging exploration of the hip hop aesthetic lovingly demonstrates that, when it comes to beats and rhymes, the beauty of the (bass) god resides in the details.a

--Joan Morgan, author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost

aFinally, a hip hop study that captures the verve and swagger that marked the work of our critical forebears Albert Murray and Amiri Baraka. In his brilliant new tome, William Jelani Cobb bridges the gap between the majesty of the blues and the gully regality of hip hop.a

--Mark Anthony Neal, author of New Black Man

Wow To the Break of Dawn is a crucial contribution to hip hop history. I'm thrilled that William Jelani Cobb has documented hip hop's relationship to the blues. If you want to truly understand how hip hop was born, read this booka

--MC Lyte

aTo the Break of Dawn tells the serious story of hip hop's artistic roots, and in the process revels in the great MCs who stand at the crossroads of music and literature. In a crowded field of hip hop scholars, pundits, and journalists, To the Break of Dawn puts William Jelani Cobb way out in front.a

--Ta-Nehisi Coates

aUpon finishing To the Break of Dawn, any objective fan will acknowledge that Cobb has done a commendable job in chronicling rapasevolution and explaining its multiple influences and impact. Hereas a fresh look at a music that continues to electrify, confound, alienate, and fascinate.a

--Nashville City Paper

He'll idle with some prelim scratches to let the crowd know what's coming next. And if his boy got skills enough, if the verbal game is tight enough, that right there will be the kinetic moment, that blessed split-second when beat meets rhyme.

With roots that stretch from West Africa through the black pulpit, hip-hop emerged in the streets of the South Bronx in the 1970s and has spread to the farthest corners of the earth. To the Break of Dawn uniquely examines this freestyle verbal artistry on its own terms. A kid from Queens who spent his youth at the epicenter of this new art form, music critic William Jelani Cobb takes readers inside the beats, the lyrics, and the flow

About the Author

Ilene Rose Feinman is Assistant Professor of Democratic Participation and U.S. Cultures at Cal State Monterey Bay.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780814716700
Author:
Cobb, William Jelani
Publisher:
New York University Press
Author:
Cobb, William
Author:
Feinman, Ilene
Subject:
Hip-hop
Subject:
History & Criticism - General
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Rap & Hip Hop
Subject:
History & Criticism *
Subject:
Ethnomusicology
Subject:
Music-Hip Hop and Rap
Subject:
Women's Studies
Publication Date:
20070231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Ethnomusicology
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rap and Hip-Hop
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism

To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic New Hardcover
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Product details 200 pages New York University Press - English 9780814716700 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , To the Break of Dawn dissects the evolution of hip hop lyricism from its most primitive beginnings to its current manifestation as a global phenomenon. Author Jelani Cobb examines issues of race, geography, genre and bravado in this overview of hip hop''s lyrical art. Covering words from B.I.G., Cube, Obie Trice and Pimp C, Cobb offers an intellectual and up-to-date report on hip hop''s most powerful element. --The Source MagazineAt a time when academics are just beginning to recognize hip hop as a legitimate form, William Jelani Cobb, a child of rap himself, brings an unparalleled level of understanding to the music. His historically informed yet hip-to-the-tip viewpoint roots readers in the art form rather than the hype. --Chuck DWith poetic passion and surgical precision, William Jelani Cobb''s engaging exploration of the hip hop aesthetic lovingly demonstrates that, when it comes to beats and rhymes, the beauty of the (bass) god resides in the details. --Joan Morgan, author of When Chickenheads Come Home to RoostFinally, a hip hop study that captures the verve and swagger that marked the work of our critical forebears Albert Murray and Amiri Baraka. In his brilliant new tome, William Jelani Cobb bridges the gap between the majesty of the blues and the gully regality of hip hop. --Mark Anthony Neal, author of New Black ManWow To the Break of Dawn is a crucial contribution to hip hop history. I''m thrilled that William Jelani Cobb has documented hip hop''s relationship to the blues. If you want to truly understand how hip hop was born, read this book.--MC LyteTo the Break of Dawn tells the serious story of hip hop''s artistic roots, and in the process revels in the great MCswho stand at the crossroads of music and literature. In a crowded field of hip hop scholars, pundits, and journalists, To the Break of Dawn puts William Jelani Cobb way out in front.--Ta-Nehisi CoatesOn literally every page he displays a tremendous command of language and history. . . . This groundbreaking work is an artfully constructed and vividly written look. . . . Brilliantly displays how hip-hop has its own aesthetic. . . . Much of the book''s pleasure also comes from Cobb''s ability to ''freestyle'' serious and humorous insights. --Publishers WeeklyHe''ll idle with some prelim scratches to let the crowd know what''s coming next. And if his boy got skills enough, if the verbal game is tight enough, that right there will be the kinetic moment, that blessed split-second when beat meets rhyme.With roots that stretch from West Africa through the black pulpit, hip-hop emerged in the streets of the South Bronx in the 1970s and has spread to the farthest corners of the earth. To the Break of Dawn uniquely examines this freestyle verbal artistry on its own terms. A kid from Queens who spent his youth at the epicenter of this new art form, music critic William Jelani Cobb takes readers inside the beats, the lyrics, and the flow of hip-hop, separating mere corporate rappers from the creative MCs that forged the art in the crucible of the street jam.The four pillars of hip hop--break dancing, graffiti art, deejaying, and rapping--find their origins in traditions as diverse as the Afro-Brazilian martial art Capoeira and Caribbean immigrants'' turnstile artistry. Tracing hip-hop''s relationship to ancestral forms of expression, Cobb explores the cultural and literary elements that are at itscore. From KRS-One and Notorious B.I.G. to Tupac Shakur and Lauryn Hill, he profiles MCs who were pivotal to the rise of the genre, verbal artists whose lineage runs back to the black preacher and the bluesman.Unlike books that focus on hip-hop as a social movement or a commercial phenomenon, To the Break of Dawn tracks the music''s aesthetic, stylistic, and thematic evolution from its inception to today''s distinctly regional sub-divisions and styles. Written with an insider''s ear, the book illuminates hip-hop''s innovations in a freestyle form that speaks to both aficionados and ne
"Synopsis" by , In the United States, the question of women in the armed services has been continuously and hotly debated. Among feminists, two fundamentally differing views of women in the military have developed. Feminist antimilitarists tell us that militarism and patriarchy have together pressed women into second class citizenship. Meanwhile, feminist soldiers and their advocates regard martial service as women's right and responsibility and the ticket to first class citizenship.

Citizenship Rites investigates what is at stake for women in these debates. Exploring the perspectives of both feminist antimilitarists and feminist soldiers, Ilene Feinman situates the current combat controversy within the context of the sea change in United States politics since the 1970s-from ERA debates over drafting women to recent representations of military women such as the film GI Jane. Drawing on congressional testimony, court cases, feminist and antiracist political discourse, and antimilitarist activism, Feinman addresses our pressing need for an analysis of women's increasing inclusion in the armed forces while providing a provocative investigation of what this changing role means for women and society alike.

"Synopsis" by , View the Table of Contents. Read the Introduction.

aTo the Break of Dawn marks a crucial turning point in hip-hop writing. . . . By opening the discourse on hip-hopas aesthetic, Cobb spearheads a new sub-genre, and perhaps a return or revolution in hip-hop aesthetics.a

--Black Issues Book Review

a P]eels back the many digitized layers of hip-hop to explore the evolution of the MC, from African folkloric traditions to the global (and often hypercommercial) phenomenon it is today.

a--Utne

SEE ALSO: Pimps Up, Hoas Down: Hip Hopas Hold on Young Black Women by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting.

aTo the Break of Dawn is smart, funny, conversational — a book to touch off serious study of the modern MC.a

--The Austin Chronicle

aUpon finishing To The Break of Dawn any objective fan will acknowledge that Cobb has done a commendable job in chronicling rapas evolution and explaining its multiple influences and impact.a

--City Paper

aTo the Break of Dawn dissects the evolution of hip hop lyricism from its most primitive beginnings to its current manifestation as a global phenomenon. Author Jelani Cobb examines issues of race, geography, genre and bravado in this overview of hip hopas lyrical art. Covering words from B.I.G., Cube, Obie Trice and Pimp C, Cobb offers an intellectual and up-to-date report on hip hopas most powerful elementa

--The Source Magazine

aWhat makes William Jelani Cobb's To the Break of Dawn so refreshing is that it centers on what hip-hop is, rather than on what it does. Eschewing the common practice of treating rap lyrics as just another way to talk about race, politics or the self, Cobb treats them as art. His aim is ambitious: toarticulate hip-hop's aesthetic principles while tracing its roots back to the aancestral poetic and musical traditionsa of black oral culture, from Sunday sermons to gut-bucket blues. To the Break of Dawn celebrates lyrical invention, the artists and even the particular rhymes that make hip-hop great. For the uninitiated, it is Hip-Hop 101, offering a rich overview of rap's verbal artistry. For the aficionado, it alternately affirms and challenges deeply held beliefs of what is valuable in hip-hop.a

--Washington Post Book World

aThis book makes an important contribution to hip-hop history. . . . Cobbas writing style is engaging, and the book benefits from the legitimacy provided by the authoras background: he is a former MC who grew up with the culture.a

--Choice

aOn literally every page Cobb] displays a tremendous command of language and history as he aexamines the aesthetic, stylistic, and thematic evolution of hip hop from its inception in the South Bronx to the present era.a But make no mistake: this groundbreaking work is an artfully constructed and vividly written look at athe artistic evolution of rap music and its relationship to earlier forms of black expression.a Much of the book's pleasure also comes from Cobb's ability to afreestylea serious and humorous insights-from how artists such as Tupac and Nas sometimes astepped outside the conventions of hip-hop to pen sympathetic narratives about the sexual exploitation of young women, a to how LL Cool J's pioneering aI Need a Beata sounded alike he'd raided every entry in an SAT book.a aa

--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

aVital stuff for hip hop fans eager to know more about their favorite culturalidiomas development and underpinnings.a

--Booklist

aAt a time when academics are just beginning to recognize hip hop as a legitimate form, William Jelani Cobb, a child of rap himself, brings an unparalleled level of understanding to the music. His historically informed yet hip-to-the-tip viewpoint roots readers in the art form rather than the hype.a

--Chuck D

aWith poetic passion and surgical precision, William Jelani Cobb's engaging exploration of the hip hop aesthetic lovingly demonstrates that, when it comes to beats and rhymes, the beauty of the (bass) god resides in the details.a

--Joan Morgan, author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost

aFinally, a hip hop study that captures the verve and swagger that marked the work of our critical forebears Albert Murray and Amiri Baraka. In his brilliant new tome, William Jelani Cobb bridges the gap between the majesty of the blues and the gully regality of hip hop.a

--Mark Anthony Neal, author of New Black Man

Wow To the Break of Dawn is a crucial contribution to hip hop history. I'm thrilled that William Jelani Cobb has documented hip hop's relationship to the blues. If you want to truly understand how hip hop was born, read this booka

--MC Lyte

aTo the Break of Dawn tells the serious story of hip hop's artistic roots, and in the process revels in the great MCs who stand at the crossroads of music and literature. In a crowded field of hip hop scholars, pundits, and journalists, To the Break of Dawn puts William Jelani Cobb way out in front.a

--Ta-Nehisi Coates

aUpon finishing To the Break of Dawn, any objective fan will acknowledge that Cobb has done a commendable job in chronicling rapasevolution and explaining its multiple influences and impact. Hereas a fresh look at a music that continues to electrify, confound, alienate, and fascinate.a

--Nashville City Paper

He'll idle with some prelim scratches to let the crowd know what's coming next. And if his boy got skills enough, if the verbal game is tight enough, that right there will be the kinetic moment, that blessed split-second when beat meets rhyme.

With roots that stretch from West Africa through the black pulpit, hip-hop emerged in the streets of the South Bronx in the 1970s and has spread to the farthest corners of the earth. To the Break of Dawn uniquely examines this freestyle verbal artistry on its own terms. A kid from Queens who spent his youth at the epicenter of this new art form, music critic William Jelani Cobb takes readers inside the beats, the lyrics, and the flow

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