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Bomb the Suburbs: Grafitti, Race, Freight-Hopping and the Search for Hip Hop's Moral Centerby William Ups Wimsatt
Synopses & Reviews
The suburbs is more than just an unfortunate geographical location. It is an unfortunate state-of-mind. It's the American state-of-mind, founded on fear, conformity, shallowness of character, and dullness of imagination.
Most books are suburban books. Neatly designed, neatly packaged, and automatically produced. The author chooses one topic, one voice, one style, one audience, one point of view, then lays out the book according to plan.
This book is organized like a city. It's cluttered and dense and full of interesting stuff. It welcomes all kinds of people who don't have anything in common with each other. Its shops and restaurants offer a variety of home-made, one-of-a-kind items.
It gets treated like a city too. People hate the book without knowing anything about it. They rip down the posters. They speed through the book, if they go through it at all, with their doors locked and their windows rolled up.
Banks tell me I have bad credit. Police officers arrest me for putting up ads with Scotch tape. I can tell the people who will read this carefully because they look me in the eye.
"Not only is Upski one of the best writers on hip-hop bar none, he's also one of the most exciting theorists of racial and cultural identity in quite awhile." Ben Kim, New City
"It's a cop-out to call this 'The hip-hop book of the year.' It's the book of the year." Ben Hall, Modern Heiroglyphics
"Upski's writing from the inside and living it. It's the real shit. It's the truth — and a little bullshit — all rolled into one. It's exciting. It makes you laugh. It makes you think. It makes you sad. It cuts right into you. It gets jivey sometimes. It's not all hip-hop but it's all reality for urban youth....Upski's the only down white boy in hip-hop I know of. He's a b-boy and a hip-hop activist first, an artist second, and a journalist third. He has lived around us and seen the ugliness of us and the good of us. To me, this book is a missing link between cultures." Cashus D, Universal Ambassador of The Zulu Nation
In this blockbuster word-of-mouth, underground classic, William "Upski" Wimsatt attacks the whole idea of the suburb as "an unfortunate state-of-mind...founded on fear, conformity, shallowness of character, and dullness of imagination." Upski uses his coming of age in the Chicago break dancing and hip-hop scene as a springboard into a totally original discussion of American identity. Bomb the Suburbs is a brilliant dissection and advocacy for a real alternative, using art, parody, reportage and downright good writing.
About the Author
WILLIAM UPSKI WIMSATT originally published this book when he was 21 as an extreme insider and outsider to hip-hop. He has been a graffiti writer for sixteen years. Upski has written for The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, In These Times, Adbusters, Vibe, 360hiphop, and on walls around Chicago. He won the Firecracker Alternative Book Award for No More Prisons. Currently co-director of Raleigh, NC-based Reciprocity, he's on the board of The Active Element Foundation, Self Education Foundation, and More than Money.
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