Synopses & Reviews
Hip-hop today is ubiquitous. Like rock and roll before it, it has transformed music, art, dance, and fashion while capturing millions of listeners. But, the real story of hip-hop's birth a cultural innovation that rose from the creativity and vision of street kids surviving in the bombed-out Bronx of the 1970s has never been told. Until now.
Yes Yes Y'all is the first and only account of hip-hop's origins, told in the never-before-published words of its founders and stars and highlighted by hundreds of vintage photos and flyers.
With over fifty of hip-hop's stars and trailblazers sounding forth, including Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool DJ Herc, Melle Mel, Busy Bee, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Caz, Rahiem, Fab 5 Freddy, Tony Tone, Kool DJ AJ and DMC, Yes Yes Y'all crackles with vitality, humor, and menace.
Documenting all things hip-hop from the influence of gang culture on the early scene to B-boy and DJ culture to its commercial breakout with the release of Rapper's Delight to its spread worldwide, Yes Yes Y'all is the most authoritative record of the genesis of b-boys, graffiti, rap, and all aspects of hip-hop culture ever assembled-the ultimate history of an urban American revolution.
Documenting hip-hop's remarkable genesis for the very first time, this book tells its stories in voices that bristle with vitality, character, humor, and menace, tracing the music from DJ Kool Herc's first parties in 1973 through the release of "Rapper's Delight" in 1979 and the rise of the new school in the mid-'80s.
Fricke and Ahearn weave an electric narrative from the never-before-heard accounts of over fifty of hip-hop's founders and stars, old school and new, including Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc, Melle Mel, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Caz, Rahiem, Fab 5 Freddy, Tony Tone, and DMC.
A wealth of previously unseen photographs, flyers, and posters illustrate the text; noted critic Nelson George introduces it all.
"The action in the Bronx was dominated by the b-boys, and the DJ's job was to keep the party going and periodically create the musical space for the b-boys to take over and do their thing.
The percussion breaks where most of the band drops out, leaving the drummer and percussionists to carry the music were the parts that the b-boys liked. And the hip-hop forefathers developed a way to extend those breaks, alternating between the same section of the song on two records on different turntables.
As DJ Disco Wiz said, 'The main hip-hop entrepreneur was Herc. Then Bam gave an African flavor to it, and once he did that it was off the hook. Flash cut it up, and that took it to a different level. Then Theodore scratched it. That started it the evolution of hip-hop.'"
The Forefathers: b-boy and dj culture in the bronx
Yes Yes Y'All is a chorus of voices, a tale of artistry in the face of extraordinary adversity, and the definitive history of a revolution created with nothing more than a microphone, a turntable, and a dance floor.
"This is the book I've been waiting for! The real story about the real pioneers. Back to the future, before 'Rapper's Delight,' before 'Sucker MCs,' before Rap became a multi-billion dollar global youth culture. Yes Yes Y'all is the real blueprint for how it all began." Fab 5 Freddy
"Finally, a book that allows the creators of hip-hop culture to speak for themselves! Yes Yes Y'all captures the creative energy, artistic vitality, and urban chaos that fueled the most ingenious expressions of pop culture in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Yes Yes Y'all is a landmark book." Michael Eric Dyson, author of Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur
"For anyone who believes hip hop's best original school stories have already been told, Yes Yes Y'all is the funky fresh stuff epiphanies are made of; an essential b-boy document." Chairman Jefferson Mao, co-author of ego trip's Book of Rap Lists
"Back in the day when keepin' it real was a way of life, not a cliché, hip hop attended the old school. Yes Yes Y'all is a fly refresher course, straight from the horses' grill. Get your mind right!" Dr. Todd Boyd, author of the New H.N.I.C. and Am I Black Enough For You? and professor of Critical Studies at USC
Hip-hop today is ubiquitous, dominating not only the music industry but also popular culture around the world. This work tells its stories, tracing the music from DJ Kool Herc's first parties in 1973 through the release of "Rapper's Delight" in 1979 and the rise of the new school in the 1980s.
About the Author
Jim Fricke is Senior Curator at the Experience Music Project (EMP) in Seattle. He was curator of the Hip-Hop Nation exhibit.
Charlie Ahearn is a filmmaker whose 1982 landmark film Wild Style has become a hip-hop classic. It has just been released for the first time on DVD from Rhino Video and the soundtrack was chosen by Vibe magazine as one of the "Top 10" Soundtracks of all time. He lives in New York City.
Nelson George is the author of fourteen books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Death of Rhythm and Blues and Hip-Hop America, both nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He wrote about hip hop for Billboard and the Village Voice in the 1970s and 1980s. He lives in Brooklyn.