“The birth of hip-hop out of the ruin of the South Bronx is a story that has been told many times, but never with the cinematic scope and the analytic force that Jeff Chang brings to it… This is one of the most urgent and passionate histories of popular music ever written.”
—The New Yorker
American Book Award
Asian American Literary Award
ASCAP Deems Taylor Award
Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research
Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop has been a generation-defining global movement. In a post-civil rights era rapidly transformed by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop gave voiceless youths a chance to address these seismic changes, and became a job-making engine and the Esperanto of youth rebellion. Hip-hop crystallized a multiracial generation’s worldview, and forever transformed politics and culture. But the epic story of how that happened has never been fully told… until now.