Students often ask me: where can I go to learn more about music history? The answer: books. The reason I like books is because they contain deep history, sustained argument, and they often provide footnotes and indexes–so that you can find other sources. Here are a few of my favorite books on popular and hip hop music:
Adam Bradley: Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop (2009)
Jeff Chang and DJ Herc: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop (2005)
Jeff Chang: Total Chaos
Tricia Rose: Hip Hop Wars (2008)
Alan Light: Vibe History of Hip Hop
Nelson George: Hip Hop America
Mark Anthony Neal: That’s the Joint: Hip Hop Studies Reader
Gwendolyn Pough: Home Girls Make Some Noise
Eric Michael Dyson: Know What I Mean?
**There are many other books on music, and I do not mean to imply that other types and genres of music are not as important as hip hop.