Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement” as Want to Read:
Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Avoiding the easy definitions and caricatures that tend to celebrate or condemn the "hip hop generation," Hip Hop Matters focuses on fierce and far-reaching battles being waged in politics, pop culture, and academe to assert control over the movement. At stake, Watkins argues, is the impact hip hop has on the lives of the young people who live and breathe the culture. He p ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Beacon Press (first published 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hip Hop Matters, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hip Hop Matters

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 358)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Feb 20, 2008 B-MO rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to B-MO by: Flint Public Library
My NOTES on this book are available at: my notes.

The book had some value to the political side of its focus in its use of case studies....The Bay Area story in particular. It also seemed to have some useful commentary on the creation of a hip hop intelligentsia, their views, and how they are viewed by the rest of the movement...This section had a very Gramsci 'n tint to intellectuals.....

The book also was a good resource if attempting to pinpoint what "hip hop" as an art
Jan 21, 2008 kevin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: hip-hop nerds, teachers
Shelves: hip-hop, non-fiction
Watkins explores several rich topics in recent hip-hop history to make an argument for its importance to contemporary culture. He focuses especially on issues of race, gender, and political action. His energy and enthusiasm is evident in every line. Readers familiar with hip-hop will appreciate this love but skeptics might be turned off by some overly "fan-ish" passages.

People still hungry after reading Chang's essential "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" will find "Hip Hop Matters" an excellent follow-up
One of my Sociology professors from UT wrote this amazing piece on maintaining the authenticity of Hip Hop in a very commercialized music industry. His diverse background in both sociology and radio, TV and Film brings a unique insight in placing the evolution of Hip Hop music in a social/political context. He doesn't go so much in the history of hip hop music, but focuses his discussion on the mainstreaming of Hip Hop today.

It's nonfiction, written by an academic, but i found it to be a very en
Ryan Mishap
Takes on the rise of hip-hop as a global force: how it came to happen, who controls the money, and the effects—good or bad. When Soundscan began tracking point-of-purchase sales, record companies were shocked to discover that country and rap were leading sales. The big companies backed rap stars, socially conscious hip-hop faded, even as it hip-hop spread around the world. Watkins also discusses sexism in rap and rappers entering the porn business. Also, how black people, in general, are portray ...more
Rather than give an intense historical recap of the hip-hop movement over the past 30 years, Watkins chooses a few important moments, and discusses their significance on the movement. For a reader who is looking to have a general understanding of hip-hop history, and the moments that changed its course. My only issues were the discussion on hip-hop as a agent of political change, as he presented no solid evidence, and the brevity of the chapter in regards to women in relation to hip-hop culture.
Rushay Booysen
Does hip hop still matter! This book explores the early rise and influence of hip hop.It paves a timeline that seeks to point the influence of one of the most influential youth movements.Was a interesting read and refresher in making me aware of where this movement once was.
I really enjoyed this book. I've read a fair number of hip hop memorials or history of hip hop in the US, but I've never actually seen it framed in this way. Really interested, both for historical content and the analysis of where hip hop is now.
One of the first books I've read that touches specifically on my area of study, though being published in 2005, it's quite dated. Despite this, Watkins argument that hip hop matters is passionately on display in every piece of this book.
This was recommended to be by Deb Willis for my thesis. I just skimmed it and picked out some quotes to add to my thesis for her benefit. I don't recall too many aha moments in my brisk flip through. Hip hop books don't much do it for me.
Poorly written and dry. My eyes would pop open whenever I'd stumble upon some information of which I was previously unaware - this book's only saving grace.
It is easy to read and interesting.
LORRAINE marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2015
Dan Fajans
Dan Fajans marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2015
Cynthia marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2015
Shirley Ramos
Shirley Ramos marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2015
Michael marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2015
Grace marked it as to-read
Aug 02, 2015
Maura Badji
Maura Badji marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2015
Bianca marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2015
Kody marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2015
Dominique is currently reading it
Jul 06, 2015
Joe T.
Joe T. marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2015
Beej marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
Kala Séraphin
Kala Séraphin marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2015
Abdallah Sayed
Abdallah Sayed marked it as to-read
Jun 12, 2015
Jibbs marked it as to-read
Jun 11, 2015
Alastair Kemp
Alastair Kemp marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Music & Culture)
  • Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop
  • Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop
  • That's the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader
  • It's Bigger Than Hip Hop: The Rise of the Post-Hip-Hop Generation
  • Why White Kids Love Hip Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality of Race in America
  • Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop
  • Yes Yes Y'all: The Experience Music Project Oral History Of Hip-hop's First Decade
  • Know What I Mean? Reflections On Hip Hop
  • A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America
  • Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies
  • Blues People: Negro Music in White America
  • Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice
  • Hip Hop America
  • The Big Payback
  • Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists
  • Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke
  • The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism
The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future Representing: Hip Hop Culture and the Production of Black Cinema Matisse Floral Gift Labels Ecological Effects of Afforestation: Studies in the History and Ecology of Afforestation in Western Europe

Share This Book