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Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop
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Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  6 reviews
At once the most lucrative, popular, and culturally oppositional musical force in the United States, hip hop demands the kind of interpretation Imani Perry provides here: criticism engaged with this vibrant musical form on its own terms. A scholar and a fan, Perry considers the art, politics, and culture of hip hop through an analysis of song lyrics, the words of the proph ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published November 30th 2004 by Duke University Press Books (first published November 2004)
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Natalie S.
In Prophets of the Hood, Imani Perry discusses critiques of hip hop--the music, the artists, the culture. The project of the book is similar to Tricia Rose's The Hip Hop Wars, but I felt Imani Perry took a more nuanced approach by closely examining hip hop's history and composition. Both eventually reach the same conclusions: hip hop is not inherently problematic, but the current conditions of media consumption drive its violence/misogyny/racism.

A few things make this book particularly excellent
Crystal Belle
The second half of the book was much better than the first, with interesting analysis of mainstream and underground hip-hop songs. I did enjoy the writing that focused on the ideological framework of hip-hop music and culture and its connection to race, class and gender. My issue with this book is that some of the lyrics were misquoted! If you are a hip-hop head, you will see what I'm talking about. Lastly, it really annoyed me that Perry spends 35 pages explaining why hip-hop is a "black Americ ...more
Adam Azeris
Great piece of writing on the politics of Hip Hop. Dr. Perry has put together extraordinary insights on Hip Hop as it relates to originality, identity, narrative within the music. She covers song structure & composition, the nuances therein. She touches on feminism's place in Hip Hop, as well as the effects of co-optation and globalization of the muscial form.

In the final chapter she states that many of her friends urged her to finish & publish this piece quickly, since they thought "Hi
One of the best books on hip-hop I've read: tells you everything you need to know in order to understand the cipher. (music/urban studies; 250 pages)
Vanessa FM
This was an okay book. It didn't really grab my attention and to be honest, I just skimmed the last pages (never a good sign).
I heard the author speak at a conference at U Penn. She has a real pulse on the history and current state of hip hop.
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