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Triksta: Life and Death and New Orleans Rap

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Acclaimed music writer Nik Cohn’s love of hip-hop goes back to its beginnings, and his love of New Orleans even further, to when he passed through the Big Easy on tour with The Who and discovered a place with a magic that never failed to seize him. On the surface he’s the least likely candidate for a rap impresario. But with his signature charm and passion, he plunges head ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Vintage (first published 2005)
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Nov 17, 2007 Tosh rated it really liked it
Nik Cohn fascinates me. A little history first. Cohn was a British Mod, who wrote the ultimate book on Rock n' Roll history. A close friend of The Who, the song "Pinball Wizard is based on Cohn, and to top it off he wrote the article 'Saturday Night Fever' that the famous film is based on. Although it seems Cohn made up the story, and just transformed his British Mod days onto the world of N.J. Disco life via the 70's.

He also wrote 'Rock Dreams' one of the great classic books on Rock n' Roll ic
David Leslie
May 08, 2015 David Leslie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
While I am a HUGE HIP HOP FANATIC,what the author Nik Cohn would descibe in a negative light a Hip Hop Head(or a purist or as 'Cohn labels us,Hip Hop snobs)I am not & never have been a lover of Southern Crunk music or 'trap' music as they call it now(apart from Geto Boys,Outkast,The Goodie Mob & a few others but they were/are 'hip hop' not crunk/trap artists)which was huge in the U.S in the mid 90s and has taken over the current US charts,its by far the most popular form of 'hip hop' at ...more
Mar 04, 2014 Steven rated it it was ok
Nik Cohn is a pop music writer and critic in the hyperbolic Lester Bangs style. This slender book is as much a memoir as it is a survey of New Orleans hip hop. Much of the memoir concerns Cohn's regrets about getting older, getting whiter, and getting left behind by the culture around him, and those regrets leak into his despairing chronicle of the ways rampant gang violence destroys local talents like Souljah Slim before they even reach their prime. Apparently the Crescent City took to hip hop ...more
Mar 25, 2009 Ethan rated it really liked it
My friends and I read this on a road trip from New Orleans to North Carolina. I think all of us were pretty skeptical of Nik Cohn,aged white dude coming out of the british rock scene dealing with his own racism by hurling himself into the New Orleans Bounce rap scene. He won us all over though. A lot of what Cohn talks about is stuff I've thought about heavily, being, myself, a white dude with complicated feelings about our own relationships to New Orleans and it's music. Plus the chapter about ...more
Sep 07, 2007 kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hip-hop fans, new orleans romantics
Cohn deals directly with his own racism in this memoir of life on the perimeter of New Orleans bounce music. From the first chapter, he explores the inherent power imbalance and problematic figure he strikes as the White hip-hop financier. 'Triksta' offers the reader a snapshot of life through the author's eyes and generally avoids didactic attempts at resolution, conclusion, or morality.

As a White reader, I found 'Triksta' a useful tool for reflection on my own relationship to hip-hop, race, an
Aug 30, 2011 Kent rated it it was ok
This was an interesting if meandering book. The writer comes off as a cranky, older man trying to make a rap album in NOLA, which in itself makes for an odd perspective. I never got the feeling he really knew what he was talking about as far as what was hot. I think he both misses the boat on hip hop culture and nails it throughout this book though, and that provokes some interesting thoguht and discussion.
Sep 14, 2007 erin rated it liked it
it's hard for me to imagine some middle-aged white dude breaking into the new orleans rap scene, but it's fascinating to read about. even though i lived in new orleans for two years, i still know shockingly little about bounce. i'm definitely trying to make up for lost time here and nik cohn is a pretty good guide.
Oct 15, 2007 Brian rated it really liked it
Music subcultures are an obsession with me. I read an excerpt from this in Da Capo's 2002 best-of music writing compilation, and was hooked. Cohn gets gets too involved with his subjects for my tastes -- I honestly prefer him as an observer -- but "Triksta" is fascinating as it looks into a music scene that's off the map for most people. The post-Katrina update was nessecary as well.
Jun 14, 2007 Josie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is good as a memoir, piecemeal as a book about New Orleans Bounce. There is a weird current of subtle racism running through it, not surprising I guess since the book is written by a 65-year-old white Brittish dude.
Paul Campagna
Interesting read. Wish it spent more time on the history of New Orleans rap and the stories of those who made the music, and a little less about his journey trying to influence the making of more conscious output, but still found it a very interesting read.
a debilitated British rock journalist relocates to New Orleans to become a rap record producer/promoter and does profiles of artists, techs and neighborhoods
Chris C
an old, white dude that loves rap, and not in that annoying hip college professor way.
Ali Mills
Apr 25, 2008 Ali Mills rated it did not like it
I have made an enemy. this author deserves to be publicly humiliated. in a walking-into-class-naked kind of way. or worse. the last sentence of the book is "new orleans is dead."
May 01, 2007 Lauren rated it it was ok
I love reading anything about NOLA, but the flip side to this is that I'm highly critical. This book seemed wildly problematic to me. Especially pre-K. Hmmm. Maybe I should reread it.
Dec 18, 2007 Erin marked it as to-read
chapter on juvenile? i'm all over it.
Jan 19, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it
Excellently written account of almost the last guy you would expect to become a New Orleans mobo producer. Funny and insightful.
Nov 13, 2007 Mariya marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2014 Alex rated it liked it
Interesting read despite the author being so ornery and pessimistic. Can definitely tell its a pre-Katrina perspective.
Mar 19, 2007 Alexander rated it liked it
Recommends it for: white men
Grandpa is in the rap game. It's dope. I mean it's hot.'s cold.
Jun 27, 2007 Katie rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Cohn is hysterical and I thought the premise was really interesting. Made me want to be a music journalist.
Simon Vita
Simon Vita rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2012
Mark Winkelmann
Mark Winkelmann rated it it was amazing
Nov 16, 2013
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Feb 12, 2008
Alan rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2009
Kariel Atreyu
Kariel Atreyu rated it it was amazing
Oct 06, 2008
Kurt Freund
Kurt Freund rated it really liked it
Mar 19, 2011
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Dec 28, 2012
Lefty rated it it was ok
Aug 17, 2009
Allison rated it liked it
Dec 06, 2007
Zblurk rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2016
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Cohn is considered by some critics to be a father of rock criticism, thanks to his time on The Observer's early rock column entitled The Brief and his first major book Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom, first published in 1969. Cohn has since published articles, novels and music books regularly.
More about Nik Cohn...

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