Bianca's Reviews > The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop--and Why It Matters

The Hip Hop Wars by Tricia Rose
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Nov 05, 12

Read in June, 2009


We cannot attack a problem we don't understand, and I appreciate Rose's effort to provide us with a context - media literacy, self-knowledge, the legacy of hatred and misogyny in this country - so that we can understand why hip hop music has become what is has become and how we can make a choice to consume it or not.

Rose explores the five most often heard attacks and the five most common defenses of the music, unmasking the faulty and damaging logic within both and revealing the complexities at work. Her writing is surprisingly accessible (as I find most "hip hop scholars" write for academia alone) and her ideas are clear and well-supported.

As a woman of color who experiences the side effects of the misogynist messages of hip hop all day, every day, I was personally moved by Rose's essays on gender identity in hop hop. This has been the issue that has caused me to despise something I once loved very deeply, and I was reminded to step back and see how and why those messages exist in black music.

This book goes hand in hand with Byron Hurt's documentary, "Hip Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes" (which can be watched online). Both ask who is responsible for negative paths hip hop has taken and both find the answers in the media corporations, the artists themselves and the consumers.
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