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Hip Hop Family Tree Book 3: 1983-1984

(Hip Hop Family Tree #3)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  359 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Ed Piskor’s acclaimed graphic novel series continues! Book 3 highlights Run DMC’s rise to fame and introduces unassailable acts like Whodini, The Fat Boys, Slick Rick, and Doug E Fresh. The Beastie Boys become a rap group. Rick Rubin meets Russell Simmons to form Def Jam. The famous TV pilot to the dance show Graffiti Rock and the documentaries Style Wars and Breakin’ and ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published August 8th 2015 by Fantagraphics (first published August 1st 2015)
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Sara
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Now we're down to only a single year in this third volume, making the narrative focus even tighter and more satisfying. If only volume 4 were available now!! Aughhhhh!
Kevin Wright
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Where volume 1 of Hip Hop Family Tree was filled with fascinating vignettes, colorful characters, and nuggets of information about early hip hop, volume 3 sees writer/artist Ed Piskor honing his narrative techniques, weaving dozens of parallel stories together to evoke the vibrant hip-hop scene in early '80s NYC. The “family tree” aspect of Piskor's project comes to the fore, as he chronicles the tight-knit connections between his cast of 80+ real-life characters. This includes the growing spher ...more
Autumn
I don't know about y'all, but I did a lot of popping and locking in Brownies. Then, there was the time this no-name kid did a headspin in front of the entire school at assembly and everybody lost their minds. Whodini was definitely named best group in my 4th grade school newspaper.

I'm from the middle of NOWHERE, folks. But in 1983/84, hip hop was definitely part of my little girl life. At first, it seemed like a school fad -- bigger than Fruit Rollups, but not as big as Michael Jackson. Turns o
...more
Jason
The pace is a bit more frenetic, as rap gains momentum as a cultural phenomenon. We see the beginnings of major players such as Ice T, Dr. Dre, Chuck D, and the Beastie Boys (who have cameoed pretty much since the beginning, so I'm guessing Piskor is a big fan) and witness the phenomenon of the epic rise of RUN-DMC (due in part to the combination of rock music with their rap, which they initially opposed). There's so much going on now, it's hard to keep up. But there's not much if anything from ...more
Peter Landau
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
With HIP HOP FAMILY TREE BOOK 3: 1983-1984, Ed Piskor continues his Herodotus-like chronicle of the birth of hip-hop. The medium is the message here, comics, specifically Marvel-styled superheroes of the 1970s, being the perfect pop platform to tell the larger-than-life story of the emerging art form from the streets of NYC and it’s burgeoning steps outside the city borders. This, as previous volumes, are thoroughly engaging, entertaining and edifying reads, but that’s enough alteration for now. ...more
Ethan Gooding-Tam
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been an avid fan of rap and hip hop music for the past four years, and it's something very passionate about. Learning about the history and the other cultures surrounding it was never something that I found as interesting as modern day rap, but this graphic novel changed that. It was very interesting and showcased a lot of hip hops history in the 80s. Overall, this was a spectacular book, and I would highly recommend it for hip hop fans or even people who were alive in this time period!
Ben
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
All the things I loved about the first two volumes (the art style, the presentation, the obvious love and knowledge for the genre/culture) only with more of the bands and artists I have more familiarity with. It's only going to get better in this respect too so I can't wait.
Jeremy Hornik
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
You should read this.
Jefferson
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just like in the previous two volumes, Ed Piskor does a great job combining information and entertainment.
Trevor
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This series rules. That is all.
Mills College Library
782.42164 P677h v.3
Bradley
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
In 1983, full-length hip hop albums just aren't getting made. Rather, you have a cobbled together collection of 12-inch single. Hip hop records just don't sell. However, the artists that are pioneering the genre work hard to get it to the mainstream and establish hip hop as a business. While Sylvia Robinson is the biggest name in the business with her Sugarhill touring acts, it is Russell Simmons of Rush Management who is managing the biggest artists. With Kurtis Blow as his primary focus, Simmo ...more
Kara Corthron
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm so glad these books exist as historical documents. Doesn't really tell a story in a traditional sense and sometimes a scene would abruptly end with no warning, but once I understood the style, I was OK with that. My biggest issue is with the artwork. So much of it is fabulous! Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Slick Rick and Kool Moe Dee for instance, all look GREAT. Others are kind of vague. Like KRS-ONE and Russell Simmons. But, for me, the most egregious rendering was Chuck D. I had to read the pages w ...more
Ma'Belle
Ed Piskor's verbal storytelling skill are still pretty horrendous, but the visual action, glimpses into hundreds of overlapping stories that have influenced so much of the music I love, makes up for it. My interest in these histories has gone up significantly after having recently watched two Netflix originals on the same topic: The Get Down and Hip-Hop Evolution. Each of these narratives offers different portrayals on some of the same core characters, and I've been eating it all up voraciously.
Artnoose McMoose
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hip hop stars begin to be just plain old stars in this era of hip hop. There are business disagreements over contracts, etc. I never knew that the Fat Boys were originally called the Disco Three. My 5-year-old started asking me questions so I showed him some Fat Boys and Run DMC videos. I caught him later whisper-singing to himself, "It's tricky, tricky, tricky..."
Joshua Gage
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really solid history of rap and hip-hop, but often disjointed. Piskor is so dedicated to a thorough exploration and including all the history that the reader can get lost in the cross-country narrative and the who's who of the history. Still, an overall great resource and really well researched book.
Stefan
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loving this whole series. This one is great, just like the others
Jak Krumholtz
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These make me so happy.
Lisa
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Probably one of the coolest graphic novels I've ever read.
Shà
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
it was interesting
Matthew Brady
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
This volume of Ed Piskor's "documentary" comic about the rise of hip hop is pretty good, but it didn't really blow me away or contain the kind of exciting moments that I found in earlier volumes, where I recognized the beginnings of something exciting that would end up changing the world. It might be because the world of hip hop was in a bit of an adolescent phase here, having established itself as a genre but not yet risen to the level of cultural force that it would become. There are probably ...more
Stewart Tame
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't even want to think about how much research went into these books. Even if one is the greatest hip hop fan in the world, and been following it since the beginning, just keeping all the names and dates and so on straight ... I love the design of these books too, the intentionally brownish tone to the pages, done to simulate a treasury-sized comic book that's been lying around since the 80's. Piskor's Just-Cartoony-Enough style works well with the sizable cast. I appreciate the index at the ...more
Edwin Arnaudin
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I might be wrong, Thom Yorke, but in my mind the first two volumes of Piskor's wonderful comic book saga were primarily composed of one-page stories. That approach kept the adventures short and sweet and allowed for many characters' stories to be told in quick succession, brilliantly barraging readers with rapid-fire knowledge.

For the also excellent Vol. 3, the author/illustrator shifts to mainly 2, 3 or 4-page narratives – an ambitious and ultimately successful step forward but one that, at lea
...more
Daniel
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another great volume in this series by the fantastic Ed Piskor! Yes, the story jumps around a bit, but that's because there's a lot to cover and it only serves to add to the classic Marvel Comics "cosmic odyssey" vibe, further suggested by the Kirby-esque cover! Not being as well-versed in hip hop lore as some, I learned a lot too, such as the instrumental prowess of young Flavor Flav, which sent me down the Youtube rabbit hole (a frequent occurrence with this series). Highly recommended!
Laverne M
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
When rap and hip hop really started to bubble into mainstream-- Fat Boys, Run DMC, LL Cool J, and other starting to make full albums, get MTV video play, local TV and radio airplay.
Ed Piskor's dynamic images jump from the page with rhymes, graffiti,and DJ's all while telling the history of this new music genre's growth.
Asa Wilder
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Family Tree" is a good name for these books. They don't really follow a narrative as much as hop around from person to person, group to group, pointing out interesting overlaps/coincidences/intersections. I had a lot of WHOA THAZ CRAZY moments reading these. And really like the way Piskor draws people. Especially his googly-eyed, master hustler Russel Simmons.
Alex Firer
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The only tragedy about this series is that each volume in the series eventually ends, and I'm forced-- FORCED-- to wait for another one. All culture stinks compared to rap culture in the 1980's. Bah!
Eric
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Similar to Book 1, but not as focused. It's pretty cool to see the beginnings of Def Jam, but overall, this wasn't quite as powerful as the first book. That being said, I still enjoyed it and it still made me laugh. Piskor does a great job mixing history with a true comic book feel.
Hans Gehrke
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Easily my favorite volume of this series yet.
Russell Grant
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Another dead solid volume. If you like music or pop culture, at all, then this is a must own. Piskor is doing an amazing and important job.
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Ed Piskor has been cartooning professionally in print form since 2005, starting off drawing American Splendor comics written by Harvey Pekar. The duo continued working together on 2 graphic novels, Macedonia, and The Beats. Ed began self publishing Wizzywig after developing a huge interest in the history of Hacking and Phone Phreaking. 3 volumes, making up 3/4 of the full story, have been publishe ...more

Other books in the series

Hip Hop Family Tree (4 books)
  • Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 1: 1970s-1981
  • Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 2: 1981-1983
  • Hip Hop Family Tree Book 4: 1984-1985