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Hip-Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme 2 Reason

(Popular Culture and Philosophy #16)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Is there too much violence in hip-hop music? What’s the difference between Kimberly Jones and the artist Lil' Kim? Is hip-hop culture a "black" thing? Is it okay for N.W.A. to call themselves niggaz and for Dave Chappelle to call everybody bitches? These witty, provocative essays ponder these and other thorny questions, linking the searing cultural issues implicit — and of ...more
Paperback, 233 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Open Court (first published 2005)
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Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read most of this; while I appreciate the aesthetics of the book in keeping with hip hop (e.g. sections are now "disks," chapters are "tracks"), some of this is not very academic or even sensical...trying to shove some of these essays into a book about philosophy led to some confusing segues within the essays, and the connections were at times tenuous at best. But, Paul Taylor's "Does Hip Hop Belong to Me?" is always a great essay to teach, because it does bring up so many philosophical argume ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
- interesting arguments brought up about the connections between hip hop and philosophy
- considers the connections between hip hop and feminism, drugs, crime, etc

- each chapter labeled as a "track" is kind of unnecessary (but I understand where they are trying to go with that)
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
frickin' phenom. parallels between hip-hop culture and classic (white) philosophers shouldn't really work, but boy does it ...more
Jan 03, 2021 rated it liked it
There are times when this book works well. For example, it's just plain fun to use the infamous beef between Jay-Z and Nas to open up a discussion on dialectics and from there draw parallells between rappers looking for recognition in rap battles with Hegel's ideas of self-consciousness developing through a struggle for recognition. However too many of the essays feel like the authors were trying too hard to prove their credibility. Seriously, I don't need to see 'Word up!' at the end of every t ...more
Adam James
I love hip-hop.
Half of the authors featured in this collection do not love hip-hop.

Even if one were to accept the eye-rollingly frequent references to Lil' Kim as something that resembles relevant evidence of anything, the arguments made by many of these authors are clearly surface-level criticisms of hip-hop music/culture, akin to conservative and/or stereotypically white America's casual dismissal of hip-hop's artistic legitimacy.

Before truly delving deep into my feelings about this book (and
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Derrick Darby is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is the coauthor (with John L. Rury) of The Color of Mind: Why the Origins of the Achievement Gap Matter for Justice (2018), author of Rights, Race, and Recognition (2009), and coeditor (with Tommie Shelby) of Hip Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme 2 Reason (2005).

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