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Other People's Property: A Shadow History of Hip-Hop in White America
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Other People's Property: A Shadow History of Hip-Hop in White America

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  68 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Over the last quarter-century hip-hop has grown from an esoteric form of African-American expression to become the dominant form of American popular culture. Today, Snoop Dogg shills for Chrysler and white kids wear Fubu, the black-owned label whose name stands for "For Us, By Us." This is not the first time that black music has been appreciated, adopted, and adapted by wh ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA
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Dec 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
To be forthright with my bias, I purchased "Other People's Property" from a Dollar Tree, so I did not have such great expectations for this book from the start. The book is, at times, an enjoyable read and provides some humorous moments. (For example, the author pays $75 to take a hip-hop history bus tour through the Bronx. The image of relatively affluent yuppies paying to see the streets of the ghetto had such a sense of comedic irony.)

In many aspects, however, I think this book fell short of
May 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book's meandering search for a thesis didn't bother me nearly as much as the completely mortifying personal stories that the author included about his own forays as a white boy who really just wants to be hip-hop. The utter embarrassment this causes could possibly be ignored by people who enjoy Ben Stiller movies, painful situations, and dramatic misunderstandings. If you are the sort of person who enjoys these things, then I recommend this book. You might learn some interesting things abou ...more
May 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book is due to be released in Feb. '07. I read an advance reading copy. Tanz talks to many white fans of various types of Hip-Hop about why they like the music. He seems to think it's a question of white kids wanting to escape from safe (boring) suburban lives through Hip-Hop. There is a question of authenticity, what is authentic? White kids seem to feel that the life in the ghetto portrayed in rap music is more real somehow than their experiences in malls and tract houses. Are white kids ...more
Bob Anderson
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great illustration of the various ways white men and boys interact with the ideas of rap, hip-hop and the black cultural forces expressed therein. Written by a white, Jewish, man, and focusing on that point of view, it explores the phenomena of faddishness, hip-hop marketing, cultural appropriation, awkwardness, the wigger concept and different approaches to authenticity. Yes, some parts of the book are cringing, but such cringing is one of the qualities inherent in the intersecti ...more
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Hip-Hop, Critical Race Theory, Reception Studies
Inciteful, critical view of how white male consumers incorporate hip-hop into their lives. Not a book of hope, but not a downer either. The nerdcore chapter on how primarily white nerdcore fans appropriate the oppression motif to their own ends is particularly valuable. Best book I've read so far this year! (And I've read 4 already and it's only January 4th!)
Jun 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
I first borrowed this book from the library to read the part about Nerdcore rappers, I learned quite a bit about other hip-hop scenes and sub-genres. It addresses the "white" (a very broad term) view of graffiti, break dancing, and primarily rap. It is awesome to see a book quote mc chris as much as this one.
Aug 09, 2007 rated it liked it
What this really does is use hip-hop as a lens to look at race relations in the US. It's not a particularly nuanced look, but is an interesting one that draws from the author's life. Plus the chapter on Nerdcore was highly satisfying.
Victor Martin
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This uncovers the culture of Hip-Hop. It's interesting to read this book in a white author's perspective. If you're interested in the history of not only Hip-Hop music, but also Hip-Hop culture, this book is the one for you.
Aug 12, 2008 marked it as to-read
As a white boy from the burbs with an off and on obsession with hip hop music, I figure I should probably read this.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars would've been more appropriate. Certain chapters were great.
Aug 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
don't remember much of this book but I seem to have rated it as enjoyable
anique Halliday
I love hip hop. But I'm white. Jason Tanz tries to figure out what this means in Other People's Property, aptly named after a popular 90s hip hop anthem by Naughty by Nature.
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