Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop by Jeff Chang.
In this wide-ranging, academic anthology of essays, interviews and panel discussions, 2005 American Book Award winner Jeff Chang (Can't Stop, Won't Stop) presents hip-hop's past, present and future as seen by some of its founding figures, guiding lights, journalists and scholars. From a post civil rights era grassroots phenomenon born in the streets of the Bronx, N.Y., hip-hop has become a global cultural movement whose stylistic impact and social perspectives clearly extend beyond popular rap music. Part manifesto, part apologia, the collection takes on such topics as the aesthetics behind hip-hop photography and graffiti, offers an informative history of hip-hop dance and assesses hip-hop's effects on literature and theater, while pursuing debates about identity, sexuality and homophobia. Especially intriguing are pieces documenting hip-hop's sociopolitical influence in Cuba (Chang's interview with filmmaker Eli Jacobs-Fauntauzzi) and South Africa (an essay by Capetown natives Shaheen Ariefdien, performer/anthropologist, and Nazli Abrahams, an educator). Not surprisingly, amid talk about "keepin' it real" and multiculturalism, multiple definitions of hip-hop emerge ideas and values that are as varied and contradictory as the book's attempt to critically scrutinize hip-hop in context. (Feb.)
Jeff Chang is the author of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, for which he was awarded the 2005 American Book Award. He has been featured on Vibe Magazine’s Top 100 “Juice” List. Chang tours extensively, lecturing at universities, museums, and community arts organizations around the country. He lives in Berkeley, California.