This book is currently unavailable. To order the paperback edition, please click here.Know What I Mean? [PB]
Jay Z, Outro by Nas
For decades music fans have been familiar with the "concept album."
With Know What I Mean?
critically-acclaimed author Michael Eric Dyson introduces readers and
music fans alike to the book with the "album concept." Complete with
tracks rather than chapters, guest appearances by such legendary
artists as Jay Z and Nas, and shout-outs ranging from Foucault to the
film Hustle &
-- Dyson brings his rhetorical flair and incisive
commentary to bear on the music providing the soundtrack for America in
the twenty-first century.
Whether along race, class, or generational lines, hip hop music has
been a source of controversy ever since the beats got too big and the
voices too loud for the block parties that spawned them. America has
both condemned and commended this music and the culture that inspires
it. Dubbed "the Hip Hop Intellectual" by critics and fans for his
pioneering explorations of rap music in the academy and beyond, Michael
Eric Dyson is the cultural critic best qualified to probe the most
compelling and controversial dimensions of hip hop culture.
Know What I Mean?
addresses salient issues within hip hop: the creative
expression of degraded youth that has garnered them global exposure;
the vexed gender relations that have made rap music a lightning rod for
pundits (and a scapegouat during the Don Imus - Rutgers scandal); the
commercial explosion that has made the art form a victim of its own
success; the political elements that have been submerged in the most
popular form of hip hop; and the need for increased intellectual
engagement with some of hip hop's most influential figures.
In spite of the changing trends, both in the music industry and among
intellectuals, Dyson has always supported and interpreted this art
that bloomed unwatered, and in many cases, unwanted from our
inner cities. For those who wondered what all the fuss is about in hip
hop, Dyson's bracing and brilliant book breaks it down.
Know What I Mean?
Reflections on Hip Hop
by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Perseus)
Hardcover, 172 pages