Rap--beats from the streets

St. Louis rap artists

Chart-toppers Nelly, Chingy, Jibbs, J-Kwon, Murphy Lee, and Ali are some of the major rap artists who call St. Louis home.

(Meet the artists)

The story of rap music is one of a music form in constant flux and adaptation. Some rap artists and their works remain popular, while others come and go quickly. Within the rap industry itself a growing commercialism exists along side independents striving to retain more freedom and creative control.

The big payback : the history of the business of hip-hop
Dan Charnas.
New York : New American Library, c2010.
Covering four decades, this book explores the successes of Sugar Hill Records and Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, the marketing of rap, and the rise of other artist/entrepreneurs.

Annotation by: St. Louis Public Library staff.

The leading lady of rap
by Torri L. Holmes
[United States? : Createspace?] ; c2010.
Meet Lois Cartell, an aspiring female rapper from Bed-Stuy, NY, and waitress of 3 years at the all-exclusive Sunday's restaurant in New York City. Fast forward 3 months later, meet Lois Cartell, a cleaning lady at High Point Condominiums in Manhattan. Fast forward 2 years later, meet Lo-is, an international, top selling, award-winning female rap superstar who lives in the same condo that she used to clean. This book takes you on a journey where you have never been before, and inside the world & mind of a female rapper. Lois's main goal in life is to be a female rapper. She is blessed twice after landing a coincidental record deal, and an $89 million dollar fianc#xE9;e to go with it. As fame, success, and true love enters into her world once and for all, Lois is faced with many obstacles and haunted demons from her past that she must overcome. Just when Lois thinks she has it under control, more drama seems to come her way, and the paparazzi are having a field day. There are many twists and turns in this novel. If you love hip-hop fiction, then this novel is for you!!! The novel was originally written as a screenplay in 2005, after being inspired from watching the film "8-mile", starring Eminem. This novel gives the reader a raw and uncut glimpse at a female rapper's world in this male dominated industry. THIS BOOK INCLUDES ALL THE INGREDIENTS OF THE PERFECT NOVEL: LOVE, DRAMA, SUSPENSE, AND INSPIRATION!!! Quotes and Recognition Amazon Kindle Number #1 Bestseller Ethnic & International Category (December 24, 2010, March 30, 2011) Founder of"The Leading Lady of Rap is one of those books you can't put down. I finished it in one day." "Book of the Month" (January 2011)
The anthology of rap
edited by Adam Bradley, Andrew DuBois ; foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; afterword by Chuck D and Common.
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010.
From the school yards of the South Bronx to the tops of the Billboard charts, rap has emerged as one of the most influential cultural forces of our time. InThe Anthology of Rap,editors Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois demonstrate that rap is also a wide-reaching and vital poetic tradition born of beats and rhymes.

This pioneering anthology brings together more than three hundred lyrics written over thirty years, from the “old school” to the “golden age” to the present day. Rather than aim for encyclopedic coverage, Bradley and DuBois render through examples the richness and diversity of rap’s poetic tradition. They feature both classic lyrics that helped define the genre, including Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message” and Eric B. & Rakim’s “Microphone Fiend,” as well as lesser-known gems like Blackalicious’s “Alphabet Aerobics” and Jean Grae’s “Hater’s Anthem.”

Both a fan’s guide and a resource for the uninitiated,The Anthology of Rapshowcases the inventiveness and vitality of rap’s lyrical art. The volume also features an overview of rap poetics and the forces that shaped each period in rap’s historical development, as well as a foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and afterwords by Chuck D and Common. Enter theAnthologyto experience the full range of rap’s artistry and discover a rich poetic tradition hiding in plain sight.
New York : Spiegel & Grau, 2010.
Decoded is a book like no other: a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one of the most provocative and successful artists of our time. “Hip-hop’s renaissance man drops a classic. . . . Heartfelt, passionate and slick.”- Kirkus, starred review
Born to use mics : reading Nas's Illmatic
edited by Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai.
New York : Basic Civitas Books, c2010.
At the age of nineteen, Nasir “Nas” Jones began recording tracks for his debut album—and changed the music world forever. Released in 1994,Illmaticwas hailed as an instant masterpiece and has proven one of the most influential albums in hip-hop history. With its close attention to beats and lyricism, and riveting first-person explorations of the isolation and desolation of urban poverty,Illmaticwas pivotal in the evolution of the genre.InBorn to Use Mics, Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai have brought together renowned writers and critics including Mark Anthony Neal, Marc Lamont Hill, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., and many others to confrontIllmaticsong by song, with each scholar assessing an individual track from the album. The result is a brilliant engagement with and commentary upon one of the most incisive sets of songs ever laid down on wax.
From vixen 2 diva
Marlon McCaulsky.
Winston-Salem : Tinsley Phelps, c2010.
Beata Douglas is a Harlem born girl pursuing her dreams to be rich and famous by any means necessary. With the voice of a diva and looks that can make a supermodel feel insecure Beata took the video model scene and Rap world by storm. By using sex to seduce lustful men into giving her what she wants Beata becomes the games #1 vixen. It's not until she runs into a familiar man from her past named Kane that she finds out her sex appeal isn't enough to manipulate him to get her ahead. Kane goes on to become a hip-hop mega star and leaves Beata behind humiliated. Beata decides there's more then one way into the game and tricks her way to her own record deal on Flip Set Records and ends up being featured on Kane's number one chart topping remix. This starts a bitter war between the two music stars. The only problem is that they're attracted to each other. Trouble for both of them comes home when Roc, Beata's ex boy friend and Kane's ex partner in crime gets out after three years in prison. Roc becomes obsessed with Beata and starts to stalk her. Roc also starts extorting Kane for millions for a crime they committed years ago that ties directly to Beata's past. But when Kane refuses to pay, thing's turn deadly as Roc comes after both of them with a vengeance. Will Beata be able stay alive long enough to enjoy her fame?

Rap music traces its roots to rhythm, blues, and funk as well as music from Jamaica, Latin America and Africa. But the genre grew up in the United States, specifically New York City. It is now one of the bestselling forms of music world-wide.

While rap began to redefine the music industry, and continues to do so today, it often falls victim to being either generalized, or over-simplified in order to fit into a single mode of description. But today's rap is more complex.

Rap realia

A jean jacket and a journal donated by D.J.s Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa are two objects eatured in a Smithsonian exhibit with support provided by Russell Simmons co-founder of Def Jam.

(Hip-Hop Won't Stop exhibit)

Continuing in the footsteps of 1970's rap pioneers like Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, today's rappers put rhymes about their lives over a beat. These rappers want their music to create a better understanding of their lives and paint a picture of what can be. The results are works that speak out about poverty, prisons, drug abuse, war, and civil rights.

These messages are a contrast to the 'Gangsta rappers' music, especially popular in the 1990s. Gangsta rap gained the most negative attention of any of rap music's different genres with tales of violence, the mistreatment of women, homophobia, and drug culture.

Rap continues to move from the street corner, urban basements and house parties, to the recording studio, trendy clubs, and even the 2006 Oscar awards. It is a music form worth exploring.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff