Best books about rap music according to redditors

We found 212 Reddit comments discussing the best books about rap music. We ranked the 79 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Rap Music:

u/Swamp85 · 84 pointsr/hiphopheads

Here's a comment in that ODB verse thread by /u/albinojustice

>Speaking of ODB's death, I recently read the RZA's memoir, The Tao of Wu and he has a very chilling story about the day Dirty died. Apparently earlier in the day Dirty had forced his son and RZA to watch him smoke crack and wouldn't let them leave. He then told RZA repeatedly that he "didn't understand." A few hours later he was gone. Shows just how crazy things had gotten for ODB by that point.

EDIT: Imma take this moment to plug the actual book:

u/LittleInTexas · 41 pointsr/hiphopheads

A little back story on Shea Serrano (writer of this story), who I follow on twitter; he always rags on J Cole. I don't know if he really doesn't like him or is just being sarcastic. He also wrote a coloring book with Bun B, which is probably why he's the guy with all the answers

Link to the coloring book if anyone's interested:

u/r-howtonotgiveafuck · 35 pointsr/funny
u/socalian · 25 pointsr/AskHistorians

Along these lines, there is a graphic novel coming out called Hip Hop Family Tree that tells this origin story. I've read parts of it as it has bee serialized on Boing Boing, and it is informative and entertaining.

u/bonegatron · 23 pointsr/bassnectar
u/Zab18977 · 20 pointsr/hiphopheads

You should read Jay-Z's book, Decoded. Also check out this book.

u/Get_Your_Kicks · 17 pointsr/todayilearned

E.A.R.L. - written by DMX with Smokey D. Fontaine, pretty good read. He was in group homes/juvie from a young age

u/Robertcheap · 15 pointsr/hiphopheads

German user checking in - it's 10,17€ for the hardcover here.

Edit: thats the culprit

u/D-Vivid · 13 pointsr/coloringcorruptions

Cuz Bun B made a coloring book and it's amazing. They even have new pictures you can print out!

u/kwammiz · 13 pointsr/hiphopheads

This is a really interesting story. I had heard about it but really got it when I read:
If you like going deep into the start of hiphop, I really recommend that comic. It's great.

u/sam98597 · 13 pointsr/hiphopheads
u/howtomakeitinmars · 12 pointsr/hiphopheads

To be quite honest, that's what makes it so appealing to me.

The fact that he tells "a pretty generic hood story" as you put it but manages to make it sound so god damn smooth.

Imagine any other artist, writing this song without the rewind concept. It would be the most boring-ass, generic rap song. Nas turned that into a classic.

This song was even talked about in How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC. It's a pretty interesting read btw, I recommend it to anyone on /r/hiphopheads/

u/cosmograph · 9 pointsr/hiphopheads
u/59Fifty · 9 pointsr/hiphopheads

I wouldn't doubt it. I read the Wu-Tang manual and RZA talks about how GhostFace was someone you wouldn't want to mess with.

I'm paraphrasing cause I don't have the book on me, but he said there was one instance where they got in a fight and Ghost was holding two guy's heads underneath each arm and was about to fight a third dude.

Amazon link to the book (was a great read):

u/Kodono · 9 pointsr/Kanye

It is a book created by Donda West before her passing, it just tells about the struggles and the stories from the upcoming the Kanye West. Well That is what I've gotten out of it so far. (obviously haven't read it all!)
Purchased it off amazon:

u/MavEric01 · 8 pointsr/hiphopheads
u/Oakroscoe · 8 pointsr/Music

That $700k that Mack stole was never recovered...

If you're interested in that story, there's two pretty decent books on it: LAbyrinth
And Murder Rap

Both are good reads, but they come to different conclusions.

u/TallCatParade · 7 pointsr/hiphopheads

Check out The Tao of Wu or The Wu-Tang Manual by RZA. very cool and interesting

EDIT: forgot to mention DMX's autobiography its reeeaaally dark tho

u/TimbobJames · 7 pointsr/Kanye
u/JangleAllTheWay · 7 pointsr/AskLiteraryStudies

That's the Joint is a good academic anthology:

Can't Stop, Won't Stop is a very good popular history:

u/bitches_be · 6 pointsr/hiphopheads

Bun B's Rapper Coloring Book

Gangsta Rap Coloring Book

I got these for my brother for Christmas, cheap enough to get a more serious gift to go with it

u/tomj_ · 6 pointsr/grime

blackdowns blog, particularly the month in grime/dubstep articles he did for pitchfork

also, this book

u/Xaamy · 6 pointsr/hiphopheads
u/PM_ME_UR_LAB_REPORT · 6 pointsr/gatech

Not sure, but every time I see a book there that I want, it's cheaper on Amazon. link

u/dick_slunglow · 5 pointsr/wutang

If you're looking for some deep inspiration, the best thing I could advise is to order and read The Tao of Wu. It's easy reading, took me a couple of weeks at an hour or two a day, and even as a huge Wu Tang fan myself I learnt loads more about them, far more than any of us in this sub could summarise in comments.


As far as imagery - Wu Tang logo, Hip Hop influence, Killer Bees and Martial Arts would be key elements to try and incorporate.


CREAM - Cash Rules Everything Around Me

WUTANG - Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game

u/McDLT · 5 pointsr/pics

Reminds me of The Gangsta Rap Coloring Book. Pretty much all brown...

u/SnarkyCommenter · 5 pointsr/AskReddit
u/[deleted] · 5 pointsr/hiphopheads

If you guys are looking for a certified book on Rap, please consider Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists . It's a little old now (about 10 years out of date) but it is a fucking fantastic read if you have even a slight interest in rap music. Great coffee table book that you can just pick up and flip to a random section and be thoroughly entertained.

Edit: It's also very funny. I'll give someone 5 grand if they can find me that Biz Markee dummy.

u/Conflux · 5 pointsr/SubredditDrama

> I dunno, I think that's a tough standard to apply so simply

You're absolutely correct, that's why there is a book of essays talking about Eminem's success, and how it relates to him being a white male.

Eminem is good, but we'd have to be a snow based structure to ignore that his whiteness is a large aspect of his success. He even admits it in one of his songs.

u/StartlingRT · 4 pointsr/makinghiphop

Well that was far too nice and now I feel kinda bad. Honestly, I love when people analyze hip hop and rapping specifically, so this was just me being kind of contradictory for the sake of it. Who are some of your favorites, or people who encompass most/all of these aspects to you?

Edit: Also, the guy that recommended How to Rap ( is definitely right in the fact that I think you'd enjoy the read.

u/toughguy5128 · 4 pointsr/hiphopvinyl
u/ayuda42 · 4 pointsr/Metal

I actually won one through a white elephant yankee swap. Jokes on them, though, as it's quite enjoyable and relaxing.

I also happen to own Bun B's Rapper Coloring and Activity Book.

u/robinthadude2 · 4 pointsr/hiphopheads

Damn this is really dope, would love to cop that Luv(sic) Hexalogy.

The Japanese Hip-Hop manga is actually just a Japanese translation of Hip-Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor so you can check that out if it piqued your interests.

u/electricfistula · 4 pointsr/news

Tupac was killed, I don't think it is especially mysterious though, nor does it seem likely that it was related to his police shooting. This book has a lot to say about his death. It seems plausible to me that he was killed by criminal rivals rather than some kind of police revenge conspiracy. Incidentally, it is the way he predicts that he himself will die. Fun stuff.

u/HeTalksToComputers · 4 pointsr/Kanye

Kanye West: God and Monster by Mark Beaumont is a great book that goes into extensive detail on the recording of each album up to and including Yeezus.

u/comix_corp · 3 pointsr/Kanye

nice, I'm getting my brother this instead

u/frostdallas · 3 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Rapper here: yes, for many reasons.

  • The lyrics will often follow the mood of the instrumental (or directly contrast it). Dark beat? Brooding subject matter. Does the beat sample the Beach Boys? You'll probably rap about a day on the beach.
  • BPM. Beats Per Minute is very important to your flow - take a rap song at 78 BPM and try to rap it along to a track that's 90. Some of your more intricate flows might not translate very well. Naughty By Nature's rap style wouldn't go well over a slow beat, and likewise Gucci Mane probably wouldn't do well over a sped-up boom bap production.
  • You're not just "reading" poetry. You're creating rap, literally "rhythm and poetry." It's a performance, much like singing, and you need to be able to follow the instrumental and work with it, build off it, or choose not to (but have it work in the song). That'll only happen to its fullest potential if you write something to a certain beat (though, like I said, BPM is the most important to begin with).

    If you're literally just beginning to start out with rap, don't worry about finding original beats just yet. Grab some of your favorite instrumentals, write to them and record them into Garageband. See how you sound, and work on what you don't like. Practice, practice, practice. It'll take years to begin to get comfortable with your own voice in hip hop, but if it's something you love, you'll find it.

    edit: I also recommend reading "How to Rap", you can get a cheap copy there. It's the perfect book to explain the basics.
u/Basedage_purp · 3 pointsr/hiphopheads
u/Skamdalous · 3 pointsr/HipHopCollabs

Here's a good place to start.
Alternatively, if you want to get into mumble rap a rudimentary understanding of nursery rhymes should suffice.

u/bubbles212 · 3 pointsr/Texans

He's from SA but lives in Houston, like OP said. He also put this out with Bun B, and wrote a pretty great reverse ranking of all Texans QBs for Grantland a few years ago.

u/Apodeictic974 · 3 pointsr/Music

According to The Wu Tang Manual RZA explains that people get that line wrong a lot, but that it is indeed "had second hands" as in second hand clothes.

u/lolcifer · 3 pointsr/wutang

Another one is called The Tao of Wu.

u/ninjasenses · 3 pointsr/hiphopheads

The real question is did Jay release a book called "sex, murder, and mayhem: romance for the streets" and was it a best seller?

EDIT: I guess his book Decoded did end up on the best seller list.

u/rompodomp · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

Anyone read RZA's books? Some interesting shit in there if you want to know more about them and how it all started etc.

The Wu Tang Manual

The Tao of Wu

u/BigRonnieRon · 3 pointsr/delusionalartists

I think that's probably his family and friends from his assisted living center. Hopefully someone got him this for Christmas.

u/smokesteam · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

This story and lots of other good ones about the early days are included in Hip Hop Family Tree. You can read it for free at Boing Boing too.

u/VinceBarter · 2 pointsr/hiphopheads

You can get a used copy of Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists on Amazon for very cheap. It was published in 1999 but it's a great read.

u/startswithone1 · 2 pointsr/hiphopheads

That's the Joint is a good collection of academic articles on Hip Hop culture.

u/DorneViperSRT · 2 pointsr/hiphopheads

you should read his graphic novel/comic book.


u/Ravatar · 2 pointsr/pics

The best advice I can give you is to check out "How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC". I've been a fan for about 15 years and even then this book provided valuable insight into some of the intricacies of the genre, as explained by the pioneers and torchbearers themselves.

u/Storemanager · 2 pointsr/videos
u/sassyma · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

My mom loves to color. I'm thinking about how hilarious it would be to buy her this.

u/oxes · 2 pointsr/vegan


If you haven't already, you should definitely read RZA's book:

u/palndrumm · 2 pointsr/funny

Source: Hip Hop Family Tee by Ed Piskor. A really cool series if you're interested in the origins of hip hop and rap. There's a bunch of them online at boing boing, or they've been published in book form by Fantagraphics, or of course you can get them from Amazon.

u/natidawg · 2 pointsr/DCcomics

Not a dumb question at all. In my opinion, it's best to think of Graphic Novels as a completely separate medium from books. So you can have fiction and non-fiction books, the same way you can have fiction and non-fiction movies (documentaries), the same way you can have fiction and non-fiction Graphic Novels.

Most non-fiction graphic novels are either memoirs like Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant and Persepolis, or biographies like My Friend Dahmer. There is old historical stuff like Gettysburg, and even graphic novels about The History of Hip Hop.

It's definitely a niche genre within a niche medium, but it has its audience!

u/Teebocks · 2 pointsr/MLPLounge

Comics and hip hop, and now that I've looked, I think I got it.

u/Oatmealchip · 2 pointsr/comicbooks

These are all somewhat mature in content but all are black protagonists

Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm - amazing graphic novel based on the real life of rapper MF Grimm, it won an Eisner award

Nat Turner -another amazing graphic novel based on true events of a slave rebellion

Doctor Voodoo -Jericho Drumm takes over the role of Sorcerer Supreme from Doctor Strange

u/mepc36 · 2 pointsr/transcribe

I actually have read every author you mention. I own the Edwards/Krims/Miyakawa book (I could send it to you if you need,) and have read Adams. Let me take their deficiencies one by one:


Edwards approach is a typographical one. It's ironic you mention me as cramming rap into notation, when really it's they who are doing so. As you see in an example of Edwards' "flow diagram" here, he's simply claiming things that aren't true. The word "got" there doesn't land on the beat; it's off it. To even argue that this makes the music simpler to read is to lose everything about rap that makes it interesting.

His system is more for the recreation of rap performance, which, as I've explicitly said, is not my goal. You can tell from the subtitle of his book: "Advanced Techniques," as in "advanced techniques for aspiring rappers to use." His first book is situated in a similar manner, by grouping his interviews with rappers into instructive headings. Two of his chapters are titled "Writing With Other People," and "Performing Live," as you can see.

Meanwhile, my own goal is to illuminate the nature of rap, such as through it's complex rhythms, and rapping behind the beat. This is what my notation does do as it sits on a page.


Adams actually does use Western notation to represent rap lines at some point, as you can see down the page here for Dr. Dre on "100 Bars And Runnin." There, Adams groups Dr. Dre's notes into 3-notes of straight 16th notes. That rhythm is simply wrong.

He does, however, also use that typographical system. Again, the rhythms are wrong. They aren't based on straightforward Western rhythms at all (Western rhythms such as in dividing the beat into simple, straightforward 16th notes.) You can't learn much with this beyond how many beats there are to a bar. The rhythms are in non-Western groupings.

>Miyakawa and Krims

I largely have the same critiques of Miyakawa and Krims that I do for the others. It's ugly, it confuses rap's actual nature, and it's incorrect.

What's more, this typographical system has insidious, if unintended, consequences. It encourages people to think of rap as less than a full music. Have you ever asked yourself why people never refer to rap as a melody? It has 1.) Rhythm, and 2.) Melody, even if its an untraditional melody. This leads to insidious claims like the one by that Duke Professor here

>These books all use that notation system and are by well-credentialed writers:

Fine, if you're really into pedigree for the sake of authority, I went to Duke and got a music degree with a concentration in music theory. So there ;) I've also presented at music theory conferences, and been published in "Eminem and Rap, Race, Poetry"

u/youngdrugs · 2 pointsr/makinghiphop

hey man
first thing is, practice. Start small and build up. use single syllable rhymes and try to get a feel for what a "bar is". then from there get more complex.


Start with a simple flow and rhyme scheme


just walked in the crib 1

look at my Asian chick 2

she hella thick, do a split, 3

she don't take no shit" 4


this is a simple rhyme scheme with all single syllable rhymes. You will notice. the rhyme does not always end on the end of the line. If we were to continue this. my rule is to change the flow every four bars but I tend to change it up a lot more than other people. My first indication would be to change the flow right after


I ain't seen her in a min-ute 1

I miss her...this love 2

really ain't a gimmick 3

..I fall to pieces when i'm in-it* 4


This is an example where the rhyme scheme becomes more complex and the rhymes can increase to more than one syllable.
There are plenty of resources online about how to rap. there's even a book! [How to Rap!] (
Best of luck to you little homie. holler if you got any questions

u/p_U_c_K · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Suge's friend was killed at the Atlanta party. Also the connection between Biggie, Puffy and the shooting in NYPD was more than simply a case of them being there and not letting him know (Biggie's manager, Jimmy Henchman, had been trying to basically intimidate Pac into letting him be his manager, Pac said no, and Henchman, who had connections with Drug kingpin and NYPD gang heavyweight King Tut, decided it was time to "teach him a lesson"), pac recorded this verse right before going to the Quad, as Puff's people had been calling and paging him relentlessly trying to figure out when he was coming (, so he felt like it was more than just knowing, but also a complicity. And, while he was in prison people were telling him that it was one of Biggie's good friends that shot him (I've always thought this could've been the FBI trying to create a fracture in the hip hop community, wouldn't be the first or last time they've meddled in musicians affairs). While it's not as angry as 'Hit 'em up' I do think that this song is better, diss wise, because it addresses the facts of shit, I'm not even sure they would've put it on the album had Pac not died, but it's Against All Odds from the makaveli killuminati the 7 day theory album, honestly my favorite hip hop album of all time and maybe album of all time period. Shit is like a rap dark side of the moon, you listen from beginning to end and all the songs mix together, there is no pauses between songs, it's one piece of greatness from beginning to end. There is also newer diss tracks that have been released this year like War Games, Watch your mouth (I know it came out last year but this has a new verse. But again, if you guys haven't listened to Don Killuminati, get a bottle, or some weed, or whatever you do to chill and download it and get some headphones, you'll immediately fall in love with the shit, it's such a perfect slice of exactly how he felt, and what was going on right then and there in his life and in the rap game. Shit, I'm going to go listen right now.

I also know that it's common place for people to look back and say that Pac saying Big's name on wax was unheard of. But that's bullshit. Has anyone heard any of the tracks from Common, Ice Cube, or NWA? No vaseline anyone? Hip hop was built on battling, it's not like everything was subliminal, what about the real roxanne for christs sake? I'm not attacking you man, haha, I just realized the irony of me saying that (subliminal?), but honestly I read that everywhere and it's simply not true. By any stretch of the imagination. Now, the lengths pac went to were another ball of wax, the fact that he did fuck faith (it happened) and bragged about it on record and on stage, constantly (she was pregnant and he would bring it up during concerts, saying he hoped it wasn't his kids): See Biggie's line in "Brooklyns finest": "If faith has twins she'll probably have two pac's, getting...tupacs..."

If you want to really get into what happened in vegas, I strongly recommend first reading LAbyrinth, the book by LA homicide detective russell poole, who retired after being stone walled during his investigation of the crime, that gives you about half of the story (he blatantly decides to omit the procedures of most police departments in his book (which was basically that the information he was requesting wasn't allowed by procedure, for numerous reasons)... After reading that, you definitely need to read the recently self published best seller: Murder Rap, written by a cop who was way above Poole's pay grade, he took over the Biggie investigation after Voletta Wallace sued the LAPD for 500 million. It mainly focus' on Biggie's murder but explains that it was a retaliation for Pac's death and shows the deep, verified connection between Bad Boy and the southside crips, the same people who killed pac (the night he died in vegas, Orlando Anderson, the now deceased shooter of Pac (by consensus most people believe he was the shooter, they just don't always agree on why he shot him), was in the lobby of the MGM grand after the tyson fight, an associate of Suge's had been robbed week's earlier of his Death Row chain, which was a symbol of being a member of the Mob Piru Bloods, which Suge and some say Pac was (hence his new MOB tat, MOB= member of blood, also money over bitches)...

So pac walks up to Orlando Anderson and asks: You from the south (asking basically, are you in the southside crips?) and This happens, the easy theory is that anderson went out looking for revenge, but then why did he only shoot pac and not Suge also? The book explains that Puff had basically been using the south siders as extra security when they traveled to the west coast (for example, ORLANDO ANDERSON AND HIS UNCLE WHO WAS THE MAIN SOURCE OF INFORMATION FOR MURDER RAP WERE PHOTOGRAPHED AT BIGGIE AND PUFF'S TABLE AT THE PETERSON AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM BY THE FBI AND OTHERS THE NIGHT BIGGIE WAS SHOT, OUTSIDE THE MUSEUM). So, they were paid to take out Pac. Which explains the near 30 deaths in compton after Pac's death, a gang war was started between the Mob Piru and the South Side crips.

These books are essential as they have actual police insight, and a lot of information from now deceased people who were basically responsible for the dirty work that Puff and Suge paid for.

When it comes to songs though, Big did respond to hit 'em up, on Life After Death, in what I consider to be the most cowardly song in history (it is obvious that it was recorded after pac died (it refers to his car accident, which happened after pac died, and basically talks about take being dead "slugs go touchy touchy, leave your spirit above me, or beneath me)...

Here is the song (I admit, I like the song, I just think it's in horrible taste and honestly, again, cowardly, fucking say it when he's alive or don't say it):, there are a few pointers for people who don't obsess over this shit like I have I like to point out...

  • "laugh now cry later" was a reference to 2pac's tattoo's that said basically the same
  • "it still tickle me, I used to be as strong as ripple be, til lil cease cripple me"- car accident, proving this was after pac died
  • "extortion came quicker, bought the range nigga"- word was pac was being extorted by suge, pac was planning on leaving death row, which suge knew (hence the rumors of suge killing pac) because he was basically getting fucked on royalties, bought the range? Yeah, he died.
  • now the years new, I want my spot back"- again, implying 97, after pac died...
  • when my men bust you just move with such stamina, slugs missed ya, I aint mad at ya (puff- we aint mad at ya)", .... catch cases come out frontin' smoking something" Pac used to come out of the court room and talk a lot of shit to reporters, or do shit like THIS
  • everything puff "adlibs" is about pac, basically.
  • "flaming gats, aiming at, these fucking maniacs put my name in raps"- pac, this is where a lot of the aforementioned ("this was unheard of at the time!" nonsense is derived from)
  • heard through the grapevine you got fucked 4 times, damn that 3 to 9 fucked you up for real though" - wendy williams tranny ass and others claimed 2pac was raped while at clinton correction facility for his rape charge.

    The rest you can basically figure out for yourself, I just wanted some of the subliminal shit to be pointed out. I think this song along justified killing the dude, I mean talking about how he's basically rotting in the ground and shit after not saying anything the entire time he was alive?

    Let me know if you guys have questions, while dude I'm replying to knows his shit, I have read almost everything imaginable on this subject and spent countless hours on my old 56k modem reading about this, I was obsessed when I was about 16 and know more about this than almost anything. Which is sad...

    Hope that helped add to dudes post.
u/gingerchris · 2 pointsr/grime

this book and also any of the many articles written by Dan Hancock are very well informed

u/Simpleprinciple · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Gangsta rap coloring book ok maybe not the funniest but i laughed when i saw it lol might be a little more wtf Flintstones

u/Snackleton · 2 pointsr/hiphopheads

I haven't seen this in person, but the Hip Hop Family Tree graphic novels look really awesome and I'd be excited to receive one.

u/emphatic_productions · 2 pointsr/hiphopheads

it shows the intricacies of the song writing for individual artists and the subtle details that make or break a song.

u/A_New_Bus · 2 pointsr/makinghiphop

Read this or anything else you can get your hands on that explains the creative process some professional rappers use to write lyrics. It would probably be especially helpful for you to find interviews of your favorite artists where they discuss their inspirations.

Also, you don't have to write with a beat in mind or while listening to an instrumental. The lyrics can come first and then you'll find or make a beat that fits them.

Lastly, don't let your dreams be dreams. Stay focused and work hard for what you want and don't let anyone discourage you with their negativity. At the same time, don't let compliments get to your head and tell you you're the greatest and then get complacent with your work. Always be your own worst critic.

Lastly lastly... Enjoy yourself! If you're not enjoying it, it'll show in your lyrics and delivery and then nobody else will enjoy it either

u/FrontpageWatch · 1 pointr/longtail

>Since "The Life of Pablo" was released it has been criticised, even by Kanye fans as being random and disorganized. I disagree. If anything, TLOP may have the strongest and most coherent artistic vision of any of his albums (other than maybe Yeezus). The narrative portion is fairly straight forward: it's literally Kanye's life in two parts. The first half describes what has happened in his life up until the creation of the album. The second half describes what it is like to live as Kanye West in the present tense. Thematically, the idea of "Which/One?" is apparent from the cover art: are we the higher self or do we submit to our baser desires. We see how this dilemma haunts Kanye in many different ways throughout his life. Additionally, there are the meta aspects which intend to tie the album the greater artistic work: the videos, the tweets, the concerts, the media appearances, etc. This the album that has been most influenced by Kim in that regard with her ability to manage media and perception at all stages.
>#Part 1 - The Biography of Pablo
>Ultralight Beam - The beginning, born into faith. In "Raising Kanye", Donda writes about Kanye came from a religious home, steeped in the church. Kanye's first exposure to music is the Gospel and Soul music of his youth. This song is an homage to that origin. Chance plays the role of "old Kanye" with his verse, being a young spiritual rapper from the south side of chicago. Kirk Franklin's prayer at the end foreshadows the entire "which/one" spiritual conflict that we see through the rest of the album.
>Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1 - Crash to reality of being a mortal man. FSMH continues on with that same gospel style as ULB. At the start of the song Kanye is still presenting his spiritual side. The brilliance of the "bleached asshole" line comes in that it is the first explicit line in the album. It reflects the shocking contrast he sees between the spiritual self he aspires to and actual reality. In "Kanye West: God & Monster" the author claims that Kanye "became like a sex addict" around the time that we was first discovering hip hop and this track reflects that Gospel to Hip Hop transition mirroring the Spiritual to the Material transition.
>Pt. 2 - This track covers Kanye's rise to greatness, from his first deal to Graduation. Kanye first runs through his brief biography (his father, parents divorce, car accident, mom dying). Then he goes into "show" not "tell" by literally producing a smash hit in "Panda" showing that he became a great producer and hip hop legend. This is another "meta" aspect of the album. Kanye signed Desiigner and produced "Panda" making (edit: Panda was originally produced by Menace) promoted it to a top hit just before TLOP was being released, almost like a companion piece and the hype of TLOP only increased the popularity of "Panda" .
>Famous - The legendary Taylor swift line is again I think one of the strongest on the album. Not only does it work as an extremely vivid reminder about his past, as a strong commentary on the nature of fame, but also works on the meta level, generating massive amounts of hype and controversy. Kim's touch is very heavy here: we can see she planned the snakes decapitation from the very beginning. The song and its reception tie directly into the music video reinforcing again the nature of fame and celebrity. He describes how fame changes his life. Feeling invincible (we never gonna die)
>Feedback - Angry reactions from the fans, the media, and the public. This song comes as a counterpoint to "Famous". At this point in Kanye's life he is under constant scrutiny and this song reflects how he reacts to that kind of pressure. Lots of bragging while ignoring his critics (PETA, "no pussy getting bloggers"). Proudly out of control ("driving in the same car they killed Pac in". "I'm the ghetto Oprah").
>Low lights - Come to god moment. Looks to god for salvation for the first time since ULB. I imagine this is the quiet space between the 2009 VMAs and the release of MBDTF where he seeks solitude and turns inward.
>Highlights - Post 808s and MBDTF. This is the first time he mentions Kim and his "super star family". He feels he has achieved everything, that he has it all. No need to choose "which/one"?
>Freestyle 4 - The illusion is broken. Pure ego takes over "This that rap god shit nigga". Very reminiscent of the first half of Yeezus. Despite his apparent family life, the temptations of the flesh keep dragging him down. This Kanye at his self destructive worst, completely out of control and not giving a fuck. The horrorcore and harsh production unsettle the listener reflecting Kanye's inner turmoil.
>I Love Kanye - This is the centerpiece, and I think the midpoint narratively speaking. No music, just Kanye talking to himself. This delves into the deepest part of Kanye's soul. He questions everything he's done up to this point and rediscovers his true self. On another level this is him giving a nod to his fans. The old kanye / new Kanye dichotomy that winds through all his solo albums is addressed explicitly here (shout out /u/watchingthethronepod) It ends with a little chuckle so that we know not to take it too seriously and that happy Kanye is back.
>#Part 2 - How Pablo Lives
>Waves - Kanye at peace. At this point Kanye is talking about the present instead of the past. He "wakes up" from the intermission at peace with things that have come and things that are yet to be. I think "Sometime when people go away, people don't really go away" is him finally at peace with losing his mother
>FML - Commitment to his family when he is surrounded by temptation. He sees that has a fresh start in life and is ready fight for what he believes in: Kim ("I been waiting for a minute / For my lady / So I can't jeopardize that for one of these hoes") Nori and Saint ("For my children / I will die for those I love") Kanye makes a clear decision on "Which/One"? To do that he needs to check the hoes that are jeopardizing his future.
>Real Friends - Kanye explores what it is like to be real to his friends and his extended family in the face of the fame and power that he has. You can see the progression from tracks like "Family Business" and "Roses", but this more akin to "Welcome to Heartbreak". Kanye acknowledges how his fame as separated him from his extended family and now he is a "dead beat cousin".
>Wolves/Frank's Track - Life a celebrity, surrounded by fans, the media, and people out to get something from you. The Wolves music video reinforces this with the imagery of the glitz, the glamour, the fashion, the feeling always being on the runway or under the camera flashes. First mention of Nori and Saint and how he needs to protect them from the destructive effects of celebrity status. Being "surrounded by the fucking wolves" is just Kanye's lifestyle now, constantly on guard from predators.
>Silver Surfer Intermission - Greatest Track of all Time Time! Seriously, though, this is just a "show not tell" of Wolves, someone calling and asking you for something. It is also another "meta" reference, as TLOP was originally called Waves, so this bit is also about the making of the album itself.
>30 Hours - Frame song about making a song. Wake up, eat breakfast, head to the studio. Starts making a song about some old girlfriend. Half way through he is just ad libbing, talking about laying down beats with Andre. "This is a shoutout track". When his phone rings and he picks up he is breaking the 4th wall, literally saying "I'm just doing an adlib track right now".
>No More Parties in LA - The social scene as an LA celebrity. This has two parts. Just like with Chance in ULB, Kendrick plays Kanye's wild partying older self. Kendrick talks about the girl with the spray tan, partying till the early morning, the liquor, the debauchery. Then we hear about the flip side from grown up Ye: the therapist, worrying about nori and kim, his "rich nigger problems". The title takes on two meanings: "No more Parties in LA" could mean there are no parties left that can compare to his parties and it can mean that he can't party anymore in LA. It is both bragging and humbling: Damn! We can't party like that anymore.
>Facts - Kanye's vision as the Merchant / Creator. In his interviews he constantly talks about wanting be the next steve jobs, henry ford, or walt disney. This song is about that vision. Bragging about Yeezys becoming the best selling shoe, shitting on Nike hyping Adidas. Another strong meta point: this song also works as an advertisement for the products he is talking about. Talking about the artistic collaborations he wants to make. Starting his own hotel. Running the 2020 election. He makes some topical references here to steve harvey and bill cosby so you know this track takes place in the present (Timbuk2 dies less than two months before the release of TLOP)
>Fade - The "end" of the TLOP. This is the original fade out track signifying the end of the album as released.

u/Roton7 · 1 pointr/Kanye

You can read a preview here if you click on "Look Inside".. sounds interesting!

u/killabeesindafront · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

Read RZA's book The Tao of Wu

Don't make judgments or assumptions of people unless you hear it from them.

u/Dannah573 · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

I'm a dancer so I'm coming from a different perspective but just thought I'd chime in. This is definitely happening. Mr Wigglez (member of rock steady crew) said in a workshop that rap is recording artist production. I don't know how much credence there is in making that distinction but let's remember it for now. This is hiphopheads yeah? How many of you jump in a cypher? How many of you practice the art you consume? How many of you are part of a hip hop community? This is the difference. Rap is just consumed. Hip hop is community. Once its created by someone outside a community (label or artist), it definitely isn't. You can still call that rap, but its not hip hop. Personally I don't hang out with anyone who emcees as anything more than just messing about so I can't comment on the community on the emcee side. But if you look at the DJs and dancers, and you look at our communities, you'll quickly see real hip hop that you can't get sitting in your room listening to childish gambino.

The problem lies in the exploitation of the genre, it sells too well. Everybody knows it but nobody cares because they're happy to mindlessly consume whatever the labels throw at them: the most successful artist are only the ones who labels (not community members) think are going to make them money, not people who represent the culture and community. Just to give a little insight, in the dance community, we're still listening to DJs in the club who play break beats and 80s/90s hip hop cause the culture is important to us. We create incentive in our countries for the pioneers of our culture to come and teach us. There is a problem of too much money in the music industry that doesn't exist in our exist in our community so the pioneers of hip hop dance still have reason to accept invitations to judge battles in London or wherever rather than say "nah I've got a show."

Edit: Anyone who truly wants to learn something about hip hop and the discussion of hip hop/rap debate I HIGHLY recommend this book.

u/MikeBRLSQ · 1 pointr/shutupandtakemymoney

Aye Jay is great. He's also responsible for the Gangsta Rap Coloring Book:

u/OstrichShaman · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

I will look into it! I'm in a music class right now focused on hip-hop and we use "That's the Joint!".

u/Zephhh · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

I died laughing when I saw this one. Also, you can preorder the book here.

u/thankgodimanatheist · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

Ego trip's book of rap lists. This is a must read. It's kinda old. I've had it for at least 10 years.

u/ACHAPHD · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

Since he's playing Russell Poole, my guess is that its based on the book of the same name

u/mc_lars · 1 pointr/IAmA

This book is awesome:

Keep hustling!! You've got it.

u/rkugler · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

Pretty interested to see how this goes. I'm not a big reader even though I always have intentions to start and tons of interesting books on a list. Hopefully this helps get me going.

Also, a long time ago I read the DMX autobiography and thought it was pretty well done and interesting. Figure you might want to add it to the voting list at some point: E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX

u/Nathan_Wailes · 1 pointr/makinghiphop

Hi Audio_Byte,

I posted this in the "I cringe at my own lyrics" thread, but it seems like you might benefit from it as well:

I'm actually working on a web app to help people with this very problem: Rhymecraft. It isn't ready yet but in the meantime my #1 tip for you is to read How to Rap Volume 1 and Volume 2. If you want me to email you when my app is done, send me a private message with your email address or just let me know you want me to send you a PM on Reddit.

What I've learned from studying lyrics is that usually there isn't one thing that makes lyrics good or bad; it's a collection of lots of different things, and your job as a lyricist is to understand what all of those factors are and make sure they're all working in your favor. Reading "How to Rap" will give you a good intro to what some of those factors are.

u/jedimasterchief · 1 pointr/nfl

This author who followed a police officer who investigated the murders came up with that theory. Also Orlando was a well known gang member, crip, as was Suge. The book also suggests Suge's injuries as being more superficial.

u/metree3 · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Not feedback for your track but I have a book to suggest. I know the title make it sound super-cheezy, but it's a full of interviews with great rappers on how they work, writing and performing live and in the studio.

u/TummyCrunches · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Root For The Villain: Rap, Bull$hit, and a Celebration of Failure by J-Zone (who, if you're familiar with his music, is equally funny in his book)

Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor (it's a graphic novel focusing on the early days of hip hop done in the style of 90s Image comics)

How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC by Paul Edwards (this is full of interviews with some of the greatest of all time discussing every single aspect of rapping)

There's also The Wu-Tang Manual and The Tao of Wu, both by RZA and both very good for Wu-Tang fans.

If you think she may be interested in books on specific albums, the 33 1/3 series has quite a few on some of the genres greatest albums: Illmatic, Paul's Boutique, Donuts, People's Instinctive Travels And the Paths of Rhythm, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. She may enjoy Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic, which is a more scholarly approach to Illmatic, although admittedly not for everyone (if critical theory isn't her thing probably pass on this one).

u/Liebo · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

I love hip hop and read a ton of books. Unfortunately the genre's literary canon isn't particularly spectacular. Here is a list of a few books that are actually really good reads on hip hop.

Ego Trip's Big Book of Rap Lists Tons of trivia and a great balance of being informative and entertaining/funny. It's clear that all the contributors really love hip hop. It was written in 1999 and primarily focuses on stuff from 1988-1996, which is totally fine by me.

Check the Technique Rappers and producers giving a track-by-track analysis of their classic albums. Quality of individual chapters is somewhat contingent on the rapper's writing ability and willingness to share (Slick Rick's portion was unfortunately pretty lacking in detail) but there are some gems. Features the Wu-Tang Clan, Tribe Called Quest, the Roots, and a lot more. The sequel was just released in November (featuring 3rd Bass, Company Flow, Ice Cube, among others) and I thoroughly enjoyed that one too.

The Big Payback If you have any interest in the history of the business of hip hop. Traces everything from Rapper's Delight to the present. A long read that is only worth seeking out if you care about the business of the genre, but if you find that appealing you will really enjoy it.

Hip Hop Family Tree Comic series about history of rap. I don't know how far the artist plans to go but right now he has completed 1977-1983. A lot of history and it looks good too.

How to Rap About the craft of rhyming from the rappers themselves. Features contributions from Kool G Rap, Q-Tip, Pharoahe Monch, Chuck D, and others. I liked this one more than Book of Rhymes which touches upon similar subjects. How to Rap 2 is also very good and touches upon some advanced flow concepts.

u/SexiestPanda · 1 pointr/Music
u/Farkeman · 1 pointr/videos

Whoever is interested in learning more about rhyming and rap techniques I highly recommend How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC book

u/SeattleGirl83 · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Ever read this book called LAbyrinth? You might like it.

u/Quintus26 · 1 pointr/Eminem

Eminem and Rap, Poetry, Race: - haven't finished reading it but the essays in it are pretty interesting and provide food for thought

His mom's book is a pretty interesting read too. 'My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem' is the name of the book if I can remember.

There's also a book by his bodyguard called 'Shady Bizness' - but I haven't read it yet.

u/dudeinachair · 1 pointr/funny
u/theway00 · 1 pointr/tipofmytongue
u/superiority · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I got a 21-year-old this colouring book as a Christmas present once.

u/PwnedNoobLol · 1 pointr/Piracy

Looking for the newly released Autobiography of Gucci Mane PDF file

u/rber · 1 pointr/makinghiphop

How To Rap has a lot of interviews with different rappers on their takes. I'm only part way through it but it has been interesting so far.

u/ilikebreakfastcereal · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I'm not sure how to link to an individual item within a wish list and still keep the shipping info available, but here's this if you do.

u/margalicious · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

This coloring book is certainly unique!

I love subtle humor in comic books. Not slap-stick, falling down stairs/hitting each other/blah blah blah - I like when the characters are obviously comfortable with each other, and they pick at each other in a teasing way. I like jokes that you might miss if you're not paying attention - it draws me into the story more.

Thanks for the contest!

u/McBlurry · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

Yep, The Wu-Tang Manual, written by RZA.

Got it for christmas, still haven't got to read all the way through it. The stuff I've seen in there so far is dope, though.

He's got another book that's a sequel to this one or something, but I ain't read it and I'm too high/lazy to go find a link for it

u/PixelTreason · 1 pointr/doctorwho

Ha, awesome! I live right down the street. :) Best comic book store ever!

Last time I was there picked up Hip Hop Family Tree for my boyfriend. They have signed copies and it's great!

Tate's is, of course, my go-to place for Doctor Who stuff as well. They have all the toys/figures/screwdrivers/etc.
Also love the "Bear and Bird" area upstairs. Fun, kitschy stuff and the art gallery, too!

Re-reading this and it sounds like a freaking ad for Tate's. I don't work there, I swear!

u/lewinkler94 · 1 pointr/rap
u/barbadosslim · -6 pointsr/ShitPoliticsSays