When I held the book in my hands, I thought I would never get through the awesome 638 pages - sooo BIG. Yet, I loved every page of it because it is an extremely well-written and entertaining read, covering the major trends of hip-hop music and the business models behind it. It was exciting for me to go back in time and combine the narrative with my own memories and the corresponding beats. That's the special beauty of Charnas' vivid voice: by presenting the stories from an insider's view, he makes you feel part of it. I have to read through tons of books on economic history, but most of them are pretty boring in comparison. Yo, you may say, there's no business like show business. From a European perspective, I miss one point: Hip-hop is seen as an exclusively American success story. I wish Charnas would have included the global spread of hip-hop culture more. I think that's part of the success, even though rap in most countries has never been more than an imitation of US rap (with the exception of France that has an impressive track record of phenomenal rap artists, but that's my own humble opinion and I may not know better). Yet, I agree that this widening perspective might have diluted the impressive coherence of the book.
Ein überraschend gutes Buch über die Entstehung und den unvermuteten Erfolg einer Kulturform und Ihrer Musik. Keine Mythen sondern genau und glaubhaft aufgearbeitete Geschichten und Anekdoten die jeden älteren Rapfan seine eigene Musikgeschichte neu erleben lässt. Es macht einfach Spass! Eigentlich fehlt nur, dass bei jedem erwähnte Klassiker gleichzeitig das Stück irgendwo im Radio laufen würde.