Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Perry (Rutgers School of Law) has written one of the best in-depth analyses of US hip-hop culture since Nelson George's Hip Hop America (1998) and Tricia Rose's Black Noise (CH, Dec'94, 32-2054). In seven chapters and through four main characteristics (language, political location in society, oral culture, and musical traditions) developed in her introduction, Perry convincingly argues that hip-hop music belongs to the black American community. She does not offer a chronological history of hip-hop music. Instead, she concentrates on several themes central to hip-hop culture: identity, art, compositions and narratives, law and freedom of speech, masculinity and feminism, and consumerism. Particularly valuable are Perry's discussion of the text of contemporary songs, which are excerpted and analyzed throughout. The book is very well written and easy to read, and both the bibliography and the index are rich and useful. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All collections; all levels. A.-P. Durand University of Rhode Island