Top Five, Dead or Alive (Book Review)

February 7th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Serrano, Shea. The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed. Abrams, 2015.

Reviewed in: The Los Angeles Review of Books, February 6, 2016.

Trapped In Between The Lines…

February 8th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink


“Trapped In Between The Lines: The Aesthetics of Hip-Hop Journalism.” Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop. Edited by Jeff Chang. New York: Basic Civitas. 2007.

Anthology essay (non-academic).

Traces the history and evolution of hip-hop journalism/criticsm from the early 1980s through present day. Looks at the relevance of publications such as The Village Voice, Source, XXL, ego trip and modern blogging.


Background: This isn’t a formal academic essay but I took a scholarly approach to researching and writing on how I suggest hip-hop journalism has changed over the course of over 20 years. I sifted through a good deal of magazine back issues (all this in the days before Google Books!), as well as drawing upon my own background in the field from the mid-1990s forward. Ironically, while this essay was being written at a time where many of my colleagues knew that the internet was changing the infrastructure of the journalism industry, it didn’t come out until such a time where that industry was collapsing at a perilous rate. It says much that for an essay published in 2007, what I describe feels downright anachronistic just two years later when the landscape has been so brutally transformed.