London: Pluto Press, 1985. 2nd printing. Small quarto, publisher's photo-illustrated stiff paper wraps, spine lettered in black, upper wrap lettered in black, white and green.
Seminal early history of rap and hip-hop culture, covering its roots in African and black American music and oral traditions; its late-70s breakout in Harlem and the South Bronx; the major early DJs and MCs (from The Sugarhill Gang to Run-D.M.C.), dance clubs, recording studios and record shops; and its expression in the forms of breakdancing, graffiti, film, music video and street style. "Rap's forebears stretch back through disco, street funk, radio DJs, Bo Diddley, the bebop singers, Cab Calloway, Pigmeat Markham, the tap dancers and comics, The Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron, Muhammad Ali, acappella and doo-wop groups, ring games, skip-rope rhymes, prison and army songs, toasts, signifying and the dozens, all the way to the griots of Nigeria and the Gambia. No matter how far it penetrates into the twilight maze of Japanese video games and cool European electronics, its roots are still the deepest in all contemporary Afro-American music." Illustrated throughout with photojournalist Bates's documentary black-and-white photos. With an introduction by Africana studies scholar Tony Van Der Meer, a glossary, discography, bibliography and index. Originally published in 1984. Owner inscription to verso of upper wrap. Light edgewear to wraps, with some creasing to corners of upper wrap. Item #2208