These essays cracked my head open when I was 20 because it was the first time I encountered someone writing about rap music with ample respect and recognition of the immensity, complexity and depth that rap music contains.— Gleb
It's Bigger Than Hip Hop takes a bold look at the rise of a generation that sees beyond the smoke and mirrors of corporate-manufactured rap and is building a movement that will change not only the face of pop culture, but the world.
M. K. Asante, Jr., a passionate young poet, professor, filmmaker, and activist who represents this new movement, uses hip hop as a springboard for a larger discussion about the urgent social and political issues affecting the hip-hop and post-hip-hop generations.
Through insightful anecdotes, scholarship, revolutionary rap lyrics, personal encounters, and conversations with youth across the globe as well as icons such as Chuck D and Maya Angelou, Asante illuminates a shift that can be felt in the crowded spoken-word joints in post-Katrina New Orleans, seen in the rise of youth-led organizations committed to social justice, and heard around the world chanting "It's bigger than hip hop."
“An empowering book that moves you to action and to question status quo America. Reading It's Bigger Than Hip Hop is motoring through a new generation of America with one of its best storytellers.” —Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
“M.K. Asante, Jr. combines drive, skill and a commitment that buoys us all. The hip hop community should feel extremely blessed to have those qualities attached to its forward movement.” —Chuck D
“M.K. Asante, Jr. is a rare, remarkable talent that brings to mind the great artists of the Harlem Renaissance.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
“Asante expertly blends historical information about hip-hop and the civil rights movement with personal narrative, interviews with artists, and quotations from civil rights leaders and classic poetry to create an original and daring work. ” —Jennifer Zarr, Library Journal
“Positive young artist tries to show the way forward for oppressed African-Americans. Asante joins the throng of idealistic young academics, black and white, desperate to find messages of hope and change amidst the monotonous bluster and carnage of much hip-hop.” —Kirkus Reviews