Hip Hop Raised Me is the definitive volume on the essence, experience, and energy that is hip hop, and its massive and enduring impact over the last forty years. It’s packed with contact sheets, outtakes, and glory shots of artists, collectives, and fans from iconic photographers including Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Eddie Otchere, Normski, Janette Beckman, Chi Modu, Nabil Elderkin, and Mark Humphrey, as well as photographs of hip-hop ephemera and vinyl courtesy of specialist collectors. With the help of his definitive catalogue of interviews with hip-hop artists from the 1990s to today, conducted at key moments in their careers and including Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Drake, Nicki Minaj, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, and the Wu-Tang Clan, DJ Semtex examines the crucial role of hip hop in society. He reflects on the huge influence it has had on his own life and the lives of many others, providing inspiration to generation after generation of young people. Taking a thematic approach, Semtex traces the characteristics and influence of hip hop from its origins in the early 1970s with DJ Kool Herc’s block parties in the South Bronx, through its breakthrough to the mainstream and advent of gangsta rap in the late 1980s, with artists such as Run DMC, Public Enemy, and Ice T, to the impact of contemporary artists and the global industry that is hip hop today.
Well-written and engaging…The pictures alone are worth the price of entry for this weighty coffee table book [that’s] the perfect Christmas gift for any hip-hop loving friends or family. If you love hip-hop, you’ll love this–whatever era you come from!
A delightful and comprehensive study of hip-hop [and] a far-reaching analysis of the music and culture. A visual treasure trove…this volume contains over 1,000 photographs, many printed here for the first time. A historical feast, it will be treasured by longtime fans and consulted by interested newcomers.
— Library Journal
Unlike many hip hop books that embrace the patchwork aesthetic of fanzines, this volume treats the genre with a certain graphic elegance and scholarly heft. Text blocks range from historic timelines to in-depth pieces on major stars—Tupac Shakur, N.W.A., Jay-Z, Eminem, Nicki Minaj—while the images alternate between somber portraits, landmark album covers, and edgy memorabilia. At 450 pages, this is the reference book on the genre.
— American Photo
DJ Semtex hosts the UK’s premiere hip-hop show on BBC Radio 1Xtra every Friday. He has interviewed the most significant names in hip-hop, DJ’ed on every continent, performed on stage with the likes of Nas, Rick Ross, Iggy Azalea, and Dizzee Rascal, toured with legends such as the Wu-Tang Clan, and opened for a plethora of artists from Macklemore to Dela Soul. He is currently the director of artist development at Sony Music.