The early days of hip hop explored in new book

The early days of hip hop explored in new book

News

A new book, set to be published by Soul Jazz Books/Records, will explore the very earliest days of hip hop.

‘Yo! The Early Days Of Hip Hop 1982-84’ comprises more than 300 pages of photographs documenting the genre’s rise in the early ’80s, taken by French photographer Sophie Bramly.

Among those pictured in the book are Run-DMC, Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Beastie Boys, Rocksteady Crew and Fab Five Freddy, while it also includes an introduction written by American music journalist and hip hop specialist Bill Adler.

Early hip hop figures such as Fab Five Freddy, Grand Mixer D. St, Mister Freeze of Rocksteady Crew, and Patti Astor & Slick Rick also contribute additional text to the book.

“All these photos speak for a time that is so special, is never coming back and changed the world,” said Grand Mixer D. St. “It’s pretty much this experience that changed everything for ever. What makes it amazing, is that you hear stories about superheroes that changed the world, and that was us.”

Bramly had lived in New York during the early 1980s and witnessed the emergence of hip hop as a genre firsthand, photographing many of its key figures at the time as they were starting to gain wider attention. Her photographs covered not only the MCs and rappers of the scene, but also the DJs, graffiti artists and breakdancers. 

The book, which will be published on 15th November, is available for pre-order here.

For more on classic hip hop, revisit DJ Mag’s recent guide to nine documentaries on the genre to watch online.

An exhibition on early ’80s New York music, including Run-DMC and Grandmaster Flash among others, is currently running at the Museum of the City of New York.

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