The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop
by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Frank Morrison
Little Bee Books (January 8, 2019)
Nonfiction * Music * Rap & Hip-Hop
Audience: Ages 7 to 10
Indiebound | Worldcat
Description from GoodReads:
Explore the roots of rap in this stunning, rhyming, triple-timing picture book!
A generation voicing
stories, hopes, and fears
founds a hip-hop nation.
Say holler if you hear.
The roots of rap and the history of hip-hop have origins that precede DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. Kids will learn about how it evolved from folktales, spirituals, and poetry, to the showmanship of James Brown, to the culture of graffiti art and break dancing that formed around the art form and gave birth to the musical artists we know today. Written in lyrical rhythm by award-winning author and poet Carole Boston Weatherford and complete with flowing, vibrant illustrations by Frank Morrison, this book beautifully illustrates how hip-hop is a language spoken the whole world 'round, it and features a foreward by Swizz Beatz, a Grammy Award winning American hip-hop rapper, DJ, and record producer.
Quick thoughts about this book:
When I first heard about this book, I put it on my “list of books to read”. I have been a big fan of both Weatherford’s work and Morrison’s art. However, the small book cover on the screen of the computer does not properly prepare you for the beauty of this book.
The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars On the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop will make you gasp as you open it up. I think my first read through of the book was actually a simple walk through of the illustrations. I am truly in awe of Morrison’s incredible talent.
As I read through the text on additional read throughs of the book, I couldn’t help but look to see if the book was available in an audiobook format. I wondered about the rhythm of the text and if the rhythm changes as the history of rap unfolds.
I look forward to sharing this book with teachers and students and encouraging students to celebrate the history of rap and hip hop and be inspired to write their own spoken word poetry and musical lyrics.
Don’t miss the back matter at the end of the book. Weatherford and Morrison include their thoughts on the Hip Hop and the role music and spoken word poetry played in their life. There is also a Hip Hop’s Who’s Who and key vocabulary at the end.
Look for The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop at your local indie bookstore or community library.
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