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African American Studies: Hip Hop

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Library of Congress Headings

Try searching DELCAT Discovery by using subject headings that refer to careers/subject areas.   For assistance in selecting headings refer to the Library of Congress Subject Headings or Ask a Librarian. Below is a sample list of subject headings:

African American men
African American musicians
African American women--Biography
African American youth--Songs and music
African Americans--Biography
African Americans--Civil rights
African Americans--Languages
African Americans--Music
African Americans--Politics and suffrage
African Americans--Race identity
African Americans--Social conditions
Black English--United States
Black nationalism--United States
Break dancing
Inner cities--United States
Jazz music
Jazz musicians
Music--social aspects
Music and race
Music and teenagers
Oral interpretation of poetry
Popular culture--United States
Popular music--United States
Race relations
Rap (music)
Rap musicians
Rhythm and blues music
Rhythm and blues musicians
Sound poetry
Sound recording industry
Street art
United States--Race relations
Violence in music

General Reference Resources

The following dictionaries, encyclopedias and guides may assist you in beginning your research.

Bogdanov, Vladimir et al. All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap & Hip-Hop. San Francisco, CA: Backbeat Books, 2003.
LOCATION: Reference ML156.4.R27 A45 2003
This reference work includes brief biographical sketches, discographies and sound recording reviews.
Bynoe, Yvonne. Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip Hop Culture. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006.
LOCATION: Reference ML102.R27 B96 2006
An encyclopedia that provides brief factual entries on all aspects of hip hop culture, including music, dance and art. Entries on musicians include a discography.
Hess, Mickey. Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide. Santa Barbara, Calif. : Greenwood Press, 2010.
LOCATION: Reference   ML3531 .H573 2010
An encyclopedia that provides profiles of local hip hop scenes throughout the U.S. and discusses the role of place in hip hop culture.  Essays include bibliographies and discographies.
Hess, Mickey. Icons of Hip Hop:  An Encyclopedia of the Movement, Music, and Culture. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2007.
LOCATION: Reference   ML394 .I26 2007
An encyclopedia that provides in-depth essays on 24 artists, highlighting the influence of the artist's life and work on hip hop music and culture.  The essays include bibliographies and discographies.
Kearse, Randy. Street Talk: Da Official Guide to Hip-Hop & Urban Slanguage. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, 2006.
LOCATION: Reference  PE3727.N4 K43 2006
A dictionary and usage guide that defines hip-hop terms, their geographic origins, and whether they are considered "old school" or "new school".
Nelson, Havelock, and Michael A. Gonzales. Bring the Noise: A Guide to Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture. New York: Harmony Books, 1991.
LOCATION: Reference ML 3531 .N44 1991
A collection of brief essays on "old school" hip-hop musicians.
Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top 40 R & B and Hip-Hop Hits. New York: Billboard, 2006.
LOCATION: Reference  ML156.4.B6 W45 2006
A guide to chart information on the most popular songs and artists, covering the years 1942-2004.

Getting Started

This select bibliography can be used to identify full-text information online, books, newspaper and periodical articles, and encyclopedia entries. A few good starting points are:

Internet Resources

The Internet has many useful web sites that can provide biographical information, discographies and general information regarding hip-hop artists. The following are a few that will assist you in beginning your Internet search:

Subject Librarian

Carol Rudisell's picture
Carol Rudisell
Reference & Instructional Services Dept.
(302) 831-6942

Subjects:African American Studies, Caribbean Studies, Ethnic Studies, Foundations and Grants, History, Sexuality Studies, Women and Gender Studies

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Additional Newspaper and Periodical Indexes

Below are a few additional sources that can help you locate articles in newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals.

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