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African American Studies

Books on Hip Hop

Search DELCAT Discovery for Hip Hop Research

Databases for Hip Hop Research

These sources can be used to identify books, newspaper and journal articles, and encyclopedia information.  

Newspaper and Magazine Databases


  • These newspaper packages are the best sources for news from the 1980s to present.  The titles within the packages vary, so it's best to search each one.
  • When searching newspapers, be as specific as you can.  Unique names such as "Tupac Shakur" will be easier to find than names that consist of common words such as "Game."  If your artist has a common name, try adding into your search other words that are likely to show up when discussing your artist.  Those words might pertain to their recording label, studio, or their birth name.  Sample searches include: 
    • game AND "aftermath entertainment"
    • game AND geffen
    • "Jayceon Terrell Taylor"
  • Think like a journalist, not a scholar.  Be sure to search using language and terms from the time period studied. As you find useful articles, take note of the language and try searching those new terms.
  • If you get too many articles, try looking for your words in the article's title or try searching a shorter, more specific time period.
  • Sometimes Black newspapers will provide more detailed information on young artists at the beginning of their career.  Ethnic NewsWatch and ProQuest Historical: Black Newspapers have good coverage of Black newspapers.
  • Ask for help using the Ask the Library chat service, or send me an email.

Internet Resources for Hip Hop Research

The Internet has many useful web sites that can provide biographical information, discographies and general information regarding hip hop artists. Here are a few sites for starting your Internet search:

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