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The 'Hood Comes First
Race, Space, and Place in Rap and Hip-Hop
Murray Forman


2002 • 400 pp. 6 x 9"
Music / Cultural Studies / African-American Studies

$29.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6397-2

Examines the significance of the 'hood in rap and hip hop

The 'Hood Comes First looks at the increasingly specific emphasis on real neighborhoods and streets in rap music and hip hop culture as an urgent response to the cultural and geographical ghettoization of black urban communities. Examining rap music, along with ancillary hip hop media including radio, music videos, rap press and the cinematic ‘hood genre, Murray Forman analyzes hip hop culture's varying articulations of the terms "ghetto," "inner-city," and "the 'hood," and how these spaces, both real and imaginary, are used to define individual and collective identity.

Negotiating academic, corporate, and "street" discourses, Forman assesses the dynamics between race, social space and youth. Race, class and national identification are recast and revised within rap's spatial discourse, concluding with the construction of “the ‘hood,” a social and geographic symbol that has become central to concepts of hip hop authenticity. Additionally, the book analyzes the processes within the music and culture industries through which hip hop has been amplified and disseminated from the ‘hood to international audiences.

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Reviews / Endorsements

The 'Hood Comes First is a tour de force. It is the most valuable addition to the literature on hip hop to come along in recent years.” Reebee Garofalo, author of Rockin’ Out: Popular Music in the USA

"Forman's examination of the special issues of hip hop is a welcome and informative addition to the existing scholarship."Mark Anthony Neal, author of Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic


Short-Listed for the Association for Recorded Sound Collections' (ASRC) Award for Excellence for Best Research in Recorded Rock, Rhythm & Blues, or Soul (2003)

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:52:26 -0500