Cover Image: The Come Up

The Come Up

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Member Reviews

The Come Up is an oral history of hip-hop. It is well-researched and incredibly detailed. The format is engaging and easy to read. The writing is entertains, while educating. If you have an interest in hip-hop, The Come Up is a perfect book for you to check out. Highly recommended!
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The Come Up: An Oral History of the Rise of Hip-Hop, by Jonathan Abrams, is a wonderful look at the history through the recollections of those involved.

Many oral histories, no matter the subject, consist of a collection of accounts, each told by a participant (or large excerpts from the people grouped thematically). I find the approach here to be both very effective and a lot of fun. Abrams offers the structure through paragraphs that set up what is being discussed. Then shorter but very on-point quotes are used to almost simulate a conversation. So rather than just reading about the history or reading what would amount to several versions of the history if each person was included separately, you feel like you are listening to all of these icons sitting around and remembering what happened. 

The one thing this does require of the reader is keeping the various people straight. Abrams includes their roles each time and after a few pages you begin to just follow naturally. So, if you are initially unsettled by always switching speaker, give it time. You'll get used to it and once you do, you'll be well rewarded for the effort.

No matter how well you know the history of hip-hop, this book will offer new information and great perspectives on things you knew. Even having read a couple of other books and taken a MOOC, this volume still both educated and entertained me.

Highly recommended for those with an interest in hip hop and music history more broadly. Many of the insights also speak to how the music industry itself has changed.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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A very in depth view of hip hop. Perfect for any fan. Very well researched and a great read. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for the arc of this book in return for my honest review. Receiving the book in this manner had no bearing on this review.
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