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African American Studies Resources: Hip Hop Studies

A research guide highlighting resources for African American Studies

Hip Hop Studies

Hip Hop Studies is a multifaceted field of study that includes sociology,  communication and rhetoric studies, religious studies, cultural studies, critical race theory, ethnomusicology, and gender studies 

History of Hip Hop

In 1979, producer Sylvia Robinson heard hip-hop music at a birthday party in Harlem and had a hunch that it would be commercially successful.

She called her son, Joey Robinson Jr., and asked him to gather a group of musicians who could perform like the rappers she saw in Harlem. She then held makeshift auditions for a rap group outside a pizza parlor in Englewood, N.J.

"She put these three guys together who had never met each other before, had the backing track all ready and created a record in a matter of minutes," says Dan Charnas, a former rap industry executive who chronicles the history of hip-hop in a new book, The Big Payback.

The group that Robinson put together, Charnas says, would become the Sugarhill Gang, and the track they recorded was "Rapper's Delight," the first hip-hop single to break into the Top 40 charts...Read More



Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 1 of the first hip hop albums to be archived at Harvard University

Hip Hop Studies Resources