"This set provides an excellent historical perspective of the development of hip-hop music and culture in the United States. Urban public libraries and academic libraries supporting curricula in modern culture, sociology, and yes, even music, will find it a welcome addition to their music collections."
"This two-volume reference profiles 23 local hip hop scenes across the US, from the Bronx to Honolulu, with a particular focus on the social contexts that fostered the hip hop styles of each region. Writing is intended to appeal to students and fans, but with an academic perspective that meets curriculum standards for history and culture. A 20-page introduction reviews the importance of geographical location in hip hop. Volume I covers the East and West coasts, and Volume II covers the Midwest, the South, and beyond. Each regional essay describes the history and current status of the local scene, touching on influential artists, label owners, clubs, and radio shows. The reference is illustrated with about 100 b&w photos of personalities and clubs, and includes interviews with key figures, a chronology, and indexes of people, places, songs, and terms."
"Hess' lengthy introduction and detailed time line demonstrate the depth in which he has researched this topic, making this work an important addition to public or academic libraries."
"This title offers a few fascinating twists that others books on the topic don't. . . . this is a must-have for hip-hop fans."
"Challenging the orthodoxy of the 'single origin' narrative, Mickey Hess and the authors assembled here throw new light on the nation's myriad back streets and byways, where hip hop has evolved with fierce vitality. This is a must-read book for anyone interested in the ways that local cultures inflect hip hop creativity, and vice versa."
"This book will be invaluable to studies of place in hip-hop music . For all that that topic has been discussed, nobody before has assembled detailed histories of the scenes in the major American localities where the art forms have developed. That is what Mickey Hess and his contributors have done here, and, together with Hess's deft and admirably clear introduction, Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide constitutes a major contribution to the academic literature on American hip-hop and place."
"This fascinating volume brings to life the vibrant diversity of hip-hop scenes throughout the US, sensitively portraying the charismatic characters and, at times, unlikely locales that push the music in ever-changing directions. The essays collected here enlighten the mind, feed the spirit, and remind us that hip-hop's capacity to transform the meaning of politics remains vital for a new generation hungry for change."