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Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your Bookshelf

Looking for the best Rap books? Browse our list to find excellent book recommendations on the subject.

1. How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC (2009)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfClipse, Cypress Hill, Nelly, Public Enemy, Remy Ma, Schoolly D, A Tribe Called Quest,—these are just some of the acclaimed artists offering tips and advice in this compelling how-to. Delivering countless candid and exclusive first-person insights from interviews with more than one hundred of the most innovative artists, author Paul Edwards examines the dynamics of rap from every region and in every form–mainstream and underground, current and classic—and covers everything from content and flow to rhythm and delivery. A first-of-its-kind guide, How to Rap provides a wealth of insight…
Author(s): Paul Edwards, Kool G Rap

2. The History of Gangster Rap: From Schoolly D to Kendrick Lamar (2018)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfThe History of Gangster Rap is a deep dive into one of the most fascinating subgenres of any music category to date. Sixteen detailed chapters, organized chronologically, examine the evolution of gangster rap, its main players, and the culture that created this revolutionary music. From still-swirling conspiracy theories about the murders of Biggie and Tupac to the release of the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton, the era of gangster rap is one that fascinates music junkies and remains at the forefront of pop culture. Filled with interviews with key players such as Snoop Dogg, Ice-T,…
Author(s): Soren Baker, Xzibit

3. The Anthology of Rap (2011)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfFrom the school yards of the South Bronx to the tops of the Billboard charts, rap has emerged as one of the most influential musical and cultural forces of our time. In The Anthology of Rap, editors Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois explore rap as a literary form, demonstrating that rap is also a wide-reaching and vital poetic tradition born of beats and rhymes.This pioneering anthology brings together more than three hundred rap and hip-hop lyrics written over thirty years, from the “old school” to the “golden age” to the present day. Rather than aim for encyclopedic coverage, Bradley and DuBois render through…
Author(s): Adam Bradley , Andrew DuBois, et al.

4. How to Rap 2: Advanced Flow and Delivery Techniques (2013)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfThis sequel to How to Rap breaks down and examines techniques that have not previously been explained—such as triplets, flams, lazy tails, and breaking rhyme patterns. Based on interviews with hip-hop’s most innovative artists and groups, including Tech N9ne, Crooked I, Pharcyde, Das EFX, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Big Daddy Kane, this book takes you through the intricacies of rhythm, rhyme, and vocal delivery, delving into the art form in unprecedented detail. It is a must-read for MCs looking to take their craft to the next level, as well as anyone fascinated by rapping and its complexity. #137,910 in Books (See Top 100…
Author(s): Paul Edwards, Gift of Gab

5. Understand Rap: Explanations of Confusing Rap Lyrics that You & Your Grandma Can Understand (2010)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfRap songs are famous for their double entendres, clever turns of phrase, and general ingenuity, but that doesn’t mean things always make sense the first time around. Enter Understand Rap, a very funny pop-cultural reference book based on the website of the same name, which precisely explains the confusing lyrics and terms used in rap songs using language that even the most un-hip person can understand. The juxtaposition of a dry, academic tone with hip-hop terminology results in a book that’s as entertaining as it is informative. #370,783 in Books (See Top…
Author(s): William Buckholz

6. Rhyme Book – Rap Journal: A lyricists Hip Hop inspired notebook for Rap Bars, Lyrics, Hooks & Verses. 6 x 9 journal. 150 pages (2019)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfRhyme Book – Rap Journal. A lyricists Hip Hop inspired notebook for Rap Bars, Lyrics, Hooks & Verses. Perfect for aspiring or established rap / hip-hop artists and MC’s to record their ideas and thoughts for songs, freestyles other projects. Ideal for encouraging consistent and regular writing practice of the craft. A must for all true lyricists. 6 x 9 lined journal. 150 pages….
Author(s): FHC BOOKS

7. The Mouse Rap (1992)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfYou can call me Mouse, ’cause that’s my tag I’m into it all, everything’s my bag my ace is Styx, he’ll always do Add Bev and Sheri, and you got my crew…and a crew it is! For fourteen-year-old Mouse, this summer is anything but boring. His father, who checked out from the family eight years ago, is now trying to make a comeback as a dad. Beverly, a new girl from California, seems to like locking lips with the Mouse–but she seems to like other guys, as well. Sheri is trying to persuade the gang to join a dance contest. And there’s a rumor that a lot of money–the loot from a ’30’s bank heist,…
Author(s): Walter Dean Myers

8. Rap Music and Street Consciousness (Music in American Life) (2004)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfIn this first musicological history of rap music, Cheryl L. Keyes traces the genre's history from its roots in West African bardic traditions, the Jamaican dancehall tradition, and African American vernacular expressions to its permeation of the cultural mainstream as a major tenet of hip-hop lifestyle and culture.  Rap music, according to Keyes, is a forum that addresses the political and economic disfranchisement of black youths and other groups, fosters ethnic pride, and displays culture values and aesthetics. Blending popular culture with folklore and ethnomusicology, Keyes offers a nuanced portrait of the artists,…
Author(s): Cheryl L. Keyes

9. Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization (2006)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfIn this lively ethnography Ian Condry interprets Japan’s vibrant hip-hop scene, explaining how a music and culture that originated halfway around the world is appropriated and remade in Tokyo clubs and recording studios. Illuminating different aspects of Japanese hip-hop, Condry chronicles how self-described “yellow B-Boys” express their devotion to “black culture,” how they combine the figure of the samurai with American rapping techniques and gangsta imagery, and how underground artists compete with pop icons to define “real” Japanese hip-hop. He…
Author(s): Ian Condry

10. Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists (1999)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfEgo Trip’s Book of Rap Lists is more popular than racism! Hip hop is huge, and it’s time someone wrote it all down. And got it all right. With over 25 aggregate years of interviews, and virtually every hip hop single, remix and album ever recorded at their disposal, the highly respected Ego Trip staff are the ones to do it. The Book of Rap Lists runs the gamut of hip hop information. This is an exhaustive, indispensable and completely irreverant bible of true hip hip knowledge. #266,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #346 in Music Reference (Books) #140 in Rap Music (Books) #350 in Music Encyclopedias Would you like to ?If…
Author(s): Sacha Jenkins, Elliott Wilson, et al.

11. Rap and Hip Hop Culture (2014)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfRap and Hip Hop Culture traces the ideological, social, historical, and cultural influences on a musical genre that first came to prominence in the mid-1970s in one of New York’s toughest neighborhoods, the South Bronx. Orejuela describes how the arts of DJing, MCing, breakin’ [b-boying], and graffiti developed as a way for this community’s struggle to find its own voice. He addresses rap’s early successes on the pop charts; its spread to mainstream culture; the growth of “gangsta rap” and mainstream society’s reaction to it; and the commercial success of rap music from the ’90s through today. Throughout, this enlightening text…
Author(s): Fernando Orejuela

12. Paradise to Paradise: The Rap Reiplinger Story (2019)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfMore than four decades after redefining comedy in Hawaii, Rap Reiplinger and his humor are still making people laugh. His iconic catch phrases are forever carved in the memory banks of fans old and new, whether they live in Hawaii or have migrated elsewhere. Rap’s one-liners are comedic glue that bind people together and bridge generations whenever anyone takes a sip of wine and declares it, Not too sweet, not too rancid, but jesss right! That line and other Rapisms make folks laugh, and, whatever their differences, they find common ground in Rap’s unique perspective on Hawaii’s ethnic melting pot. These catch phrases are so ingrained in…
Author(s): Leesa Clark Stone

13. Houston Rap Tapes: An Oral History of Bayou City Hip-Hop (2018)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfThe neighborhoods of Fifth Ward, Fourth Ward, Third Ward, and the Southside of Houston, Texas, gave birth to Houston rap, a vibrant music scene that has produced globally recognized artists such as Geto Boys, DJ Screw, Pimp C and Bun B of UGK, Fat Pat, Big Moe, Z-Ro, Lil’ Troy, and Paul Wall. Lance Scott Walker and photographer Peter Beste spent a decade documenting Houston’s scene, interviewing and photographing the people—rappers, DJs, producers, promoters, record label owners—and places that give rap music from the Bayou City its distinctive character. Their collaboration produced…
Author(s): Lance Scott Walker, Willie D

14. Original Gangstas: Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and the Birth of West Coast Rap (2017)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfAmid rising gang violence, the crack epidemic, and police brutality, a group of unlikely voices cut through the chaos of late 1980s Los Angeles: N.W.A. Led by a drug dealer, a glammed-up producer, and a high school kid, N.W.A gave voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Their names remain as popular as ever–Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Dre soon joined forces with Suge Knight to create the combustible Death Row Records, which in turn transformed Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur into superstars.Ben Westhoff explores how this group of artists…
Author(s): Ben Westhoff

15. House Party Murder Rap: 1920s Historical Cozy Mystery (An Evie Parker Mystery) (2018)

 Best Rap Books That Should Be On Your Bookshelf1920s England. Lighthearted cozy historical mystery.Two people have been targeted. Shots have been fired. Who stands to inherit? Who has the most to lose? Evangeline ‘Evie’ Parker, Countess of Woodridge, thinks it’s nothing but an accident but then an attempt is made on her host’s life. Suddenly, all the guests attending the Duke of Hetherington’s house party think they are being targeted. Who will be next?Evie and her new chauffeur form an unlikely alliance to discover as much as they can before the killer can get it right….
Author(s): Sonia Parin

Best Rap Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some rap books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The teacher development continuum in the United States and China : summary of a workshop

Author(s): Ana Ferreras and Steve Olsen, rapporteurs ; A. Ester Sztein, ed.; et al.
ID: 1324837, Publisher: National Academies Press, Year: [2010], Size: 925 Kb, Format: pdf

Practical mind reading : a course of lessons on thought-transference, telepathy, mental-currents, mental rapport, etc.

Author(s): William Walker Atkinson
ID: 1317900, Publisher: Advanced Thought Pub. Co., Year: [1908], Size: 4 Mb, Format: pdf

The arm movement method of rapid writing

Author(s): by C.P. Zaner.
ID: 1034135, Publisher: Zaner & Bloser Co., Year: [1904], Size: 6 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are absolutely hot items according to USA Today, others are written by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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