Somebody Scream!: Rap Music's Rise to Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power

Front Cover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Mar 17, 2009 - Music - 336 pages
1 Review

For many African Americans of a certain demographic the sixties and seventies were the golden age of political movements. The Civil Rights movement segued into the Black Power movement which begat the Black Arts movement. Fast forward to 1979 and the release of Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight." With the onset of the Reagan years, we begin to see the unraveling of many of the advances fought for in the previous decades. Much of this occurred in the absence of credible, long-term leadership in the black community. Young blacks disillusioned with politics and feeling society no longer cared or looked out for their concerns started rapping with each other about their plight, becoming their own leaders on the battlefield of culture and birthing Hip-Hop in the process. In Somebody Scream, Marcus Reeves explores hip-hop music and its politics. Looking at ten artists that have impacted rap—from Run-DMC (Black Pop in a B-Boy Stance) to Eminem (Vanilla Nice)—and puts their music and celebrity in a larger socio-political context. In doing so, he tells the story of hip hop's rise from New York-based musical form to commercial music revolution to unifying expression for a post-black power generation.


What people are saying - Write a review

Somebody scream!: rap music's rise to prominence in the aftershock of black power

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Drawing upon his 15 years as a journalist writing on youth culture and politics, Reeves traces the political history and influence of rap since the decline of the black power movement in the 1970s ... Read full review


Title Page
TWO The New AfroUrban Movement
THREE Black Pop in a BBoy Stance
FOUR Stumbling Through Black Power Revisited
FIVE Niggas Selling Attitude
SEVEN Gangsta Chic
EIGHT The Myth of Thug Power
NINE Ghetto Fab Rising
TEN The Ice
TWELVE Vanilla Nice
THIRTEEN Keep On To the Break of Dawn

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Marcus Reeves has covered youth culture and politics for over fifteen years, in publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Vibe, and The Source.

Bibliographic information