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December 16, 2016

Reading list: Hip Hop Raised Me

Last time we mentioned our guaranteed win Christmas items (as a reminder: books, chocolate, Campari) we forgot to mention music. Luckily, Imprints are helping us out with a title that ticks off both the books and the music categories.

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  • Words: Joshua Fanning

In the beginning there was rap. Well, that was the title of the compilation CD I purchased in Vancouver in 1997 that changed my approach to and appreciation for music.


 We’ve teamed up with Jason Lake and Katherine Woehlert at Imprints to bring you a reading list for each season, because too many books are still never enough. Drop by Imprints at 107 Hindley St, or visit online 

Prior to this point, my musical upbringing was strictly ABC Classical FM with smatterings of other people’s musical tastes – my brother’s, sister’s and my friends’. I didn’t really have my own music. Then I found that album and I liked the graffiti on the cover and loved the Eric Sermon and Keith Murray version of Rapper’s Delight


Hip Hop Raised Me is the book that proves Hip Hop changed the world in the same way that it changed mine. The thematic text sections feature seminal interviews conducted with practically every name in hip hop and are spliced with photographs, ephemera and infographics from the 40-year history of the music genre. It’s a reference guide, it’s an education, it’s fun to flip through the pages with pretty much any hip hop fan. 

Edited by host of BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Hip Hop show – DJ Semtex – Hip Hop Raised Me is a definitive encyclopaedia of all that came from the Bronx in New York and spread around the world.

For the bookshelf:


The Bell Jar / Sylvia Plath / Hardcover / Available now

The only novel from the searing and incomparable Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar has quietly risen to become a modern classic. Chronicling the incompatibility of society’s expectations with human nature through a female lens, the novel is based closely around Plath’s own life and is made compulsively readable by the sharp yet deeply-dark wit she brings to each page. As the life of Esther – a young woman with ambitions to write – unfolds inerrably toward a spiral into mental illness, the limitations of life in a world that takes a one-size-fits-all approach are thrown into stark contrast.

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