Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop has been a generation-defining global movement. In a post–civil rights era rapidly transformed by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop gave voiceless youths a chance to address these seismic changes, and became a job-making engine and the Esperanto of youth rebellion. Hip-hop crystallized a multiracial generation's worldview, and forever transformed politics and culture. But the epic story of how that happened has never been fully told . . . until now.
"His scope is operatic, sprawling, and concerns itself with the people, places, and politics that drove hip-hop from its infancy. . . . It is essentially a people's history . . . perhaps Jeff Chang is hip-hop America's Howard Zinn." – Salon.com
"The birth of hip-hop out of the ruin of the South Bronx is a story that has been told many times, but never with the cinematic scope and the analytic force that Jeff Chang brings to it. . . . This is one of the most urgent and passionate histories of popular music ever written."--The New Yorker "When Hip-Hop 101 becomes a requirement, Jeff Chang's history of the turmoil that begat this beloved culture will be the go-to textbook." –Vibe magazine "The most important new genre of the last quarter century finally has a sweeping historical overview as powerful as the music with Can't Stop Won't Stop . . . the best-argued, most thoroughly researched case for hip-hop as a complete and truly American culture." – Chicago Sun-Times "Chang tells these stories beautifully . . . provocative." – The New York Times Book Review "Jeff Chang's new and necessary book . . . delivers a vivid account of the last third of the American twentieth century. . . . The book is as much a cultural history as a music history." –The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"This is a book that should be on the shelves of every high school and college library, an engaging and entertaining full-blown excursion into American inner-city culture's rapid proliferation into every nook and cranny of culture at large."--Los Angeles Weekly