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Dancing With The Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hiphop

by Mark Curry
(former Bad Boy recording artist)


 “Welcome to Bad Boy, where dreams come true,” Sean Combs said as we shook hands over lunch in March 1997. The record producer spent the next hour telling me how impressive my rapping skills were, how soon he planned to release my debut album, and that my personal wealth would soon be in the seven-figure range. Talk about smoke and mirrors.

Today, after years of writing hit records for Combs, I am no closer to having my first album released by Bad Boy Entertainment than I was when we signed the contract. Combs cajoled, hoodwinked and bamboozled me for nearly a decade. In the end, which for me came in 2005, I realized that I had to leave the label and its illusions of wealth in order to save my career, my marriage, my mind and my soul.

Dancing with the Devil reveals startling new details about key events in the fast-paced, controversial, and sometimes deadly world of hip-hop music. In revealing the dark side of the industry, Curry hopes to provide a road map for reforms needed before more artist end up in poverty, in prison, or in the grave.


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The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats

by Grandmaster Flash and David Ritz

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Broadway (June 10, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0767924754

A no-holds-barred memoir from the primary architect of hip hop and one of the culture's most revered music icons—both the tale of his life and legacy and a testament to dogged determination.

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five fomented the musical revolution known as hip hop. Theirs was a groundbreaking union between one DJ and five rapping MCs. One of the first hip hop posses, they were responsible for such masterpieces as “The Message” and “Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel.”

In the 1970s Grandmaster Flash pioneered the art of break-beat DJing—the process of remixing and thereby creating a new piece of music by playing vinyl records and turntables as musical instruments. Disco-era DJs spun records so that people could dance. The original turntablist, Flash took it a step further by cutting, rubbing, backspinning, and mixing records, focusing on “breaks”—what Flash described as “the short, climactic parts of the records that really grabbed me”—as a way of heightening musical excitement and creating something new.

Now the man who paved the way for such artists as Jay-Z, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, and 50 Cent tells all—from his early days on the mean streets of the South Bronx, to the heights of hip hop stardom, losing millions at the hands of his record label, his downward spiral into cocaine addiction, and his ultimate redemption with the help and love of his family and friends. In this powerful memoir, Flash recounts how music from the streets, much like rock ’n’ roll a generation before, became the sound of an era and swept a nation with its funk, flavor, and beat.


Check These Popular Titles

Planet B-Boy (2007)

Running time: 101 minutes

Studio: Elephant Eye Films

Film Review by Kam Williams

Excellent (3.5 stars)

Back in the Seventies, when black and Latino teenagers from the Bronx first began gyrating wildly and spinning on their heads on pieces of cardboard to hip-hop beats emanating from thudding boom-boxes, I doubt if anybody expected the street fad to last. But breakdancing has not only flourished, but it has spread around the planet like wildfire, finding even greater acceptance in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East than in its birthplace. Read More


Universal Zulu Nation
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Chuck D: Lyrics of a Rap Revolutionary

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ISBN: 0974948411
Pub. Date: January 2007
Format: Paperback, 364pp
Publisher: Off Da Books

by Chuck D, Yusuf Jah

Book Description
The power is in the mic, and the power has been unleashed in clubs, arenas, stadiums, stages, and parks all over the planet. MC’s are able to connect with its audience in a way that the music alone cannot. Hip Hop, via the MC, has undoubtedly become the voice of a new generation. Much attention has been paid to the staggering impact hip hop music and culture has had on the greater American and world cultures; its influence on fashion, television, advertising, and the attitudes of the world’s youth. However, not nearly as much attention has been paid to the social and political impact that the art form and its artists have had. Lyrics of a Rap Revolutionary is designed to transcend rap and venture into the realm of offering commentary and analysis into some of the deeper aspects of life itself. As one of rap’s preeminent political and social groups of all time, front man Chuck D offers direct explanations and interpretations of what his lyrics are about as a tool to help set minds free in this "hustle and flow and get rich or die tryin’ times’." Chuck delves into the inspiration and writing of such rap classics as "Fight the Power," "Don’t Believe The Hype," "Can’t Truss It," and "Welcome to the Terrordome." As Chuck D explains, "We must remain mindful that there’s a road to freedom, and resist the embarrassingly popular trend that ignorance and a ghetto mentality, which is cast upon us, is our only food for thought or food for non-thought. As MC’s we must become more responsible and revolutionary in our approach, because we have young people around the globe listening to our every word and watching our every step."



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Method Man

by Method Man & David Atchison Sanford Greene (Illustrator)

Paperback: 96 pages
Grand Central Publishing (July 23, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446699721

An ancient evil of unfathomable power plots the unspeakable--the destruction of the mortal realm and beyond. Man's only hope lies in Peerless Poe, a hard-luck private eye with a taste for booze and a magnetic attraction to danger. A former member of the clandestine Order of the Sacred Method, Poe must forge an uneasy alliance with those who exploited him against enemy bent on global annihilation. This unholy threat wears a woman's face and wields dark energies capable of destroying normal men. But Poe hasn't been normal in years. The Order saw to that. Poe is scarred. Poe is transformed. Poe is . . . Method Man.


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Born in the Bronx:
A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop

9 X 11 inches / 200 illustrations
HC ISBN: 978-0-7893-1540-3
$45.00 US / $57.00 Can / £25.00 UK
Rizzoli New York
Release date: November 9th, 2007

Edited by Johan Kugelberg
Photographs by Joe Conzo
Foreword by Afrika Bambaataa
Original Flyer Art by Buddy Esquire
Timeline by Jeff Chang

Born in the Bronx is a striking anthology of Hip Hop's baby steps. Not only does it capture the emergence of a burgeoning culture but also the fashion and character of the surrounding community. From rare photographs of MC's and DJs to records, flyers, and other ephemera, writer Johan Kugelberg has pulled together the scattered remains of a movement that never has its eye on posterity. The book includes the improvisational artwork of previously unpublished street flyers of the era, Polaroids buried for decades in basements across the Bronx, and testimonials from the most scholarly historians of Hip Hop culture - the legends and pioneers who lived it! Through Born in the Bronx, Joe Conzo (described by The New York Times as "the chronicler who took hip hop's baby pictures") presents a unique cross-section of an explosive and experimental time in music history.

- Hip Hop's first photographer, Joe Conzo provides the majority of images of legends and urban scenes from 1977-1982. Additional photos were contributed by fellow pioneering documentarians Charlie Ahearn and Henry Chalfant.

- Photos feature The Cold Crush Brothers, Treacherous 3, Afrika Bambaataa, Busy Bee, Run DMC, Wayne "The Hip Hop Ventriliquist" & Charlie, Fantastic Romantic, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Funky Four + 1, Kool DJ AJ Scratch, GrandWizzard Theodore and more.

- Flyers created by Buddy Esquire feature Hip Hop jams from 1978-1985. Obscure flyers advertise early Hip Hop jams in Brooklyn, Queens and even Connecticut!

- Essays were contributed by legends: GrandMaster Caz, JDL, Joe Conzo, Mare 139, GrandWizzard Theodore, LA Sunshine and Jorge "Fabel" Pabon plus a poem by DJ Disco Wiz and an interview with Buddy Esquire.

- The hard cover is embossed. The dust cover unfolds to reveal a poster: "The Hip Hop Map of the Bronx" by Joe Conzo and Tony Tone.