HARI In-House Blog

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We archive the Hiphop Underground.
In order to do so, we have to reimagine what an archive can be.

HARI is uncompromising in our commitment to build and support intellectually challenging and innovative scholarship that both reflects the rigor and achievement of performance in Hiphop as well as transforms our thinking and our lives. We serve to organize and develop collections, initiate and participate in research activities, sponsor events and acquire material culture associated with Hiphop in the U.S. and throughout the world. We curate all forms of Hiphop material culture including recordings, videos, websites, films, original papers, works, references, productions, conferences, meetings, interviews, publications, research, formal proceedings, etc.

Check out the latest additions to our collections: 


Doctors of Rhythm: Hip Hop’s Greatest Producers Speak! By Jake Brown

Hip Hop was born in the 1980s, exploded into the music mainstream in the 1990s, and by the Millennium, had become the biggest-selling genre in the record business. DOCTORS OF RHYTHM: Hip Hop's Greatest Producers Speak! begins with rap's biggest early hits that helped prove Rap was here to stay were classics like Tone Loc's ''Wild Thing,'' Doug E. Fresh's ''The Show,'' Young M.C.'s ''Bust a Move,'' Kool Moe Dee's ''Go See the Doctor'' and ''How Ya Like Me Now?!'', Sir Mix-A-Lot's ''Posse on Broadway,'' Eric B & Rakim's ''Paid in Full,'' ''Eric B. is President,'' ''Microphone Fiend,'' ''I Know You Got Soul,'' ''Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em,'' ''What's On Your Mind,'' and ''Don't Sweat the Technique,'' Ice T's ''6 N the Mornin','' ''Colors,'' and ''Lethal Weapon,'' and Bobby Brown's ''My Prerogative.''

Traveling every generation of Hip Hop, including the 90s' where the genre blew up into a mainstream commercial competitor on the success of radio smashes including the Fugees' ''Ready or Not'' and ''Killing Me Softly,'' Mix-A-Lot's signature # 1 ''Baby Got Back,'' the Beastie Boys' ''Sabotage,'' ''Intergalactic Planetary,'' and ''So Whatchya Want?'', Tupac's # 1s ''How Do You Want It?'', ''Smile'' and ''Hit 'Em Up,'' the Notorious B.I.G.'s ''Party and Bullshit,'' ''Gimmie the Loot,'' ''Goin' Back to Cali,'' and ''I Love the Dough,'' Pras and O.D.B.'s ''Ghetto Supastar,'' Scarface's ''Never Seen a Man Cry'' and ''Now I Feel Ya,'' Blackstreet's ''No Diggity,'' Michael Jackson's ''Remember the Time,'' U.G.K.'s ''Ridin Dirty,'' The Geto Boys' ''Still'' from the Office Space film soundtrack, and Juvenile's ''Back That Azz Up,'' among countless more, fans of any era can stream along online while reading about the very songs they're listening to!

Millennials are taken inside the studio with their favorite '00s Hip Hop stars for the stories behind the making of Eminem's ''Not Afraid,'' ''Lose Yourself,'' ''Without Me,'' ''The Monster,'' ''Cleaning Out My Closet,'' Lil Wayne's ''Go D.J.'', ''A Mili,'' and ''6 Ft, 7 Ft'', Drake's ''Forever,'' ''0 to 100,'' ''Controlla,'' ''Best I Ever Had,'' ''Over,'' ''Headlines,'' ''Energy,'' ''Summer Sixteen,'' and ''Miss Me,'' Rihanna's ''Work,'' Kanye West's ''Stronger'' and ''Real Friends,'' Nicki Manaj's ''Anaconda'' and ''Did It On Em,'' Young Jeezy's ''Standing Ovation'' and ''Put On for my City,'' ''T.I.'s ''What's Up, What's Haapnin' '' and ''Big Shit Poppin' (Do It),'' Gucci Mane's ''Lemonade,'' Shakira's ''Hips Don't Lie,'' Ludacris's ''What's Your Fantasy,''Justin Timberlake's ''Suit and Tie'' and ''Pusha Love Girl,'' and Jay Z s ''Holy Grail'' among many more!

Along with discussing the stories behind the in-the-studio creation of their greatest hits, these producers each interviewed in their own individual chapters also recount their personal stories, including how they discovered production (most began as DJs, and an INCREDIBLE amount of Hip Hop history from different demographics around the country are chronicled here, from East Coast to West to the South, etc, how they got their foot in the door, highlight collaborative collaborations in the studio with specific artists, and some advice for the younger generation of aspiring producers who grew up on his sound that might take both some artist and academic wisdom from reading his chapter that they could apply to their own craft.



Ghostnotes: Music of the Unplayed by Brian “B+” Cross

Ghostnotes: Music of the Unplayed is an extended photo essay with more than two hundred images that represent a mid-career retrospective of B+’s photography of hip-hop music and its influences. Taking its name from the unplayed sounds that exist between beats in a rhythm, the book creates a visual music, putting photos next to each other to evoke unseen images and create new histories. Like a DJ seamlessly overlapping and entangling disparate musics, Cross brings together LA Black Arts poetry and Jamaican dub, Brazilian samba and Ethiopian jazz, Cuban timba and Colombian cumbia. He links vendors of rare vinyl with iconic studio wizards, ranging from J Dilla and Brian Wilson to Leon Ware and George Clinton, David Axelrod to Shuggie Otis, Bill Withers to Ras Kass, Biggie Smalls to Timmy Thomas, DJ Shadow to Eugene McDaniels, and DJ Quik to Madlib. In this unique photographic mix tape, an extraordinary web of associations becomes apparent, revealing connections among people, cultures, and their creations.



A B to Jay-Z by Jessica Chiha

 If you're having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but my ABCs ain't one.



Best Damn Hip Hop Writing: The Book of Yoh by Travis “Yoh” Phillips

Best Damn Hip Hop Writing: The Book of Yoh is the first installment of the Best Damn Writing series, an anthology series that reminagines the modern anthology and promotes some of the finest writing in popular culture, specificially in the areas of hip hop, poetry, film, memoir, art, and technology

Best Damn Hip Hop Writing: The Book of Yoh encapsulates one of the defining voices in hip hop music criticism today. Each essay in this collection is written by Yoh (Travis Phillips), a writer whose work has been featured in various leading hip hop publications, including DJBooth, Mass Appeal, and The Hundreds. Yoh's writing is engaging, enticing, and often daring. Edited by Amir Ali Said and Best Damn Writing series creator and BeatTips founder Amir Said (Sa id), this collection of essays speaks to the heart of hip hop and offers an intimate look at the world's most powerful music culture.

Covering everything from hip hop's most interesting artists to hot-button issues like sample clearance and the major label industry model, Best Damn Hip Hop Writing: The Book of Yoh is essential reading for anyone interested in hip hop and pop culture alike.



The Crunk Feminist Collection Edited by Brittney C. Cooper, Susana M. Morris, and Robin M. Boylorn

For the Crunk Feminist Collective, their academic day jobs were lacking in conversations they actually wanted—relevant, real conversations about how race and gender politics intersect with pop culture and current events. To address this void, they started a blog. Now with an annual readership of nearly one million, their posts foster dialogue about activist methods, intersectionality, and sisterhood. And the writers' personal identities—as black women; as sisters, daughters, and lovers; and as television watchers, sports fans, and music lovers—are never far from the discussion at hand.

These essays explore "Sex and Power in the Black Church," discuss how "Clair Huxtable is Dead," list "Five Ways Talib Kweli Can Become a Better Ally to Women in Hip Hop," and dwell on "Dating with a Doctorate (She Got a Big Ego?)." Self-described as "critical homegirls," the authors tackle life stuck between loving hip hop and ratchet culture while hating patriarchy, misogyny, and sexism.



Marvel: The Hip-Hop Covers Vol. 1

Watch creative worlds collide like never before in the ultimate fusion of hip-hop and the House of Ideas! With an introduction by award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates - a National Book Award winner, a recent MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and the writer of Marvel's BLACK PANTHER - this stunning volume showcases 70 comic-book covers inspired by some of the most iconic albums in music history. Experience page after page of incredible artwork featuring the heroes of the All-New, All-Diff erent Marvel Universe - from A-Force to the X-Men - by an unbelievable roster of talent including Adam Hughes, Brian Stelfreeze, Jim Cheung, Mike Del Mundo, Sanford Greene, Jenny Frison, Phil Noto, Mahmud Asrar, Damion Scott, Tim Bradstreet, Keron Grant, Ed Piskor and more! Their finished covers sit side-by-side with behind-the-scenes sketches, showing the process of rendering some of the most famous images in hip-hop, Marvel style. Straight outta comics - and onto your bookshelf!



The Cipher: A History of Hip Hop in Miami 1995 – 1999 by John Cordero

The Cipher: A History of Hip Hop in Miami is a collection of the best of The Cipher, an independent newspaper published from 1998 to 2000. Chronicling the rise and fall of the publication, it is the story of Hip Hop in Miami in the words of its creators, taken from interviews and narrated with unfiltered recollections and anecdotes. Featuring unpublished photos and memorabilia, exclusive articles, and interviews with such figures as Phife Dawg, OutKast, DJ Craze, Lil' Kim, Guru, DJ Khaled, and many more, it is a personal journey that stresses overcoming all odds alongside the trials and tribulations of Miami youngsters making sense of and reporting on the multi-million dollar rap industry developing around them in the 1990's.



Hip Hop Raised Me by DJ Semtex

The definitive volume capturing the essence, experience and energy that is hiphop and its massive and enduring impact over the last forty years.

Hip Hop Raised Me is the definitive volume on the essence, experience, and energy that is hip hop, and its massive and enduring impact over the last forty years. It’s packed with contact sheets, outtakes, and glory shots of artists, collectives, and fans from iconic photographers including Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Eddie Otchere, Normski, Janette Beckman, Chi Modu, Nabil Elderkin, and Mark Humphrey, as well as photographs of hip-hop ephemera and vinyl courtesy of specialist collectors.

With the help of his definitive catalogue of interviews with hip-hop artists from the 1990s to today, conducted at key moments in their careers and including Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Drake, Nicki Minaj, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, and the Wu-Tang Clan, DJ Semtex examines the crucial role of hip hop in society. He reflects on the huge influence it has had on his own life and the lives of many others, providing inspiration to generation after generation of young people. Taking a thematic approach, Semtex traces the characteristics and influence of hip hop from its origins in the early 1970s with DJ Kool Herc’s block parties in the South Bronx, through its breakthrough to the mainstream and advent of gangsta rap in the late 1980s, with artists such as Run DMC, Public Enemy, and Ice T, to the impact of contemporary artists and the global industry that is hip hop today. 

Featuring 1000+ illustrations, 800 in color


Check out the HARI Bibliography to learn more about our collections and materials!