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  • Published: 1 October 2007
  • ISBN: 9780091912215
  • Imprint: Ebury Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • RRP: $27.99

Can't Stop Won't Stop

A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

From the streets of the Bronx to the hills of Ghana, this is the definitive history of hip-hop - now in mass market paperback

Hip-hop is now a global multi-billion pound industry. It has spawned superstars all across the world. There have been tie-in clothing lines, TV stations, film companies, cosmetics lines. It even has its own sports, its own art style, its own dialect. It is an all-encompassing lifestyle.

But where did hip-hop culture begin? Who created it? How did hip-hop become such a phenomenon?

Jeff Chang, an American journalist, has written the most comprehensive book on hip-hop to date. He introduces the major players who came up with the ideas that form the basic elements of the culture. He describes how it all began with social upheavals in Jamaica, the Bronx, the Black Belt of Long Island and South Central LA. He not only provides a history of the music, but a fascinating insight into the social background of young black America.

Stretching from the early 70s through to the present day, this is the definitive history of hip-hop. It will be essential reading for all DJs, B-Boys, MCs and anyone with an interest in American history.

  • Published: 1 October 2007
  • ISBN: 9780091912215
  • Imprint: Ebury Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • RRP: $27.99

About the author

Jeff Chang

Jeff Chang has been a hip-hop journalist for over a decade. He has written cover stories on Hip-Hop for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Los Angeles Weekly, Spin and Vibe.

Praise for Can't Stop Won't Stop

This book is my bible

DJ Bob Sinclair, Mail on Sunday

Jeff Chang has spent the last decade researching a vivid and fascinating book which should remain the definitive history for at least as long ... Finally, rap gets the definitive history it deserves


Energetic and exhilarating ... There is a fearless sweep to this book. A distinct achievement

Daily Telegraph

Inflammatory, illuminating, and anything but myopic, the scope of Chang's work is awe-inspiring

DJ Shadow

Can't Stop Won't Stop knows hip hop to be the most significant musical-cultural revolution since rock and roll and tells its story from the bottom up


Has to rate as one of the most comprehensive studies of hip-hop history yet published

Rock Sound

Chang's prodigiously researched and politically sophisticated ode to a different era is not only insightful, but moving and enraging

New Statesman

You need to read this - period


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

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 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

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.


An exuberant and revelatory history of the inner-city cultural revolution that still rocks the world. Jeff Chang is hip-hop's John Reed.

Mike Davis, author of Dead Cities, City of Quartz and Planet of Slums

Before now, much of hip-hop's history has been a cross between personal narrative and music commentary. Can't Stop Won't Stop goes to the next level, documenting hip-hop's cross cultural, political, economic and global intricacies. For too long it's been nearly impossible for hip-hop kids to find themselves on the pages of history. With Can't Stop, Won't Stop, Jeff Chang takes them there.

Bakari Kitwana, author of The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture

Can't Stop Won't Stop is an epic rendering of the hip hop generation and all its brilliance, contradictions, aspirations and artistic beauty. In these pages, Jeff Chang chronicles the personalities, events, ideas and movements that shaped hip hop from the days of nameplates and fat laces to its present transnational glory. This book belongs on your shelf next to Criminal Minded, Illmatic and All Eyez On Me.

William Jelani Cobb, Ph.D, author of To The Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic

Don't be misled; this is not just another rap book. Can't Stop Won't Stop is a potent political treatise, a glance at the 20th century through the social lens of hip-hop. Inflammatory, illuminating, and anything but myopic, the scope of Chang's work is awe-inspiring.

DJ Shadow

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