Performing Arts

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

Written by Johan Kugelberg, Foreword by Afrika Bambaataa, Contribution by Buddy Esquire and Jeff Chang, Photographed by Joe Conzo

  • November 6, 2007
  • Hardcover
  • Music - Rap
  • Universe
  • 9 x 11
  • $45.00
  • $57.00
  • 978-0-7893-1540-3

About This Book

Hip hop first became a part of the mainstream music industry in the early 1980s, when major record labels released albums from such accessible groups as Run DMC and the Sugarhill Gang. But the true origins of one of the most powerful pop-cultural influences in the world are in the spontaneous, progressive musical culture that grew out of tough Bronx neighborhoods of the 1970s and led to a renaissance of poetry, music, and fashion.Through years of research, writer and curator Johan Kugelberg has pulled together the scattered remains of a movement that never had 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 The book includes the improvisational artwork of previously unpublished street flyers of the era, Polaroids buried for decades in basements across the Bronx, and testimonials from influential figures such as Tony Tone, LA Sunshine, and Charlie Chase. Through the work of pioneering hip-hop photographer Jow Conzo–the man The New York Times calls “the chronicler who took hip hop’s baby pictures”–Born in the Bronx presents a unique introduction to an explosive and experimental period in music history.

About the Author

Johan Kugelberg is a writer and the curator of the exhibition of Joe Conzo’s photographs Born in the Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip-Hop. Joe Conzo grew up in the Bronx and is considered hip-hop’s first photographer. Afrika Bambaataa is one of the founding fathers of hip hop culture and the creator of the Zulu Nation. Jeff Chang is the bestselling author of the award-winning Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation.


  • Winner 2008 New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
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