[Global Hip Hop]


Selected biographies of global hip-hop artists on display

K'Naan (Somalian/Canadian)

K'Naan: Troubadour
CD 30846

"K'Naan grew up in Mogadishu, on what he calls "the meanest streets in the universe." In one song on his new album, he calls his hometown the "risky zone," full of pistols and Russian revolvers. ...Somalia is one of the poorest and most violent countries in the world. Malnutrition and clan warfare are rampant. According to Amnesty International, some 6,000 civilians were killed in fighting in 2007 alone." (NPR)

K'naan song "Wavin' Flag was chosen as the official anthem of Coca-Cola's 2010 FIFA World Cup program.(Billboard)

M.I.A. (Tamil Sri Lankan/British)

CD 29395

"M.I.A. began her career as a visual artist and designer in West London. Since rising to prominence in early 2004 with the singles "Galang" and "Sunshowers," M.I.A. has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, an Academy Award and the Mercury Prize. She released her debut album Arular in 2005 and second album Kala in 2007 ... In 2008, M.I.A. started her record label N.E.E.T. Recordings, an imprint of Interscope Records. The first artist signed to the label was Baltimore rapper Rye Rye. N.E.E.T. Recordings' first release was Slumdog Millionaire: Music from the Motion Picture, the soundtrack to the motion picture, Slumdog Millionaire." (

DJ Krush (Japanese)

 DJ Krush: Kakusei
 Annex CD 25997

"Japanese turntablist and producer DJ Krush is one of the few island-nation throw-ups to be embraced by the global hip-hop world. Releasing material through Sony in Japan, Mo'Wax and Virgin in the U.K., and Axiom, Shadow, and A&M in America, Krush's heady brand of experimental, (largely) instrumental hip-hop has been praised by everyone from hardcore underground hip-hop 'zines like The Bomb to the speckless offices of Rolling Stone and Spin."(AllMusic.com)

MC Lady Sovereign (British)

"The self-proclaimed "biggest midget in the game," MC Lady Sovereign has an unmistakably British delivery and style, but a string of singles showcasing her sly wit and brash charisma over bottom-heavy beats brought on a worldwide buzz....With the fist-raising single "Hoodie" leading the way, Lady Sovereign released her full-length debut, Public Warning, on Def Jam in 2006."(AllMusic.com)

The Streets (British)

The Streets: A Grand Don't Come For Free
CD 24129

"The Streets started out as a group project but quickly became a one-man  act [Mike Skinner] as band members fell away. ...The success of Original Pirate Material in the UK led to a US release of the album through Vice/Atlantic in late 2002. [this album] it was received positively by Rolling Stone, Spin, the New York Times, Blender, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times all nominating it as one of the albums of the year. The album was named Entertainment Weekly's "album of the year". The album reached number two on the Billboard electronic charts and the top 20 on the independent and Heatseeker charts in the US in 2003."(Wikipedia)

Roots Manuva (British)

Slime & Reason
CD 32058

"Roots Manuva, born Rodney Smith is a British hip-hop artist, who mixes hip hop with reggae and dub as well as electronica, and even some gospel. He grew up around Stockwell in South London. His parents were from a small village in Jamaica called Banana Hole where his father was a preacher and tailor. Spending much of his early years in poverty, this and his strict Pentecostal upbringing clearly had an influence on his music as can be seen in many of his tracks such as “Sinny Sin Sins” and “Colossal Insight”."(Last FM)

DAM (Palestinian)

CD 31465

"DAM, or Da Arabian MCs, is the first group of Palestinian rappers and was formed in the late 1990s. All three members were born and grew up in the slums of Lod or Al-Lyd, a mixed town of Arabs and Jews twelve miles from Jerusalem." (Democracy Now) This group is also featured in the documentary Slingshot Hip Hop (DVD 3586).

Molotov (Mexican)

Molotov: Dance and Dense Denso
 CD 25857

"Molotov is a three-time Latin Grammy Award-winning Mexican rock and hip hop band formed in Mexico City on September 23, 1995. Their lyrics feature a mixture of Spanish and English, rapped and sung by all members of the group. ... Many songs, such as "Gimme Tha Power" and "Frijolero," are politically inspired, addressing issues such as disenfranchisement within Mexico and immigration in the United States." (Wikipedia)

Daara J (Senegalese)

Daara J: Boomerang
CD 26245

"Formed in 1997, Senegalese rappers Daara J were influenced by local heroes Positive Black Soul but looked to bring other musical influences to their hip-hop sound. Members N'Dango D, Aladji Man, and Faada Freddy started out by rapping over any instrumental versions of American or French rap they could find and adding their own percussion over the tracks. Eventually they got a drum machine, but with only a drum machine, one of the members would have to "sing" all the instruments. It brought a great sense of melody to the group, which allowed them to incorporate the sounds of their beloved reggae, funk, and Cuban music into their hip-hop."(AllMusic.com)

CDs and DVDs on display 

Annex CD 25612
Annex CD 25588
The Best of International Hip Hop
CD 20569

DVD 3586

First Annual Hip-Hop Peace and Unity Fest
DVD 1600

Hip-Hop Colony
DVD 3078

Books on display

Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies By Brian Coleman

ML3531 .C654 2007

Rappers are not the easiest people to pin down. So Brian Coleman gets props for the exhaustive effort it took to interview the writers and producers of three dozen seminal hip-hop albums for Check the Technique.
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Global Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop Outside the USA edited By Tony Mitchell

ML3531 .G56 2001

The thirteen essays that comprise Global Noise explore the hip hop scenes of Europe, Anglophone and Francophone Canada, Japan and Australia within their social, cultural and ethnic contexts ..
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Yes yes y'all: The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip-Hop's First Decade by Jim Fricke, Charlie Ahearn

ML3531 .F75 2002

[This] book tracks the development of the subculture of New York Hip-Hop through anecdotes and recollections from its pioneers. Rather than attempting to create a definitive historical document, the text is comprised of oral recollections of Old School MCs, DJs and B-Boys.

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The Africanist Aesthetic in Global Hip-Hop: Power Moves By Halifu Osumare

ML3918.R37 O88 2008

This book explores the two major reasons for hip-hop culture’s proliferation throughout the world: 1) the global centrality of African American popular culture and the transnational pop culture industry of record companies and entertainment conglomerates; and 2) “connective marginalities” that are extant social inequalities forming the foundation for an “underground” network of hip-hop communities.'
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Magazines on display

The Source: the Magazine of Hip-Hop Music, Culture & Politics