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In Dead Precedents, Roy Christopher traces the story of how hip-hop invented the twenty-first century.
Emerging alongside cyberpunk in the 1980s, the hallmarks of hip-hop — allusion, self-reference, the use of new technologies, sampling, the cutting and splicing of language and sound — would come to define the culture of the new millennium.
Taking in the ground-breaking work of DJs and MCs, alongside writers like Dick and Gibson, as well as graffiti and DIY culture, Dead Precedents is a counter-cultural history of the twenty-first century, showcasing hip-hop’s role in the creation of the world in which we now live.
"It's exciting to be quoted so close to the beginning of a book with so much energy and passion in it... a lively screed."
"Written with the passion of a zine-publishing fan and the acuity of an academic..."
“Hip-hop has been around for well over forty years now, and in many ways, it has been absorbed into mainstream culture. Roy Christopher argues, however, that its radical practices still contain untapped possibilities. Dead Precedents shows how this cultural movement opens new hope for the future by changing our understanding of the past.”
"An intellectual hornet's nest, buzzing with ideas. The canon of hip-hop crit welcomes a bold new entry, calculated to blow the doors off the usual moribund academic fare. Theory finds its own uses for things."