Reviews and praise for The Hip Hop Wars (Perseus Publishing, 2008)
"While the depth of Tricia Rose's analytical skills is breathtaking, even more impressive is that at its heart, The Hip Hop Wars is a hopeful, inspiring book that speaks to the necessity of a community-centered vision of justice for all."
-Henry Louis Gates, Jr
"The Hip Hop Wars is Crisis of the Negro Intellectual for the new millenium. Tricia Rose's take on hip hop is smart, provocative, analytical, gutsy and shines with a righteous indignation balanced by love, compassion and economic, political, and social context. Rose lets no one off the hook. Wherever you stand when you pick up this book, you will be in a very different, better place when you put it down."
-Jill Nelson, author of Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience
"In The Hip Hop Wars, Tricia Rose has thrown down the gauntlet and taken up the brutal issues that confront hip hop culture. She has insightfully laid out the arguments for and against hip hop and found them largely wanting. In their place, she has offered a cogent analysis of what ails hip hop as well as hope for rap's reconstruction. Dispatching hip hop's haters and sycophants with equal skill, she has given us a bracing and brilliant salvo from the front line of hip hop's war for definition and survival."
-Michael Eric Dyson
"In this impassioned and brilliant book, Tricia Rose shows how hip hop has been harmed by both its friends and its foes, how the myths spread by both its attackers and defenders hurt the people who created hip hop in the first place. In an age where both government policy and private profiteering have promoted the organized abandonment of Black communities, debates about hip hop hide larger agendas about race, sex, and money. The Hip Hop Wars exposes the music industry and its myths, but even more important, explains what we can and must do about them."
-George Lipsitz, author of Footsteps in the Dark
A powerful blueprint for artists and community organizers who dare reclaim the magnificence of hip-hop culture from the matrix of mainstream distortions, The Hip-Hop Wars persuasively argues the ways that hip-hop in the last decade has become synonymous with Blackness. Hip-hop's most fierce cultural critic has given us an essential tool for deciphering both hip-hop and race in a post-racial global world."
-Bakari Kitwana, author of Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop
"She's done it again. The author of the breakthrough classic analysis of early hip hop, Black Noise, has produced another provocation for music fans, political progressives, pop culture aficionados and scholars alike. A lucid yet deeply challenging, accessible yet highly nuanced intervention in the polarized culture war over rap music, The Hip Hop Wars is a conversation changing book. Joining a passionate argument about the future of hip hop and the welfare of black communities, to a deep knowledge of U.S. and black history and culture, added to an incisive structural analysis of race, class, gender and sexual inequality--this book gives readers what we need to put a stop to stupid arguments, and address what really matters when we talk about hip hop. In print and in person, online and in classrooms-Tricia Rose offers us a model for public political and intellectual engagement in the 21st century."
-Lisa Duggan, Author of Twilight of Equality
"A loving, smart, and searing critique from the pioneer of Hip Hop studies, The Hip Hop Wars breaks the impasse between those who always regarded the music as the source of our contemporary moral panic, and those hardcore defenders willing to justify anything in the name of 'keeping it real.' Tricia Rose not only brings sanity and intelligence to the debate, but at the back of every criticism, complaint, and concern is a social justice agenda. Unlike Hip Hop's corporate defenders and its cynical detractors, Rose remembers where the music and the culture came from and offers a compass to get present and future Hip Hop generations back on track. If you care about our future, don't believe the hype and read this book."
-Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
"Tricia Rose is the distinguished dean of hip hop studies in America. Her recent book not only affirms this grand status but also transforms our understanding of the present and future of hip hop-and race-in America. Rose's courageous voice and progressive vision are so badly needed at this time!"
"As with her first book, Tricia Rose produces the exact book we need about hip-hop, exactly when we need it. By deconstructing the polarized positions of the hip-hop wars (especially the "holy trinity of commercial hip-hop", as she calls it -- the hustler, pimp and ho), Rose leads us to a third path and demonstrates -- with a critical, transformational love for hip-hop -- why we must walk it"
-Eric Piotrowski's review
"I recommend this book to any hip hop fan who have ever felt that unease and horror that spreads as your head bops to a hot beat of a song that's also spewing oodles of homophobia and misogyny. Tricia Rose looks into such tensions and presents the top arguments of hip hop critics and hip hop defenders. Her analysis is insightful and inspiring and allows us to move the conversation on hip hop beyond a polarizing conversation."