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See the extensive and helpful article on Hip-Hop in the Encyclopedia Britannica.


Blake, Reynard, Jr. (Feb2003) "Beyond the Bling: A Look at Hip-Hop, African-American Leadership & The Black Church: Implications to African-American Youth Development," Journal of Urban Youth Culture. Available online.  


Brown, William and Benson Frazer, “Hip-Hop Kingdom Come: It’s more than rap; it’s language, art, and attitude—a subculture with no ethnic or geographical boundaries,” Christianity Today, 8 January 01


Byassee, J. (2007). Gangs and God. Christian Century. 124.19.


Clay, Adriana. (2003) "Keeping it real: Black youth, hip hop culture and black identity." Online article. Sage Publications. 


Faw, Bob. (18Feb2005) "Church Hip Hop," Religion & Ethics News Weekly, Episode #825, Online story.


Martinez, T. A. (1997). "Popular Culture as Oppositional Culture:  Rap as Resistance." Sociological Perspectives 40(2): 265-286.


Muhammad, David. (06Mar06) "Oscar winning Hip Hop song promotes 'culture of death,'" New America Media, Online article at Pacific News Service.


Nelson, A. M. S. (1992). "The Persistence of Ethnicity in African-American Popular Music:  A Theology of Rap Music." Explorations in Ethic Studies 15.n1(January): 47.


Nelson, A. M. S. (2005). “’God's Smiling on You and He’s Frowning Too’: Rap and the Problem of Evil.” "Call Me the Seeker":  Listening to Religion on Popular Music.

M. J. Gilmour. New York: Continuum: 175-188.


Nelson, A. M. S. (2005) Rap Music and the Stagolee Mythoform. Americana:  The Journal of American Popular Culture (1900 to Present) (electronic version)


Pinn, A. B. (2007). "Bling and Blessings:  Thoughts on the Intersections of Rap Music and Religious Meaning." Cross Currents 57(Summer 2007): 289-295.


Simmons, J., D. McDaniels, et al. (1993). "Niggas with Beatitude." Transition 62: 176-187.


Smith, Efrem, “’Holy’ Hip-Hop,” YouthWorker Journal, September/October 2004. A nationally known speaker and writer describes hip-hop’s spirit, history and effectiveness in urban, multiethnic churches, of one such, The Sanctuary Covenant Church of Minneapolis, MN, Smith is the senior pastor.





Asante, M. K. (2008). It's Bigger than Hip-Hop:  The Rise of the Post-Hip-Hop Generation. New York: St. Martin's Press.


Ayazi-Hashjin, S. (1999). Rap and Hip-Hop:  The Voice of a Generation. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.


Basu, D. and S. J. Lemelle, Eds. (2006). The Vinyl Ain't Final:  Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture. London, Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto.


Boyd, T. (2002). The New H.H.I.C. (Head Niggas in Charge):  The Death of Civil RIghts and the Reign of Hip Hop. New York: New York University Press.


Campbell, K. E. (2005). Gettin' Our Groove On:  Rhetoric, Language, and Literacy for the Hip Hop Generation. Detroit, Wayne State University Press.


Chang, J. (2005). Can't Stop, Won't Stop:  A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. New York: Picador.


Forman, M. and M. A. Neal, Eds. (2004). That's the Joint!:  The Hip-hop Studies Reader. New York: Routledge.


Gee, Alex & John Teter (2003) Jesus and the Hip-Hop Prophets: Spiritual Insights from Lauryn Hill & Tupac Shakur, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 116 pp.  Some will object to linking Lauryn and Tupac with Jesus, but this is a provocative little book that interprets lyrics in light of urban streets and spiritual thoughts that can rise from those streets and from hip-hop. Alex Gee is pastor of Life Family Worship Center, Madison, WI and John Teter is area director for InterVarsity for the Metro South Bay in LA.


George, Nelson (1998) Hip-Hop America, Penguin, 240pp. Rolling Stone describes Nelson George as “the most insightful hip hop writer on the planet.” Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times adds (he is) “knowledgeable, opinionated, fascinating… animated by a passion for the music.” George is not only committed to this movement and music; he is able to criticize it.


Ginwright, S. A. (2004). Black in School:  Afrocentric Reform, Urban Youth & the Promise of Hip-Hop Culture. New York: Teachers College Press.


Goff, K. (2008). Party Crashing:  How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence. New York: Basic Books.


Green, Jairus and David Bramwell (2003) Breakdance: Hip Hop Handbook, Street Style Publisher, 128 ppA brief history and manual of moves.


Hager, Steven (1984) Hip Hop: The Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap Music and Graffiti, St. Martins Press. A fine book at an extraordinary price ($349.99).


Holman, Michael (1984) Breaking and the New York City Breakers, Freundlich Books, 176pp. This fine, well-illustrated book is still steep in price ($175).


Kitwana, Bakari (1994) The Rap on Gangsta Rap: Who Run It?: Gangsta Rap and Visions of Black Violence, Chicago, IL: Third World Press, 75pp. One of the first black criticisms of rap gone thug, this courageous little book is praised by Bell Hooks and Useni Perkins.


Kitwana, Bakari (2002) The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture, New York: BasicCivitasBooks, 230 pp. This book looks at the forces behind the phenomenon of hip-hop and in particular the situation of blacks born between 1965 and 1984. It provides a greater understanding of black generations, the evolution of hip-hop and the ways rap and hip-hop can be detrimental and highly beneficial to African-Americans and our whole society.


Kitwana, B. (2005). Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop:  Wanksta, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality of Race in America. New York: Basic Civitas Books.


Macdonald, Nancy (2001) The Graffiti Subculture: Youth, Masculinity, and Identity in London and New York, London and New York: Palgrave of Macmillan, 256pp. This comprehensive ethnographic research provides first hand declarations from the sources of graffiti writing and solid sociological analysis of the phenomenon and its cultural implications.


Mitchell, M. (2005). WORD: For Everybody Who Thought Christianity Was for Suckas.  New American Library.


Neate, Patrick (2004) Where You’re At: Notes from the Frontline of a Hip-Hop Planet, New York: Riverhead Books of Penguin, 274pp. A hip-hop aficionado and participant describe the hip-hop scene from the South Bronx in New York, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Rio De Janeiro. Focusing primarily on rap music, this is written from the standpoint of some of its artists and fans.


Nelson, Havelock & Michael A. Gonzalez (1991) Bring the Noise: A Guide to Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture, New York: Harmony Books, 298 pp. Plenty of facts here for the hardcore aficionado or interested new fan. “Here you will learn about the importance of Public Enemy, the meaning of KRS-One’s name, M.C. Hammer’s place in the rap universe, the rise of gangsta rap and much more. Applauded by Nelson George.


Perkins, W. E. (1996). Droppin' Science:  Critical Essays on Rap Music and Hip-Hop Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.


Pinn, A. B. (2003)  Noise and Spirit: The Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities of Rap Music.  New York: New York University Press.


Price III, E. G. (2006). Hip hop Culture. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.


Reynolds, S. (2007). Bring the Noise:  20 Years of Writing about Hip Rock and Hip-Hop. London: Faber.


Sexton, Adam, ed. (1995) Rap On Rap: Straight-Up Talk on Hip-Hop Culture, New York: Dell Publishing, 270pp. These provocative and insightful essays provide another bold black exploration and critique of rap and hip-hop. This book will really help someone understand its form and meaning.


Smith, E. (2005). The Hip-Hop Church:  Connecting with the Movement Shaping Our Culture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.


Usher, C. A. (2006). A Rhyme is A Terrible Thing to Waste:  Hip Hop and the Creation of a Political Philosophy. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.


Watkins, S. C. (2005). Hip Hop Matters:  Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement. Boston: Beacon Press.





Charlie Ahearn’s “Wild Style” (1982) will introduce you to Grand Master Flash, The Cold Crush Brothers, The Rock Steady Crew, graffiti legend Zoro (Lee Quiones) and more.


Henry Chalfant’s (and Tony Silver) “Style Wars” (1983) was a prize winning PBS documentary. It gets to the heart of graffiti and its clash with the mayor of NYC and parents of some of the artists. A fine documentary catching the spirit of early hip-hop.

“Lost Soul—The Movie” A Christian Hip-Hop film. The Streets, The Life, The Consequences. “Two up and coming celebrities, Mr. D-Note and Brotha-E as Street and Game find that street live ain’t no joke.” Soundtrack features music of Mr. D-Note, Enock of Cross Movement, Brotha-E, Mark-J and more.




Just that: an extensive categorization of rap music and links.


Black Entertainment Television (BET)

A popular music television network and web community that spotlights hip-hop, rap, R&B music, and other forms of Black entertainment.

(  (Channel varies depending on market)


Cross Movement

Urban Ministry to a Hip-Hop Generation. Cross Movement Ministries and Cross Movement Records now two separate organizations.


Edgar, W. (2005). Rapping the Gospel, European Leadership Forum.



A hip-hop, rap, R&B music lifestyle magazine


The Source

A print magazine covering hip-hop music, culture, and politics.  (


 The Urban Web Link

Resources for Urban Christians in Philadelphia and around the world.



Tamecia Jones cCYS

Dean Borgman, cCYS