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Hip Hop Family Tree Book 3: 1983-1984

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Ed Piskor’s acclaimed graphic novel series continues! Book 3 highlights Run DMC’s rise to fame and introduces unassailable acts like Whodini, The Fat Boys, Slick Rick, and Doug E Fresh. The Beastie Boys become a rap group. Rick Rubin meets Russell Simmons to form Def Jam. The famous TV pilot to the dance show Graffiti Rock and the documentaries Style Wars and Breakin’ and Ed Piskor’s acclaimed graphic novel series continues! Book 3 highlights Run DMC’s rise to fame and introduces unassailable acts like Whodini, The Fat Boys, Slick Rick, and Doug E Fresh. The Beastie Boys become a rap group. Rick Rubin meets Russell Simmons to form Def Jam. The famous TV pilot to the dance show Graffiti Rock and the documentaries Style Wars and Breakin’ and Enterin’ are all highlighted in this comprehensive volume spanning 1983-1984. Ed Piskor continues to deliver the goods in this comprehensive history of hip hop.


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Ed Piskor’s acclaimed graphic novel series continues! Book 3 highlights Run DMC’s rise to fame and introduces unassailable acts like Whodini, The Fat Boys, Slick Rick, and Doug E Fresh. The Beastie Boys become a rap group. Rick Rubin meets Russell Simmons to form Def Jam. The famous TV pilot to the dance show Graffiti Rock and the documentaries Style Wars and Breakin’ and Ed Piskor’s acclaimed graphic novel series continues! Book 3 highlights Run DMC’s rise to fame and introduces unassailable acts like Whodini, The Fat Boys, Slick Rick, and Doug E Fresh. The Beastie Boys become a rap group. Rick Rubin meets Russell Simmons to form Def Jam. The famous TV pilot to the dance show Graffiti Rock and the documentaries Style Wars and Breakin’ and Enterin’ are all highlighted in this comprehensive volume spanning 1983-1984. Ed Piskor continues to deliver the goods in this comprehensive history of hip hop.

30 review for Hip Hop Family Tree Book 3: 1983-1984

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Wright

    Where volume 1 of Hip Hop Family Tree was filled with fascinating vignettes, colorful characters, and nuggets of information about early hip hop, volume 3 sees writer/artist Ed Piskor honing his narrative techniques, weaving dozens of parallel stories together to evoke the vibrant hip-hop scene in early '80s NYC. The “family tree” aspect of Piskor's project comes to the fore, as he chronicles the tight-knit connections between his cast of 80+ real-life characters. This includes the growing spher Where volume 1 of Hip Hop Family Tree was filled with fascinating vignettes, colorful characters, and nuggets of information about early hip hop, volume 3 sees writer/artist Ed Piskor honing his narrative techniques, weaving dozens of parallel stories together to evoke the vibrant hip-hop scene in early '80s NYC. The “family tree” aspect of Piskor's project comes to the fore, as he chronicles the tight-knit connections between his cast of 80+ real-life characters. This includes the growing sphere of influence that the grassroots hip hop movement ca. 1983 and '84 has on up-and-coming artists, the entertainment industry, and the culture at large. But, best of all, Piskor's love for the music, and the culture, and the players involved is evident in every panel. He doesn't just capture the energy, excitement, and passion of early hip hop, he infects you with it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Now we're down to only a single year in this third volume, making the narrative focus even tighter and more satisfying. If only volume 4 were available now!! Aughhhhh! Now we're down to only a single year in this third volume, making the narrative focus even tighter and more satisfying. If only volume 4 were available now!! Aughhhhh!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joe Bliven

    The third volume manages to wrangle itself in a bit more than the previous books which has its positives and negatives. On the positive end we have a much smoother narrative that doesn't jump around so manically and more time is spent showing how the characters are interconnected. It really feels like all of the major players are finally coming together and the Avengers are really assembling in this one. On the negative side it almost feels like the hip-hop world is getting smaller, while we kno The third volume manages to wrangle itself in a bit more than the previous books which has its positives and negatives. On the positive end we have a much smoother narrative that doesn't jump around so manically and more time is spent showing how the characters are interconnected. It really feels like all of the major players are finally coming together and the Avengers are really assembling in this one. On the negative side it almost feels like the hip-hop world is getting smaller, while we know it isn't -it is in fact growing to massive heights- the narrower focus of this volume makes it feel like hip-hop is only happening in a few specific pockets when viewed alongside Volume I. One of my complaints in Volume II was that flashforwards use the same Jack Kirby art style but without the newsprint filter to show the time change, which is jarring and unattractive. In this book that problem is handled masterfully and I must give Ed a big peace sign for this one. In a flashforward to Ice-T's career in the 90s Piskor switches it up with a less pronounced filter over a Rob Liefeld pastiche. This was absolutely the best call, way to handle that perfectly Mr. Piskor. Another phenomenal entry into the series, I'm sad to know that I only have the final volume left to read. Happy 11th Birthday Elena!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Adam M

    The Beastie Boys really arrive in this one and we spend more time with Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. The Fat Boys (who were a personal favorite of mine thanks to an absolutely terrible movie they were in when I was young that I certainly didn't understand, but enjoyed the broad comedy and beat boxing Disorderlies) are here along with a whole new list of luminaries in the Hip Hop hallows. This series is the best kind of history book. Thanks Ed Piskor for all the hard work that must have gone in The Beastie Boys really arrive in this one and we spend more time with Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. The Fat Boys (who were a personal favorite of mine thanks to an absolutely terrible movie they were in when I was young that I certainly didn't understand, but enjoyed the broad comedy and beat boxing Disorderlies) are here along with a whole new list of luminaries in the Hip Hop hallows. This series is the best kind of history book. Thanks Ed Piskor for all the hard work that must have gone into the research and plotting of this story. The art brings me a lot of joy and I can't image that was easy either. ... so yeah, Thank you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Autumn

    I don't know about y'all, but I did a lot of popping and locking in Brownies. Then, there was the time this no-name kid did a headspin in front of the entire school at assembly and everybody lost their minds. Whodini was definitely named best group in my 4th grade school newspaper. I'm from the middle of NOWHERE, folks. But in 1983/84, hip hop was definitely part of my little girl life. At first, it seemed like a school fad -- bigger than Fruit Rollups, but not as big as Michael Jackson. Turns o I don't know about y'all, but I did a lot of popping and locking in Brownies. Then, there was the time this no-name kid did a headspin in front of the entire school at assembly and everybody lost their minds. Whodini was definitely named best group in my 4th grade school newspaper. I'm from the middle of NOWHERE, folks. But in 1983/84, hip hop was definitely part of my little girl life. At first, it seemed like a school fad -- bigger than Fruit Rollups, but not as big as Michael Jackson. Turns out we were on the ground floor of the future. All these old 80s guys kept trying to convince us that 'the heart of rock n roll was still beating' or whatever. But that was not exactly the case. Anyway, this is the first volume in the series that felt like more than academics to me. Thanks for the 2 pages on Newcleus, Ed Piskor!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    The pace is a bit more frenetic, as rap gains momentum as a cultural phenomenon. We see the beginnings of major players such as Ice T, Dr. Dre, Chuck D, and the Beastie Boys (who have cameoed pretty much since the beginning, so I'm guessing Piskor is a big fan) and witness the phenomenon of the epic rise of RUN-DMC (due in part to the combination of rock music with their rap, which they initially opposed). There's so much going on now, it's hard to keep up. But there's not much if anything from The pace is a bit more frenetic, as rap gains momentum as a cultural phenomenon. We see the beginnings of major players such as Ice T, Dr. Dre, Chuck D, and the Beastie Boys (who have cameoed pretty much since the beginning, so I'm guessing Piskor is a big fan) and witness the phenomenon of the epic rise of RUN-DMC (due in part to the combination of rock music with their rap, which they initially opposed). There's so much going on now, it's hard to keep up. But there's not much if anything from this volume that I'd wished Piskor had left out. Well, actually, I'm still not as interested in the graffiti stuff, except where it directly pertains to the hip hop scene (like in the case of KRS-One). Can't wait for volume 4 this summer!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter Landau

    With HIP HOP FAMILY TREE BOOK 3: 1983-1984, Ed Piskor continues his Herodotus-like chronicle of the birth of hip-hop. The medium is the message here, comics, specifically Marvel-styled superheroes of the 1970s, being the perfect pop platform to tell the larger-than-life story of the emerging art form from the streets of NYC and it’s burgeoning steps outside the city borders. This, as previous volumes, are thoroughly engaging, entertaining and edifying reads, but that’s enough alteration for now. With HIP HOP FAMILY TREE BOOK 3: 1983-1984, Ed Piskor continues his Herodotus-like chronicle of the birth of hip-hop. The medium is the message here, comics, specifically Marvel-styled superheroes of the 1970s, being the perfect pop platform to tell the larger-than-life story of the emerging art form from the streets of NYC and it’s burgeoning steps outside the city borders. This, as previous volumes, are thoroughly engaging, entertaining and edifying reads, but that’s enough alteration for now. Just go read the books.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Gooding-Tam

    I've been an avid fan of rap and hip hop music for the past four years, and it's something very passionate about. Learning about the history and the other cultures surrounding it was never something that I found as interesting as modern day rap, but this graphic novel changed that. It was very interesting and showcased a lot of hip hops history in the 80s. Overall, this was a spectacular book, and I would highly recommend it for hip hop fans or even people who were alive in this time period! I've been an avid fan of rap and hip hop music for the past four years, and it's something very passionate about. Learning about the history and the other cultures surrounding it was never something that I found as interesting as modern day rap, but this graphic novel changed that. It was very interesting and showcased a lot of hip hops history in the 80s. Overall, this was a spectacular book, and I would highly recommend it for hip hop fans or even people who were alive in this time period!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    All the things I loved about the first two volumes (the art style, the presentation, the obvious love and knowledge for the genre/culture) only with more of the bands and artists I have more familiarity with. It's only going to get better in this respect too so I can't wait. All the things I loved about the first two volumes (the art style, the presentation, the obvious love and knowledge for the genre/culture) only with more of the bands and artists I have more familiarity with. It's only going to get better in this respect too so I can't wait.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jefferson

    Just like in the previous two volumes, Ed Piskor does a great job combining information and entertainment.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    This series rules. That is all.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Steve Cooper

    The story is well-researched, and I like the artwork. But I didn't enjoy reading this comic. It was like a kid with ADD had the remote control: the story jumped around too quickly. The story is well-researched, and I like the artwork. But I didn't enjoy reading this comic. It was like a kid with ADD had the remote control: the story jumped around too quickly.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Hornik

    You should read this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    782.42164 P677h v.3

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bradley Morgan

    In 1983, full-length hip hop albums just aren't getting made. Rather, you have a cobbled together collection of 12-inch single. Hip hop records just don't sell. However, the artists that are pioneering the genre work hard to get it to the mainstream and establish hip hop as a business. While Sylvia Robinson is the biggest name in the business with her Sugarhill touring acts, it is Russell Simmons of Rush Management who is managing the biggest artists. With Kurtis Blow as his primary focus, Simmo In 1983, full-length hip hop albums just aren't getting made. Rather, you have a cobbled together collection of 12-inch single. Hip hop records just don't sell. However, the artists that are pioneering the genre work hard to get it to the mainstream and establish hip hop as a business. While Sylvia Robinson is the biggest name in the business with her Sugarhill touring acts, it is Russell Simmons of Rush Management who is managing the biggest artists. With Kurtis Blow as his primary focus, Simmons also manages Whodini, the Fat Boys (originally the Disco Three), and Run-DMC. Partnering with Simmons is Rick Rubin who is hard at work running the beginning of Def Jam in his dorm room. Rubin helps the Beastie Boys transition to hip hop and signs LL Cool J as his first artist. Also happening at this time to promote the culture of hip hop is the documentary "Style Wars," the TV pilot "Graffiti Rock" modeled after "Soul Train," and a whole new generation of young artists being inspired to make their voices known. Piskor's illustrations are stunning and the writing is informative, poignant, and witty.

  16. 4 out of 5

    tony dillard jr

    Ed Piskor continues the story of rap in volume 3 of Hip Hop Family Tree. At this stage of the story, hip hop and rap are just hitting the edges of main stream. They still can't find a presence on MTV. But other mediums are becoming more open to the growing art form. A few new players are introduced to the mix. But for the most part, Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow, KRS-One, Russell Simmons, The Beastie Boys and Rick Rubin are the main characters. but if you are a fan of LL Cool J or Whodini, volume 3 is whe Ed Piskor continues the story of rap in volume 3 of Hip Hop Family Tree. At this stage of the story, hip hop and rap are just hitting the edges of main stream. They still can't find a presence on MTV. But other mediums are becoming more open to the growing art form. A few new players are introduced to the mix. But for the most part, Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow, KRS-One, Russell Simmons, The Beastie Boys and Rick Rubin are the main characters. but if you are a fan of LL Cool J or Whodini, volume 3 is where you will want to come in. I read volume one on a lark. I knew next to nothing on the subject of hip hop and rap. Piskor does an amazing job making it interesting and his 'Cast of Characters' charts at the beginning and/or end of each volume is massively important in being able to keep up with who is who. If you are a newbie to the genre or a seasoned listener just wanting to learn more inside stuff, then you must read Hip Hop Family Tree!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kara Corthron

    I'm so glad these books exist as historical documents. Doesn't really tell a story in a traditional sense and sometimes a scene would abruptly end with no warning, but once I understood the style, I was OK with that. My biggest issue is with the artwork. So much of it is fabulous! Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Slick Rick and Kool Moe Dee for instance, all look GREAT. Others are kind of vague. Like KRS-ONE and Russell Simmons. But, for me, the most egregious rendering was Chuck D. I had to read the pages w I'm so glad these books exist as historical documents. Doesn't really tell a story in a traditional sense and sometimes a scene would abruptly end with no warning, but once I understood the style, I was OK with that. My biggest issue is with the artwork. So much of it is fabulous! Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Slick Rick and Kool Moe Dee for instance, all look GREAT. Others are kind of vague. Like KRS-ONE and Russell Simmons. But, for me, the most egregious rendering was Chuck D. I had to read the pages where he's introduced several times, because my mind could not comprehend that the drawing I was looking at was supposed to be Chuck D. He looked more like Jim Croce. Then I wondered "Does Ed Piskor hate Chuck D. or does he really think that's what he looks like? Anyway, it was still a fun read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ma'Belle

    Ed Piskor's verbal storytelling skill are still pretty horrendous, but the visual action, glimpses into hundreds of overlapping stories that have influenced so much of the music I love, makes up for it. My interest in these histories has gone up significantly after having recently watched two Netflix originals on the same topic: The Get Down and Hip-Hop Evolution. Each of these narratives offers different portrayals on some of the same core characters, and I've been eating it all up voraciously. Ed Piskor's verbal storytelling skill are still pretty horrendous, but the visual action, glimpses into hundreds of overlapping stories that have influenced so much of the music I love, makes up for it. My interest in these histories has gone up significantly after having recently watched two Netflix originals on the same topic: The Get Down and Hip-Hop Evolution. Each of these narratives offers different portrayals on some of the same core characters, and I've been eating it all up voraciously.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Artnoose McMoose

    Hip hop stars begin to be just plain old stars in this era of hip hop. There are business disagreements over contracts, etc. I never knew that the Fat Boys were originally called the Disco Three. My 5-year-old started asking me questions so I showed him some Fat Boys and Run DMC videos. I caught him later whisper-singing to himself, "It's tricky, tricky, tricky..." Hip hop stars begin to be just plain old stars in this era of hip hop. There are business disagreements over contracts, etc. I never knew that the Fat Boys were originally called the Disco Three. My 5-year-old started asking me questions so I showed him some Fat Boys and Run DMC videos. I caught him later whisper-singing to himself, "It's tricky, tricky, tricky..."

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Gage

    A really solid history of rap and hip-hop, but often disjointed. Piskor is so dedicated to a thorough exploration and including all the history that the reader can get lost in the cross-country narrative and the who's who of the history. Still, an overall great resource and really well researched book. A really solid history of rap and hip-hop, but often disjointed. Piskor is so dedicated to a thorough exploration and including all the history that the reader can get lost in the cross-country narrative and the who's who of the history. Still, an overall great resource and really well researched book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stefan

    Loving this whole series. This one is great, just like the others

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jak Krumholtz

    These make me so happy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Probably one of the coolest graphic novels I've ever read. Probably one of the coolest graphic novels I've ever read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Connor

    Ed Piskor is the best

  25. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    Absolutely amazing work. The illustrations are detailed and interesting. While the history of Hip Hop is clear. Need to purchase a book and frame some of the pin ups.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brenton Walters

    Starting to get into rap territory I'm familiar with. Really enjoying the KRS-ONE backstory and the development of Def Jam. Starting to get into rap territory I'm familiar with. Really enjoying the KRS-ONE backstory and the development of Def Jam.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karrie Stewart

    Another amazing edition!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Simon Sweetman

    So good. Loving this series. Maybe loved this one the most so far. Perfect evocation of era.

  29. 5 out of 5

    That one who reads

    i really enjoyed this book compared to the second one, mainly because it has structured. reading about the graffiti movies being funded and rejected was so awesome to read about, hats off to Piskor for covering the history in so much detail. reading about KRS ONE was also a treat for me . highly recommend

  30. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Brady

    This volume of Ed Piskor's "documentary" comic about the rise of hip hop is pretty good, but it didn't really blow me away or contain the kind of exciting moments that I found in earlier volumes, where I recognized the beginnings of something exciting that would end up changing the world. It might be because the world of hip hop was in a bit of an adolescent phase here, having established itself as a genre but not yet risen to the level of cultural force that it would become. There are probably This volume of Ed Piskor's "documentary" comic about the rise of hip hop is pretty good, but it didn't really blow me away or contain the kind of exciting moments that I found in earlier volumes, where I recognized the beginnings of something exciting that would end up changing the world. It might be because the world of hip hop was in a bit of an adolescent phase here, having established itself as a genre but not yet risen to the level of cultural force that it would become. There are probably a few moments that people with more knowledge of music than me will recognize, but the only one that really grabbed me was Rick Rubin and Adam Horovitz's discovery of LL Cool J, or maybe the rise of the Fat Boys. Still, there's lots of good stuff here, and I love the way Piskor depicts it all. I'm on board for the life of the series, that's for sure.

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