It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop

St. Martin's Press | Creative Non Fiction | MK Asante

It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop

The classic hip hop manifesto by MK Asante, now available in stores and on all major eReader devices.

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It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop takes a bold look at the rise of a generation that sees beyond the smoke and mirrors of corporate-manufactured rap and is building a movement that will change not only the face of pop culture, but the world.

MK Asante, a passionate young poet, professor, filmmaker, and activist who represents this new movement, uses hip hop as a springboard for a larger discussion about the urgent social and political issues affecting the hip-hop and post-hip-hop generations.

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‘It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop’ Synopsis

“If you make an observation, you have an obligation.” -MK, from the Preface of It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop

It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop takes a bold look at the rise of a generation that sees beyond the smoke and mirrors of corporate-manufactured rap and is building a movement that will change not only the face of pop culture, but the world.

MK Asante,  a passionate young poet, professor, filmmaker, and activist who represents this new movement, uses hip hop as a springboard for a larger discussion about the urgent social and political issues affecting the hip-hop and post-hip-hop generations.

Through insightful anecdotes, scholarship, revolutionary rap lyrics, personal encounters, and conversations with youth across the globe as well as icons such as Chuck D and Maya Angelou, Asante illuminates a shift that can be felt in the crowded spoken-word joints in post-Katrina New Orleans, seen in the rise of youth-led organizations committed to social justice, and heard around the world chanting “It’s bigger than hip hop.”

Dead Prez - It's Bigger than Hip Hop

Watch the video and listen to the classic rap song, Hip Hop by Dead Prez, which inspired the title of MK's book.

Fake, fake records
Uh, uh, uh, 1, 2, 1, 2
Uh, uh, 1, 2, 1, 2, uh, uh
All my dogs
It's bigger than hip hop, hip hop, hip hop, hip ...

MK, Nas, and others discuss origins of Hip Hop

From the documentary "How Hip Hop Changed the World," Nas, Jazzy Jay, MK Asante, and others discuss the origins of hip hop, The Bronx, the five elements of hip hop, Afrika Bambaata, and the Zulu Nation.

Godz N The Hood - ft. Bishop Lamont, Ras Kass, MK Asante and Talib Kweli

Godz N The Hood featuring Bishop Lamont, MK Asante, and Talib Kweli. "Godz N The Hood" is from the Ras Kass Barmageddon album and MK Asante's upcoming Buck: Original Book Soundtrack, new music inspired by his award-winning memoir. Official Music Video directed by MK Asante.

Praise for ‘It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop’

  • “An empowering book that moves you to action and to question status quo America. Reading It's Bigger Than Hip Hop is motoring through a new generation of America with one of its best storytellers.”

    —LA Times
  • "This is the book that many of us have been waiting for. The wisdom and overstanding he exemplifies in this work will astound the reader as he opens a third eye and breaks it all down. Extremely well-researched, well documented and very well written, this book is well paced and will have no difficulty holding the reader's attention."

    —Hip Hop Weekly
  • "Nothing can be said about the young M.K. Asante if not that he is a visionary. The 23-year-old professor, poet and filmmaker believes hip-hop can save us all. The North Philly native argues that hip-hop is a misunderstood weapon of social change in the fight for racial equality, which has been colonized by the corporate media and sold back to Americans as Authentic Black Culture."

    —Campbell States, Philadelphia City Paper
  • "Asante brilliantly places hip hop on a continuum of musical creations originating in the rich experience of black Americans... One of the most striking parts of the book comes when Asante shows how media images have powerfully shaped not only the older generation’s vision of black youth but black youth’s vision of themselves. In a skillful pun, the author points how the "reel" images – on television and film, in magazines, and on the radio – have replaced the "real" even as those who pretend to be real are only performing for the reel."

    —Markland Walker, The New Agenda
  • "Asante expertly blends historical information about hip-hop and the civil rights movement with personal narrative, interviews with artists, and quotations from civil rights leaders and classic poetry to create an original and daring work."

    —Jennifer Zarr, Library Journal Read Full Review
  • "With his remarkable book, 'It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop', MK Asante takes the sentiment of the song and turns it into a manifesto; a discussion document for a new generation (the ‘post-hip-hop’ generation) to help define and develop its role in the struggle for a better future."

    —Carlos Martinez, Beat Knowledge Read Full Review
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Behind The Scenes
Photo by Jamal Thorne

Student Jasmine Martin at a Jena 6 rally at Morgan State University. Photo appears in Chapter 1 - The Post Hip Hop Generation.

Photo by Jamal Thorne
Photo by Latoya Ruby Frazier

Award-winning artist Latoya Ruby Frazier's photo appears in chapter 13 - Conquering the Divide.

Photo by Latoya Ruby Frazier
Photo by Peter Barry

Sneakers on wires in Baltimore appears in Chapter 3 - What's Really Hood: A Conversation with the African-American Ghetto

Photo by Peter Barry
Photo by Hank Willis Thomas

Award-winning visual artist Hank Willis Thomas' powerful remix of the Mastercard ad appears in Chapter 2 - It's Bigger than Hip Hop

Photo by Hank Willis Thomas
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Tour Dates

09.15.14

Paul Quinn College

Dallas, Texas

09.27.14

The Baltimore Book Festival

Baltimore, Maryland

10.28.14

Frederick Community College

Frederick, Maryland

11.05.14

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Oshkosh, Wisconsin