The story of how hip-hop created, and came to dominate, the twenty-first century.
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 groundbreaking work of DJs and MCs, alongside writers like Dick and Gibson, as well as graffiti and DIY culture, Dead Precedents is a counter-culture history of the twentieth century, showcasing hip-hop’s role in the creation of the world we now live in.
“It’s exciting to be quoted so close to the beginning of a book with so much energy and passion in it…” — Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren
“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.” — Mark Dery
“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.” — Steven Shaviro, author of Discognition
“Written with the passion of a zine-publishing fan and the acuity of an academic…” — Dan Hancox, Guardian