By Ben Westhoff
In the late 80s, a group of high school dropouts, drug dealers, and ex-cons spoke out against racial injustice and police brutality. They did it through hip-hop. Their explosive popularity put their Los Angeles neighborhood of Compton on the map. They gave a voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Their names remain as popular as ever--Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur.Music journalist Ben Westhoff shows how this group of artists shifted the balance of hip-hop from New York to Los Angeles. He shows how N.W.A.'s shocking success lead to rivalries between members, record labels, and eventually an all-out war between East Coast and West Coast rappers. In the process, hip-hop burst into mainstream America at a time of immense social change, and became the most dominant musical movement of the last thirty years. At gangsta rap's peak, two of its biggest names--Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls--would be murdered, and the surviving superstars would have to make peace before their music collapsed in its own violence.Exhaustively reported and masterfully written, ORIGINAL GANGSTAS is a monumental work of music history that will offer news-making stories about a legendary group of artists, some living, some dead.
Official Truth, 101 Proof
By Rex Brown
Few heavy metal acts survived the turmoil of the early 1990s music scene. Pantera, featuring the peerless guitar playing of the late "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, was different. Instead of humouring the market, the band demanded that the audience come to them by releasing a series of fiercely uncompromising platinum albums, including Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven - albums that sold millions of copies despite minimal airplay.This is the previously untold story behind one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history, written by the man best qualified to tell the truth about those incredible and often difficult years of fame, excess, and tragedy.
Our Band Could Be Your Life
By Michael Azerrad
Finally in paperback, the story of the musical revolution that happened right under the nose of the Reagan Eighties - when a small but sprawling network of bands, labels, fanzines, radio stations and other subversives re-energised American rock with punk rock's d-I-y credo and created music that was deeply personal, often brilliant, always challenging and immensely influential. OUR BAND COULD BE YOUR LIFE is a sweeping chronicle of music, politics, drugs, fear, loathing and faith that is already being recognized as an indie rock classic in its own right.Among the legendary bands featured are: Black Flag, the Minutement, Mission of Burma, Minor Threat, Husker Du, the Replacements, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, Big Black, Dinosaur Jr., Fugazi, Mudhoney and Beat Happening.
By Eric Nisenson
Sonny Rollins is one of jazz's great innovators, arguably the most influential tenor saxophonist, along with John Coltrane, in the history of modern jazz. He began his musical career at the age of eleven, and within five short years he was playing with the legendary Thelonious Monk. In the late forties, before his twenty-first birthday, Rollins was in full swing, recording with jazz luminaries such as Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Miles Davis, and he was hailed as the best jazz tenor man alive in the mid-fifties. Still active today, Rollins and his compelling sound reach a whole new generation of listeners with his eagerly anticipated live appearances. Now renowned jazz writer Eric Nisenson provides a long-overdue look at one of jazz's brightest, and most enduring, stars.