LL COOL J Presents the Streets Win: 50 Years of Hip-Hop Greatness

Rizzoli. Oct. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780847873166. $55. MUSIC
On August 11, 1973, siblings DJ Kool Herc and Cindy Campbell threw a back-to-school party in a Bronx rec room. Little did they (or anyone) know that the event would mark the birth of hip-hop. Grammy Award–winning Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee LL COOL J, journalist/music-photography curator Vikki Tobak (Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry History), and journalist/Rock the Bells editorial director Alec Banks use vibrant imagery and firsthand accounts to tell the story of how some of hip-hop’s prominent voices first came to know the genre in this eye-catching photobook. Most of the pictures are a mixture of energetic action shots during performances; portraits of the subjects also loom large in one- or two-page spreads. Readers will learn that Pepa of Salt-N-Pepa was inspired by Run DMC and that Ludacris fell in love with hip-hop after performing an LL COOL J song during a talent show in fourth grade. In other stories, performers and DJs discuss their childhoods, what keeps them going, and their perspectives on the culture. Refreshingly, there are also recollections either from or about graffiti artists, album-cover designers, clothing designers, and studio owners.
VERDICT A treat for hip-hop fans of all ages.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing