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Hardcover Westside: Young Men and Hip Hop in L.A. Book

ISBN: 0684865068

ISBN13: 9780684865065

Westside: Young Men and Hip Hop in L.A.

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

An acclaimed author explores the dreams and realities of seven young men trying to make it in South-central Los Angeles, the world capital of gangsta rap and West Coast hip hop.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Gangstas paradise

This is an amazing docu-story which is as insightful as it is a fantastic story. Shaw descibes his innocent journey into one of americas fearsome suburbs. He tells how the wannabe rappers and gangstas of south central LA let this white reporter into their homes and lives. His experiences make for a fantastic story, but you also get to see how these young men live sometimes by hope alone. It is the history of the area, the music and the future of the young stars. Brilliant

An English Take

West Side is the American release of a British book called Westsiders: Stories of Boys in the Hood. I picked this book up in London this Spring and it was a worthwhile find. Shaw's strength is his unflagging objectivity; he is truly multicultural. He does not pretend to excuse or to pander to any of his characters. He does an excellent job of reporting their successes and setbacks in a compassionate and respectful way. The book is incredibly informative and really helps to dispel myths about South Central, gang culture, and West Coast rap. There's an extensive history of South Central neighborhoods that provides an unexpected perspective on the place. There's also a three page description of the drug sherm and its effects. In short, there's information here you won't find any place else if you really want some insight into Southern California urban culture. This broad view could not have been achieved, I am convinced, if Shaw were a music critic or just another head looking to cash in on his hobby. This is a book for the anthropologist gangsta that lurks in so many rap fans, including me.
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