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21

WEDNESDAY

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Nelson George’s Hip Hop America could have been called Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hip Hop But Didn’t Bother to Ask Because, “Hey, It’s Only a Fad, Right?” George dispels the myth that hiphop—which includes rapping, DJing, breaking, and graffiti—was ever a passing trend. Instead, he describes it as “the most important musical-cultural phenomenon of the last twenty years” and goes on to analyze hiphop’s social, political, and cultural implications with the respect and thoroughness they deserve. For fans and participants, this book provides a great perspective on the size and history of the movement that we claim. For those who couldn’t figure out why everyone was making such a big fuss over ghetto kids writing on walls and spinning on their heads, George can explain how it all got so out of hand. He discusses and signs copies of his book at 6 p.m. at Vertigo Books, 1337 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 429-9272. (Neil Drumming)