Book 4 of the best selling series showcases: The rise of Def Jam records! The birth of Dr. Dre’s record career leading to Straight Outta Compton! Introducing new branches on the tree such as Will Smith, Salt N Pepa, Rakim, and Biz Markie. Hollywood also takes notice and releases loads of films like Breakin’, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, Beat Street, Krush Groove and more, all highlighted within this jam packed edition.
“He’s not just doin’ a comic book, he’s doin' a piece of history.” — Darryl “DMC” McDaniels
“Piskor’s ongoing series of oversize albums detailing the history of hip-hop is one of the very best things about contemporary comics-making.” — Austin American-Statesman
“When it comes to round four of Hip Hop Family Tree, the graphic novel that leaves no stone unturned on just how rap came to rule the roost there are is no disappointment just sheer unrivaled break-laden joy ... As with all the previous volumes, Vol. 4 reads like a mix-tape featuring all your favourite artists from this era with the helpful addition of a list of essential tunes and films featured at the back should you wish to delve further.” — Proper Magazine
“In the fourth helping of Piskor's chronology of his passion, covering 1984-85, Philadelphia is the scene as often a NYC and LA, and the impact on pop culture of Philly's explosive suppression of the African American MOVE commune is explained via flashback.” — Booklist
“Piskor's innovative use of color makes things crackle and sputter. He sampled old comic-book pages for most of his color fills, but when he draws an event that took place after 1984-85, he dumps in flat color and bright inks. These panels seem to bounce off the page and emphasize the hazy nostalgia of the rest of the art. If his ingenuity here is any indication, the twists ― and the hits ― will just keep coming.” — NPR
“For the uninitiated, this is not some dry distillation of facts and dates via narrative. Mr. Piskor’s storytelling uses the same engaging, pointillist method seen in the prior three volumes: Connecting the many, very human dots that put a relatively small group of street and club DJs and MCs at the forefront of the creation of one of the most important musical forms of the past century. If he were merely a historian writing about such a vital period, it would be enticing enough. Scouring books, blogs, podcasts, Youtube and anything else to pinpoint hundreds of moments of time for each volume, the legwork Mr. Piskor puts into accurately presenting this history is legendary. But at his core, Mr. Piskor is a powerful visual artist. The style he established in the very first volume continues to grab the viewer. He exaggerates just the right parts of his chosen characters with a technique that intentionally celebrates both the Marvel Comics’ artists of the 1970s, as well as one of Mr. Piskor’s idols, underground comic artist R. Crumb.” — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Educational, entertaining, and unmissable.” — WIRED