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Ed Piskor, Charlie Ahearn

Hip Hop Family Tree Book 2: 1981-1983

On sale date: September 7, 2014

The second installment of this acclaimed graphic novel hip-hop history (originally serialized on the popular website Boing Boing) covers the years 1981-1983. 2015 Eisner Award Winner: Best Reality-Based Work.
Covering the early years of 1981-1983, Hip Hop has made a big transition from the parks and rec rooms to downtown clubs and vinyl records. The performers make moves to separate themselves from the paying customers by dressing more and more flamboyant until a young group called RUN-DMC comes on the scene to take things back to the streets. This volume covers hits like Afrika Bambaataa's Planet Rock, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's the Message, the movie Wild Style and introduces superstars like NWA, The Beastie Boys, Doug E Fresh, KRS One, ICE T, and early Public Enemy. Cameos by Dolemite, LL Cool J, Notorious BIG, and New Kids on the Block (?!)!
2015 Eisner Award Winner: Best Reality-Based Work

Hip Hop Family Tree Book 2: 1981-1983 is part of the Hip Hop Family Tree series.


"Captures the personalities, imagery and milestones with a hilarity and efficiency that no other medium could." — Billboard

"The second collection of Piskor's hip-hop history in comics may be a better place to start reading it than the first…. There's plenty more to come, and Piskor's Jack Kirby–ish drawing chops — monumental figures in thrusting, dynamic action; flat colors that crush perspective — constitute precisely the sturdy vehicle to carry it as far as Piskor will take it." — Ray Olson - Booklist

"In this volume, you see the evolution from club following to recording industry. Names you recognize are put in a different light — Melle Mel, Kool Herc, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, Ice T, Run-DMC, Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons." — Brook Stephenson - Ebony

"Gripping." — NPR

"When cartoonist Ed Piskor decided to unspool the labyrinth history of one of America's greatest artistic accomplishments, he spared no effort to immerse his readers in the era of jump suits and scarred vinyl. Everything in Hip Hop Family Tree screams nostalgia: the Ben-Day dots, the sepia discoloration…even the print feels course and pulpy, like a priceless cultural artifact unearthed in a garage sale or your dad's basement. Flipping through the oversized pages, you can almost hear the slap bass, horn swells, and ricocheting rhymes of hip-hop's inaugural years." — Sean Edgar - Paste


Paperback / Softback
Full color.
9.2" × 13.3"