Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop

288p. index. photos. Clarkson Potter. Oct. 2018. Tr $40. ISBN 9780525573883.
RedReviewStarThrough the contact sheets of more than 100 photo shoots, as well as interviews with photographers and essays from artists, this collection offers an intimate look at hip-hop, spanning almost 40 years. Since the book relies so heavily on interviews, it is conversational and easy to read but also incredibly enlightening for anyone wanting to learn about the history of hip-hop from 1979 to 2012. Those doing high school or early college–level research papers will find it useful. The images primarily depict hip-hop artists but sometimes include their friends and family, dancers, and fans, giving a wide view of the genre's influence on our culture over the years. The use of contact sheets, or the negatives from analogue photo shoots that were printed onto sheets for photographers to consider all their shots, adds interest. This volume gives readers a look into the process, rather than just focusing on the final shots that made it onto magazine covers.
VERDICT A rich history both of hip-hop and photography, for all collections.

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