About Me
I'm a Canadian PhD student living in Scotland, where I study music, media, and culture at Stirling University.

My Work
Curriculum Vitae
PhD Abstract

Academic Articles:
The rough guide to critics

Conference Papers:
Down Beat vs. Rolling Stone (IASPM Rome 2005)

Web Articles:
Sounds Prohibited
Brain Machines

CD Reviews:
Proffessor Undressor

m.t.brennan at stir.ac.uk
Friends With Websites:
Dru (The Dominion)
Sylvia Nickerson
Inez Templeton
Inez: the blog
Clark Richards
Tara Wells
Max Liboiron
John Haney
Eva Bartlett

Musical Friends:
David Myles
Jamie (Near Earth Astronaut)
Jay (Proffessor Undressor)
Jim (Shotgun and Jaybird)
Jon (Rhume)
Kirk (Orchard Hill Road)
Mark, Mike (Barriomatic Trust)
Matt Johnston
Pat (Random Andy)
Troy (Pimp Tea)

By Category:
academiks (2)
aural creativity (10)
books (1)
flicks (8)
inspiration (3)
mad science (4)
media theory (4)
music biz (10)
other (6)
personal (12)
powers that be (7)
travel (3)
visual creativity (9)
words (1)

By Month:
April 2006 (2)
March 2006 (1)
January 2006 (3)
December 2005 (1)
November 2005 (1)
October 2005 (1)
September 2005 (1)
August 2005 (1)
July 2005 (1)
June 2005 (1)
May 2005 (1)
April 2005 (1)
March 2005 (3)
February 2005 (3)
January 2005 (1)
December 2004 (1)
November 2004 (2)
October 2004 (5)
September 2004 (3)
August 2004 (1)
July 2004 (3)
June 2004 (3)
May 2004 (6)
April 2004 (6)
March 2004 (8)
February 2004 (7)
January 2004 (11)
December 2003 (2)


May 18, 2004

Dig hip-hop? Read this book


The best book I read recently was Westsiders by William Shaw. It's an account of the lives of seven young black men living in South Central Los Angeles, and particularly Compton. All of these men want to be famous rap stars, but the odds are stacked against them in an area ridden with violence and poverty.

Worthwhile reading for anyone who wants to learn more about the music which informed Eminem, 50 Cent, and the other stars who currently dominate the pop charts, and essential reading for anyone interested in hip-hop.

The amazon.com review: "What Shaw finds, apart from conspiracy theories, horrifying death rates and universal "dreaming of greatness", is desperately vulnerable men struggling with their fractured identities, often without fathers, caught up in the grimly violent struggles of gangs. It's all about colour: black or white, Blood red or Crip blue, as they either shoot bullets or word plays at their adversaries. You may prefer your beats unbroken or your jeans less baggy but that is precisely why this should prove an informative and challenging account of the people inside the genre, fabled for its oral tradition but here proving its worth on the page."

Posted by matt at 11:10 AM