“The Rap Year Book” Is the Ultimate Gift for Any Hip-Hop Head


Who was better: Biggie or Pac? What are the best rap albums to come out of New York City during the 1990s? Did Nas beat Jay Z or vice-versa? Ask five different hip-hop heads these questions and be prepared to hear 10 different answers. It's not about who's right or wrong; the conversation is what makes the whole thing fun (warning: in some instances these conversations can ruin friendships).

In his new book, The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Each Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed, Grantland staff writer Shea Serrano has a one-way debate with the reader. Serrano breaks down the most important song of each year since rap's inception in 1979, and discusses the factors surrounding the culture such as race, its influence on culture, and the struggles amongst some of rap's most significant players. The book also includes infographics, lyric maps, informative footnotes, portraits of the artists, and short essays by other well-known music writers.

If you've read any of Serrano's work before, you know this book is going to be witty, intelligent—basically the best thing you've ever read. It's also designed to incite debate, so you can always tweet angry things to his super active Twitter account.

The Rap Year Book doesn't drop until October 13, but you can pre-order the book now on Amazon. It's the perfect Christmas gift for your friend who's always "wrong" during rap debates.

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