The Anthology of Rap

The Book

Book Cover

From the school yards and block parties of the South Bronx to the tops of the Billboard charts, rap has emerged as one of the most influential cultural forces of our time. In The Anthology of Rap, editors Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois demonstrate that rap is also a wide-reaching and vital poetic tradition born of beats and rhymes.

This pioneering anthology brings together more than three hundred lyrics written over thirty years, from the "old school" to the "golden age" to the present day. Rather than aim for encyclopedic coverage, an impossible task, editors Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois render through examples the richness and diversity of rap's poetic tradition. They feature both classic lyrics that helped define the genre, including Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message" and Eric B. & Rakim's "Microphone Fiend," as well as lesser-known gems like Blackalicious's "Alphabet Aerobics" and Jean Grae's "Hater's Anthem."

Both a fan's guide and a resource for the uninitiated, The Anthology of Rap showcases the inventiveness and vitality of rap's lyrical art. The volume also features an overview of rap poetics and the forces that shaped each period in rap's historical development, as well as a foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and afterword by Common. Enter the Anthology to experience the full range of rap's artistry and discover a rich poetic tradition hiding in plain sight.

The Editors

Adam Bradley

Andrew Du Bois is a specialist in twentieth-century American poetry and the co-coordinator of the F. Ross Johnson Distinguished Visitor Series of the University of Toronto's Centre for the Study of the United States, Andrew also teaches classes on "Popular American Lyric" and "Rap Poetics." He is the author of Ashbery's Forms of Attention (University of Alabama Press) and is co-editor of the anthology Close Reading: The Reader (Duke University Press).

The Advisory Board

Hip hop was born out of a community. The Anthology of Rap is no different. As editors, we've drawn from some of the brightest minds in hip hop — scholars, journalists, spoken word poets, MCs. Their visions have helped shape the anthology.

The Advisory Board is...



In the media

NPR Music Interviews: 'Anthology Of Rap': Lyrics As Poetry

Colorado Matters: The Anthology of Rap by Zachary Barr, Colorado Public Radio

Where to buy

The Anthology of Rap is available from Yale University Press. Or buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Powell's, or wherever else you choose...