How to Rap
|Genre||Non-fiction Hip hop|
|Publisher||Chicago Review Press|
|Published||Dec 1st 2009, Sep 1st 2013|
|Media type||Print (paperback)|
How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC is a book on hip-hop music and rapping by Paul Edwards. It is compiled from interviews with 104 notable rappers who provide insights into how they write and perform their lyrics.
How to Rap 2: Advanced Flow & Delivery Techniques is a sequel to the book, also on hip-hop music and rapping by Paul Edwards. It includes more insights from the interviews done from the first book.
How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC was published by Chicago Review Press in December, 2009 with a foreword by Kool G Rap. Publishers Weekly states that it “goes into everything from why rappers freestyle to the challenges of collaboration in hip-hop”, and Library Journal says, “instruction ranges over selecting topics and form, editing, rhyming techniques, putting words to music, collaborating, vocal techniques, studio tips, and performance”.
How to Rap 2: Advanced Flow & Delivery Techniques was also published by Chicago Review Press in September, 2013 with a foreword by Gift of Gab of Blackalicious. In the sequel, reviewers note that, "Edwards asks advanced wordsmiths for advice on rhythm, melody, pitch, timing, enunciation, percussion, playing characters, rhyme schemes, and rhyme patterns."
How to Rap is published in the UK by Random House on their Virgin Books imprint. This edition is also published by Random House in Australia. It was translated and published in Japanese by P-Vine Books in 2011 (part of P-Vine Records) and translated and published in Korean by Hans Media, also in 2011.
- 2Mex of The Visionaries
- 40 Cal of Dipset
- Aesop Rock
- Akil The MC of Jurassic 5
- Andy Cat of Ugly Duckling
- Big Daddy Kane
- Big Noyd
- Big Pooh of Little Brother
- Bishop Lamont (Dr. Dre’s protégé)
- Bobby Creekwater
- Bootie Brown of The Pharcyde
- B-Real of Cypress Hill
- Brother Ali
- Brother J of X-Clan
- Buckshot of Black Moon and Boot Camp Clik
- Cappadonna (Wu-Tang Clan affiliate)
- Cashis (Eminem’s protégé)
- Chuck D of Public Enemy
- Crooked I
- David Banner
- Del The Funky Homosapien of Hieroglyphics
- Devin The Dude
- DJ Quik
- Dray of Das Efx
- El Da Sensei of Artifacts
- Esoteric of 7L & Esoteric
- Evidence of Dilated Peoples
- Fredro Starr of Onyx
- Gift Of Gab of Blackalicious and Quannum
- Glasses Malone
- Gorilla Zoe
- Guerilla Black
- Havoc of Mobb Deep
- Hell Rell of Dipset
- Ill Bill of Non Phixion and La Coka Nostra
- Imani of The Pharcyde
- Immortal Technique
- Joell Ortiz
- Killah Priest (Wu-Tang Clan affiliate)
- Kool G Rap
- Lady Of Rage
- Lateef of Latyrx and Quannum
- Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian
- Masta Ace
- MC Serch of 3rd Bass
- MC Shan
- Mighty Casey
- Mr Lif
- Myka 9 of Freestyle Fellowship
- N.O.R.E. of Capone-N-Noreaga
- O.C. of Diggin' In The Crates
- Omar Cruz
- One Be Lo of Binary Star
- Pharoahe Monch of Organized Konfusion
- Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest
- Pigeon John of Quannum and LA Symphony
- Planet Asia of Cali Agents
- Pusha T of Clipse
- Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest
- R.A. The Rugged Man
- Rah Digga
- Rampage of Flipmode Squad
- Remy Ma
- Rock of Heltah Skeltah and Boot Camp Clik
- Royce Da 5’9”
- Schoolly D
- Sean Price of Heltah Skeltah and Boot Camp Clik
- Sheek Louch of D-Block/The Lox
- Shock G of Digital Underground
- Speech of Arrested Development
- Spider Loc
- Stat Quo
- Steele of Smif-n-Wessun and Boot Camp Clik
- Stressmatic of The Federation
- Styles P of D-Block/The Lox
- T3 of Slum Village
- Tajai of Souls Of Mischief and Hieroglyphics
- Tash of Tha Alkaholiks
- Tech N9ne
- Thes One of People Under The Stairs
- Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox
- Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks
- Vursatyl of Lifesavas and Quannum
- Wildchild of Lootpack
- will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas
- Wise Intelligent of Poor Righteous Teachers
- Yukmouth of The Luniz
- Zumbi of Zion I
- Tupac Shakur
- Beastie Boys
- Big Pun
- Dr. Dre
- Melle Mel
- Notorious B.I.G.
- Snoop Dogg
The book was positively received by critics and press outlets. Library Journal says it is, “filled with real tools and overflowing with inspiration… a good read even for nonartists interested in learning more about hip-hop creativity, personalities, and history, this offers insights into music and poetry. Highly recommended”, Hip Hop Connection call it “a complete guide to the art and craft of the MC, anyone who's serious about becoming a rapper should read this first… a vital and vibrant expose of a much misunderstood art form”, and Campus Circle give it a “Grade: A+”.
XXL magazine said "over 100 rappers have offered their insight on the artform for aspiring wordsmiths", while Yale University Press's Anthology of Rap referred to How to Rap's "rich array of interviews with old school and new school artists," and Oxford University Press's How to Fix Copyright recommended How to Rap for a good "general" overview.
Dana Gioia, poet and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts wrote, “How To Rap marks a cultural coming-of-age for Hip-Hop… [it] is the first comprehensive poetics of this new literary form. …Edwards has made his bid to become the Aristotle of Hip-Hop poetics”.
It also received positive comments from hip-hop journalists and authors such as Kembrew McLeod, Dan LeRoy, Alex Ogg, Mickey Hess, Russell Potter, and Pancho McFarland, and from artists such as Georgia Anne Muldrow, Egon of Stones Throw Records, Badru Umi, and Speech of Arrested Development.
In a review of a Kanye West album, news outlet The Daily Beast praised the book, saying: "In Paul Edwards’s comprehensive tome How to Rap, the author surveyed a plethora of rap emcees—104, to be exact—in order to demystify the rap process."
- "Chicago Review Press". Chicago Review Press. 2009-12-01. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "Xpress Reviews-First Look at New Books". Libraryjournal.com. 2009-11-20. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press.
- "How To Rap: Kool G Rap (Foreword)". Rap Radar. 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "How To Rap". Howtorapbook.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "The Song Remains the Same". Publishersweekly.com. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "Reviews". Howtorapbook.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC". Campus Circle. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- Adam Bradley, 2011, The Anthology of Rap, Yale University Press, Introduction, p.xlvii.
- William Patry, 2012, How to Fix Copyright, Oxford University Press, p.283.
- Edwards, Paul (2009). How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC. Chicago Review Press, ISBN 1-55652-816-7.