Published Nov 05, 2014The holiday season is only a few weeks away. Before you rush off to pick up some presents, make sure to check out Exclaim!'s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, which we will be rolling out in daily instalments this week.
Here you'll find some ideal gifts for the rap fan in your life — some history lessons, more history lessons that include pictures, some fresh life from old heads in the form of the Wu-Tang, and a choose your own adventure of hip-hop from the good Doctor.
The Exclaim! Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Gifts for the Hip-hop Fan
Check the Technique Vol. 2
(Wax Facts Press)
By Brian Coleman
Many early hip-hop albums were bereft of liner notes and longtime hip-hop journalist Brian Coleman has been diligently and exhaustively making up for that. Check the Technique Volume 2 features oral histories on classic albums from the likes of Raekwon, Mos Def & Talib Kweli (Black Star), Ice Cube and Company Flow in 25 chapters over 500 pages. In Check the Technique Vol. 2 the timeframe of selected albums ranges from the cusp of New York's golden age circa 1988 to 1998, when the expansion and fragmentation of hip-hop (indie vs. major, East vs. West, the rise of the South) had calcified. While there is a heavy East coast focus, it's hard to quibble with the influence and enduring value of the canon Coleman has been compiling.
Del F. Cowie
Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1-2: 1975-1983
By Ed Piskor
Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree tells the history of hip-hop, from its South Bronx origins to the early '80s beginnings of veterans like N.W.A, KRS-One, Public Enemy, Doug E. Fresh and Beastie Boys, all in gloriously boisterous comic book style. For heads, this one's the Old Testament, told in a new style — give them this and be their saviour.
Dr. Dre Magnetic Poetry
One, two, three and to the four, magnetic poetry for your refrigerator door. "Chronic," "Hustlas," and "LBC" are just some of the more than 100 words, phrases and imagery culled from the left-coast rap luminary's 30-plus year career. This set is sure to make all the other Gs in your house jealous. Recreate some of Dre's famous rhymes, or use the doctor's own words to finish Detox before he does, beyotch!
Wu-Tang Clan A Better Tomorrow speakerbox
It may not be delivered in a hand-carved silver box like another one of their upcoming projects, but the Wu-Tang Clan have found another creative way to package and release their latest record. The hip-hop group's A Better Tomorrow will arrive preloaded on a limited-edition Bluetooth speaker from Boombotix, branded with the iconic Wu-Tang logo. Limited to only 3,000 units, the compact speaker includes a 3.5 mm auxiliary jack, speakerphone option, ten hours of battery life, and track and volume controls.
Need more holiday gift ideas? Then check out our other sections on music, books, music ephemera, videogames and movies, as well as gifts for the "urban hipster" and folk fan in your life.