The Tao of Wu

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From the founder of the Wu-Tang Clan—celebrating their 25th anniversary this year—an inspirational book for the hip hop fan.


The RZA, founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, imparts the lessons he's learned on his journey from the Staten Island projects to international superstardom. A devout student of knowledge in every form in which he's found it, he distills here the wisdom he's acquired into seven "pillars," each based on a formative event in his life-from the moment he first heard the call of hip-hop to the death of his cousin and Clan- mate, Russell Jones, aka ODB. Delivered in RZA's unmistakable style, at once surprising, profound, and provocative, The Tao of Wu is a spiritual memoir the world has never seen before, and will never see again. A nonfiction Siddhartha for the hip-hop generation from the author of The Wu-Tang Manual, it will enlighten, entertain, and inspire.
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About the author

The RZA is most famous as the founder and leader of the Wu-Tang Clan, theplatinum-selling hip-hop group that is widely considered one of the mostimportant of all time, and has also spanned multiplatinum solo careers formany of its members, including RZA. Originally from Staten Island, he is currentlybased in Los Angeles, where he has continued his music career whilesuccessfully branching out into lecturing, television, and film.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Oct 15, 2009
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781101150955
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Music
Music / Genres & Styles / Rap & Hip Hop
Social Science / Popular Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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She's the spiciest ingredient in the legendary rap group Salt-N-Pepa, and the outspoken star of VH1's smash-hit reality show. She's Sandy "Pepa" Denton -- and she's never at a loss for words. Now, in her first tell-all book, Pepa talks about sex, music, life, love, fame, and so much more....
"Most of you know me as Pep, or Pepa, the fun-loving half of Salt-N-Pepa. I am the party girl, the one who is down for whatever. But behind the laughs and the smiles is a whole lot of pain."
Funny, fearless, and full of life, Sandy "Pepa" Denton is a pop culture icon whose remarkable story is every bit as captivating and provocative as her Grammy Award-winning music. This is the real Pepa -- upfront, uncensored, unstoppable -- and these are the memoirs of a true pioneer, fighter, survivor, and inspiration to women everywhere.

For the first time, Pepa talks about:

• Her troubled childhood
• Surviving abuse
• Her first encounters with Cheryl "Salt" James
• Salt-N-Pepa's instant success
• Her failed marriages and her escape from domestic abuse
• Her "breakup" with Salt and their eventual "reunion"
• Her triumphant comeback on the VH1 reality shows The Surreal Life, Fame Games, and The Salt-N-Pepa Show

Filled with surprising insights, outrageous anecdotes, and celebrity cameos -- including Queen Latifah, Martin Lawrence, Janice Dickinson, Omarosa, Missy Elliott, L.L. Cool J, supermodel Caprice, Ron Jeremy, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez, "Spinderella," and many others -- Let's Talk About Pep offers a fascinating glimpse behind the fame, family, failures, and successes of celebrity...and into the faithful heart of a woman who will always value the good friends she found along the way. In the words of Sandy "Pepa" Denton, "there's no walking away from that."
“Kanye West Owes Me $300 might be the funniest rap memoir ever.” –LA Weekly

After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star.
 
When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend's bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey—one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in Kanye West Owes Me $300, Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as "Hot Karl," the most famous white rapper you've never heard of. 

On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shares his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that "rap is for black people," and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio contest “The Roll Call”—a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early ‘00s. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and will.i.am. Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory. 

Full of rollicking stories from his close brush with fame, Karp’s hilarious memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion—trying to crack the rap game—despite what everyone else says. It’s 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A panoramic experience that tells the story of Beastie Boys, a book as unique as the band itself—by band members ADROCK and Mike D, with contributions from Amy Poehler, Colson Whitehead, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and more.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Rolling Stone • The Guardian • Paste  

Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam “ADROCK” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers; their early collaboration with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin; the debut album that became the first hip hop record ever to hit #1, Licensed to Ill—and the album’s messy fallout as the band broke with Def Jam; their move to Los Angeles and rebirth with the genre-defying masterpiece Paul’s Boutique; their evolution as musicians and social activists over the course of the classic albums Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty and the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits conceived by the late Adam “MCA” Yauch; and more. For more than thirty years, this band has had an inescapable and indelible influence on popular culture.
 
With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir. Alongside the band narrative you will find rare photos, original illustrations, a cookbook by chef Roy Choi, a graphic novel, a map of Beastie Boys’ New York, mixtape playlists, pieces by guest contributors, and many more surprises.

Praise for Beastie Boys Book

“A fascinating, generous book with portraits and detail that float by in bursts of color . . . As with [the band’s] records, the book’s structure is a lyrical three-man weave. . . . Diamond’s voice is lapidary, droll. Horovitz comes on like a borscht belt comedian, but beneath that he is urgent, incredulous, kind of vulnerable. . . . Friendship is the book’s subject as much as music, fame and New York.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Wild, moving . . . resembles a Beastie Boys LP in its wild variety of styles.”—Rolling Stone 

“As nutty, irreverent, and fun as you think it would be.”—Vogue

“As freewheeling and funny as their albums . . . a beautifully messy (and large) talisman containing within it many of the great joys and surprises that come with listening to the Beastie Boys”—The AV Club
Hip hop icons and rap innovators, the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur continue to influence, define, and change the genre years after their deaths. Despite the controversies surrounding the murders of Tupac and Biggie, ultimately it’s their art that remains their biggest legacy. The music of Biggie Smalls and 2Pac has inspired the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and more. The legacies of Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace—a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. —live on. So does their rivalry, one of the greatest in music history. In 2pac vs. Biggie, hip hop experts Jeff Weiss and Evan McGarvey take an entirely new approach to investigation of that rivalry. Rather than focus on the countless conspiracy theories, they study the artist as artists, dissecting the lyrics of their hits (“California Love,� “All Eyez on Me,� “Changes� for 2pac, “Mo Money Mo Problems,� “Hypnotize,� “Big Poppa� for Biggie) and lesser-known works, performance and rhythmic styles, aesthetic appearances and what those meant, rises to power, and of course, their lives after death. The feud between 2pac and Biggie is broken down and looked at from all new angles, bringing to light little-known and surprising sides to each rapper’s persona and inner world.   Illustrated throughout with photographs, memorabilia, and artwork inspired by Tupac and Biggie, and with insert “versus� pages dissecting topics such as each artist’s presence in movies, critical reception, and literary influences, this book is a must-have for all rap and hip hop fans.
A Tribe Called Quest • Beastie Boys • De La Soul • Eric B. & Rakim • The Fugees • KRS-One • Pete Rock & CL Smooth • Public Enemy • The Roots • Run-DMC • Wu-Tang Clan • and twenty-five more hip-hop immortals

It’s a sad fact: hip-hop album liners have always been reduced to a list of producer and sample credits, a publicity photo or two, and some hastily composed shout-outs. That’s a damn shame, because few outside the game know about the true creative forces behind influential masterpieces like PE’s It Takes a Nation of Millions. . ., De La’s 3 Feet High and Rising, and Wu-Tang’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). A longtime scribe for the hip-hop nation, Brian Coleman fills this void, and delivers a thrilling, knockout oral history of the albums that define this dynamic and iconoclastic art form.

The format: One chapter, one artist, one album, blow-by-blow and track-by-track, delivered straight from the original sources. Performers, producers, DJs, and b-boys–including Big Daddy Kane, Muggs and B-Real, Biz Markie, RZA, Ice-T, and Wyclef–step to the mic to talk about the influences, environment, equipment, samples, beats, beefs, and surprises that went into making each classic record. Studio craft and street smarts, sonic inspiration and skate ramps, triumph, tragedy, and take-out food–all played their part in creating these essential albums of the hip-hop canon.

Insightful, raucous, and addictive, Check the Technique transports you back to hip-hop’s golden age with the greatest artists of the ’80s and ’90s. This is the book that belongs on the stacks next to your wax.

“Brian Coleman’s writing is a lot like the albums he covers: direct, uproarious, and more than six-fifths genius.”
–Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

“All producers and hip-hop fans must read this book. It really shows how these albums were made and touches the music fiend in everyone.”
–DJ Evil Dee of Black Moon and Da Beatminerz

“A rarity in mainstream publishing: a truly essential rap history.”
–Ronin Ro, author of Have Gun Will Travel


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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