Shea Serrano's 'The Rap Year Book' Is A History Of Rap11:24

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The Rap Year Book (Courtesy of Abram Books)

Shea Serrano just released his book, “The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed” which chronicles the ongoing evolution of rap from 1979 to 2014.

Serrano, who used to use rap to teach science to middle school students in Houston, is now a Grantland staff writer.

In his book, he illustrates - literally - how rap is the product of disco, rock n’ roll, spoken word and jazz, while the lyrics stem from the anger and sadness that the cultural oppression of blacks in the U.S. caused.

He joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to talk about why rap has been and still is relevant to American listeners.

Book Excerpt: 'The Rap Year Book'

Excerpted from the book The Rap Year Book. Copyright © 2015 by Abrams Books. Reprinted by permission of Abrams Books. All rights reserved.

Shea Serrano's List Of Most Important Rap Songs By Year

1979 “Rapper’s Delight” The Sugarhill Gang
1980 “The Breaks” Kurtis Blow
1981 “Jazzy Sensation” Afrika Bambaataa and the Jazzy Five
1982 “The Message” Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
1983 “Sucker M.C.’s” Run-DMC
1984 “Friends” Whodini
1985 “La Di Da Di” Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick
1986 “6 in the Mornin’” Ice-T
1987 “Paid in Full” Eric B. and Rakim
1988 “Straight Outta Compton” N.W.A
1989 “Fight the Power” Public Enemy
1990 “Bonita Applebum” A Tribe Called Quest
1991 “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” Geto Boys
1992 “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” Dr. Dre, featuring Snoop Dogg
1993 “C.R.E.A.M.” Wu-Tang Clan
1994 “Juicy” The Notorious B.I.G.
1995 “Dear Mama” Tupac
1996 “California Love” Tupac, featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
1997 “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” Puff Daddy, featuring Mase
1998 “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” DMX
1999 “My Name Is” Eminem
2000 “Big Pimpin’” Jay Z, featuring UGK
2001 “Takeover” vs. “Ether” Jay Z vs. Nas
2002 “Grindin’” The Clipse
2003 “In Da Club” 50 Cent
2004 “Still Tippin’” Mike Jones, featuring Slim Thug and Paul Wall
2005 “Gold Digger” Kanye West, featuring Jamie Foxx
2006 “Hustlin’” Rick Ross
2007 “International Players Anthem” UGK, featuring Outkast
2008 “A Milli” Lil Wayne
2009 “Best I Ever Had” Drake
2010 “Monster” Kanye West, featuring Rick Ross, Jay Z, Bon Iver, and Nicki Minaj
2011 “Niggas in Paris” Jay Z and Kanye West
2012 “Same Love” Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
2013 “Control” Big Sean, featuring Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica
2014 “Lifestyle” Rich Gang, featuring Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan


This segment aired on October 16, 2015.