Straight Outta BARD: Rap and Hip-Hop Reads

Did you know we have a large collection of biographies on BARD? Many of those biographies are about people from the entertainment industry, musicians included. And if you like Rap and Hip-Hop, and want to know about the struggles, challenges and triumphs of these awesome and sometimes controversial music legends, BARD is on it. Download these titles or order them on cartridge.

RAW: MY JOURNEY INTO THE WU-TANG by U-GOD  DB 90516

Memoir of one of the founding members of the hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan. He was raised in New York by a single mother and was arrested for dealing drugs in his youth. He relates the story of the formation of the group and their rise to fame. Narrated by the author. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.

DRE: THE BIOGRAPHY by RONIN RO  DB 66387

Music journalist traces the rise of Andre Young, a.k.a. Dr. Dre, of Compton, California, who in 1989 created one of the first “gangsta” rap albums. Details the development of the genre. Discusses the East Coast-West Coast feud and the gangland-style murders of rival rappers. Strong language and some violence. 2007.

DOGGFATHER; THE TIMES, TRIALS, AND HARDCORE TRUTHS OF SNOOP DOGG by SNOOP DOGGY DOGG  DB 50580

Autobiography by rap star Snoop Dogg, describing his youth in a Los Angeles ghetto and his strong belief in God. Recounts his success in the music field during the early 1990s, the murder of his friend Tupac Shakur, and his own trouble with the law. Strong language and some violence. 1999

HIP-HOP DIVAS by TRACY MICKENS-HUNDLEY  DB 56526

Chronicles the struggles and triumphs of women performers in the world of hip-hop music. Includes essays on the lives and careers of fifteen stars, such as Mary J. Blige, Lauryn Hill, Lil’ Kim, and TLC. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2001.

HEY YA! THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF OUTKAST by CHRIS  NICKSON        DB 59691

Journalist details the performing career of the award-winning Atlanta rap group OutKast, describing the team created in 1994 by Antwan “Big Boi” Patton and Andre “Dre” Benjamin. Delves into the singers’ personal lives, their business interests, and the evolution of their music. For senior high and older readers. 2004.

REBEL FOR THE HELL OF IT: THE LIFE OF TUPAC SHAKUR by ARMOND WHITE     DB 59848

Journalist chronicles the life of rapper Tupac Shakur (1971-1996), from his childhood to his unsolved murder in Las Vegas. Describes Shakur’s musical legacy, his brief acting career, and his legal entanglements. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 1997.

TUPAC SHAKUR: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN AMERICAN ICON by TAYANNAH LEE MCQUILLAR     DB 71978

Biography of rap-music star Tupac Shakur (1971-1996) examines the artist’s unstable childhood as the son of a former Black Panther militant. Chronicles Shakur’s rise to fame, the rivalry between East-and West-coast rappers, and Shakur’s unsolved murder in Las Vegas. Strong language. 2010.

FROM PIECES TO WEIGHT: ONCE UPON A TIME IN SOUTHSIDE QUEENS by 50 CENT    DB 61202

Rap star describes the ghetto environment he was brought up in and his experience of dealing drugs when he was eleven. Details his life on the streets of 1980s Queens before hard work and determination helped him achieve fame and money. Violence and strong language. Bestseller. 2005.

WU-TANG MANUAL by RZA   DB 61481

Members of the Brooklyn rap group the Wu-Tang Clan explain their philosophy of life, much of which comes from watching kung fu movies. Introduces the nine members of the band and discusses martial arts, capitalism, and comics. Includes song lyrics. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2005.

SKILLS TO PAY THE BILLS: THE STORY OF THE BEASTIE BOYS by ALAN LIGHT     DB 62931

Follows the career of New York rap musicians the Beastie Boys–white, Jewish teenagers who formed their band in 1981. Interviews Adam Yauch, Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond, and colleagues to explain how they made rap popular on the mainstream music charts. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2005.

WAY I AM by EMINEM  DB 67868

Autobiography of the controversial rapper. Detroit native Eminem, born Marshall B. Mathers III, describes his private life and the development of his Grammy Award-winning hip-hop career. Discusses the lyrics of his greatest hits, the Oscar-winning movie based on his life, and his work as a record producer. Strong language. 2008.

ICE: A MEMOIR OF GANGSTER LIFE AND REDEMPTION–FROM SOUTH CENTRAL TO HOLLYWOOD by ICE-T   DB 73836

Grammy Award-winning rapper and actor on television drama Law & Order: SVU Ice-T, born Tracy Marrow, describes becoming an orphan at age twelve and moving from New Jersey to live with relatives in Los Angeles. Details his life of crime before beginning his music career. Violence and strong language. 2011.

DIRTY VERSION: ON STAGE, IN THE STUDIO, AND IN THE STREETS WITH OL’ DIRTY BASTARD by BUDDHA MONK    DB 80367

Musician and friend of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Monk–with English professor Hess–details the life of the cofounder of the Wu-Tang Clan. Details ODB’s childhood in Brooklyn, his work with Wu-Tang Clan, his solo musical efforts, and the challenges he faced before his early death by drug overdose. Some strong language. 2014.

HIP-HOP SPEAKS TO CHILDREN: A CELEBRATION OF POETRY WITH A BEAT        DB 69380

Fifty-one rhythmic poetry selections from forty-two poets and performers representing a wide range of styles and eras. Highlights works from Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Queen Latifah, and Kanye West. Includes part of Aesop Rock’s “No Regrets”—a ditty about little Lucy’s yellow-chalk drawings on the sidewalk. 2008.

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