Margot Mifflin
February 05, 1993 AT 05:00 AM EST

Break It Down: The Inside Story From the New Leaders of Rap

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Michael Small

We gave it a C

Compiled by People music reviewer Michael Small, these interviews with rappers is an overdue but disappointing addition to the skimpy annals of hip-hop, mainly because of its surprising disregard for rap’s history. Small’s ”new leaders” include Run-D.M.C., who haven’t had a hit in years, and exclude still innovative groups like the Beastie Boys. The rappers’ stories and observations in Break It Down: The Inside Story From the New Leaders of Rap are engaging, but Small’s sometimes silly sidebars and fuzzy definitions of scratching and sampling make this an amateurish project designed to convince Michael Bolton fans that rap needn’t be, in the author’s words, ”frightening or ugly to middle-class citizens.” C

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