In small-town suburban Australia, three young men from three different ethnic backgrounds—one Samoan, one Macedonian, one not sure—are ready to make their mark. Solomon is all charisma, authority, and charm, a failed basketball player down for the moment but surely not out. His half-brother, Jimmy, bounces along in his wake, underestimated, waiting for his chance to announce himself. Aleks, their childhood friend, loves his mates, his family, and his homeland and would do anything for them. The question is, does he know where to draw the line?Solomon, Jimmy, and Aleks are way out on the fringe of Australia, looking for a way in. Hip hop, basketball, and graffiti give them a voice. Booze, women, and violence pass the time while they wait for their chance. Under the oppressive summer sun, their town has turned tinder-dry. All it'll take is a spark.As the surrounding hills roar with flames, the change storms in. But it's not what they were waiting for. It never is.
At its rhythmic, beating heart this book asks whether Hip Hop can change the world. Hip Hop – rapping, rhyming, b-boying, d-jaying, graffiti - captured the imagination of the teenage Sujatha Fernandes in the Sydney suburbs in the 1990s, inspiring her and politicising her along the way. Armed with mc-ing skills, academic credentials and an urge to immerse herself in global hip hop, she launches on a journey into street culture around the world. From the ghettos of Chicago to the barrios of Caracas and Havana and the sprawling suburbs of Sydney, she grapples with questions of global voices and local critiques, and the rage that underlies both. An engrossing read and an exhilarating global ride, this punchy book also asks hard questions about dispossession, racism, poverty and the hope for change through a microphone.
A rebellious boy's journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family--this is the riveting story of a generation told through one dazzlingly poetic new voice. MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation's dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia. Now he was alone--his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country--and forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary. Buck is a powerful memoir of how a precocious kid educated himself through the most unconventional teachers--outlaws and eccentrics, rappers and mystic strangers, ghetto philosophers...