The New H.N.I.C. (Head Niggas in Charge): The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop

The New H.N.I.C. (Head Niggas in Charge): The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop

The New H.N.I.C. (Head Niggas in Charge): The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop

The New H.N.I.C. (Head Niggas in Charge): The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop


"The New H.N.I.C.brilliantly observes pivotal moments in hip hop and black culture as a whole... provocative[ly] raises the level of the hip hop discussion." - Black Issues Book Review

"It was naive for Todd Boyd to subtitle his book The Death of Civil Rights and the Birth of Hip Hop, and not to expect people to wig out." - Punk Planet

"Stand back! Todd Boyd brings the ruckus in this provocative look at how hip hop changed everything from the jailhouse to the White House- and why it truly became the voice of a new generation." - Alan Light, Editor-in-Chief, Spin Magazine

"Elegantly script[s] the fall of the previous generation alongside the rise of a new hip-hop ethos". [The New H.N.I.C] is built on the provocative premise that this generation's hip-hop culture has come to supersede the previous one's paradigm of civil rights. Highlighting various moments in recent rap history the controversy over OutKast's naming a single after Rosa Parks; the white negro-isms of Eminem. Boyd offers hip-hop as the most suitable access point for understanding the social, political, and cultural experiences of African Americans born after the civil rights period. - Village Voice "Those who are hip have always known that Black music is about more than simply nodding your head, snapping your fingers, and patting your feet. Like the proverbial Dude, back on the block, Dr. Todd Boyd, in his groundbreaking book The New H.N.I.C., tells us that like the best of this oral tradition, hip hop is a philosophy and worldview rooted in history and at the same time firmly of the moment. Dr. Boyd's improvisational flow is on point like be bop Stacy Adams and The New H.N.I.C.,in both style and substance, breaks down how this monumental cultural shift has come to redefine the globe. With mad props and much love, Dr. Boyd's The New the voice of a generation and stands poised at the vanguard of our future." - Quincy Jones

"A convincing and entertaining case that hip-hop matters, Boyd's reading [of hip hop] is nothing less than inspired." - Mother Jones

"If you want to understand the direction of music today, read thisbook. Boyd expertly chronicles the birth of Hip Hop, its impact on allmusic and how the language and music defines a generation." - Tom Freston, CEO, MTV Networks

"Boyd's main observation is simple and mostly true: "Hip-hop has rejected and now replaced the pious, sanctimonious nature of civil rights as the defining moment of Blackness." - Los Angeles Times

When Lauryn Hill stepped forward to accept her fifth Grammy Award in 1999, she paused as she collected the last trophy, and seeming somewhat startled said, "This is crazy, 'cause this is hip hop music.'" Hill's astonishment at receiving mainstream acclaim for music once deemed insignificant testifies to the explosion of this truly revolutionary art form. Hip hop music and the culture that surrounds it- film, fashion, sports, and a whole way of being- has become the defining ethos for a generation. Its influence has spread from the state's capital to the nation's capital, from the Pineapple to the Big Apple, from 'Frisco to Maine, and then on to Spain. But moving far beyond the music, hip hop has emerged as a social and cultural movement, displacing the ideas of the Civil Rights era. Todd Boyd maintains that a new generation, having grown up in the aftermath of both Civil Rights and Black Power, rejects these old s


Can't worry 'bout/what another nigga think/
that's liberation/and baby/I want it.

—Outkast, “Liberation”

What's Beef?

I wish I was a rapper. There are certainly times when I wish I could just drop an album and channel all my ideas, anger, humor, and energy into some music and be done with it. Though I do spit game out of my own platinum mouthpiece like a rapper, I also write books. In doing so, I have always tried to bring a certain energy to my writing; a hip hop energy, if you will.

I am also a competitor and I love the competitive nature of both hip hop and the NBA. I sometimes wish that, for instance, me and my Detroit homie, Michael Eric Dyson, could battle it out, like Jay-Z and Nas, since everyone always wants to compare the two of us. I got mad love for my nigga, Mike D, his skills are without question, but the competitor in me wants to show everybody who really holds it down for Detroit. As far as I'm concerned, we've faced each other only once in head-to-head competition, back in the day, in Philly, at Penn, and I tore his ass up.

For that matter, I'm down to battle any nigga who wants to show their skills. I also want to tell a cat like SC Dub to stop bitin' my shit. Ya know?! Fuck it, that's the kind of competitive spirit that has always defined Black culture and I would . . .

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