Jeff Chang has long been a figure associated with hip-hop, and understandably so. After all, the man co-founded the legendary SoleSides label (now Quannum Projects), helped launch the careers of DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born, Blackalicious, and others, and, most recently, published a groundbreaking history of the genre in 2004 with Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.

So XLR8R was ecstatic when we got word that Chang has another book in the works, soon to be released. Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop sees Chang give a brief survey essay before turning the pages over to some of the genre’s most important voices. More an anthology than straight history, the book delves beyond the beats, fashion, and graffiti elements to examine gender relations, multiculturalism, global dance, poetry, and identity in hip-hop. Chang then weaves these different essays into five parts to create an intellectual-yet-accessible tale of the genre. A must for music scholars and a stimulating read for those who simply love hip-hop. 

Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop is out February 2, 2007 from Basic Civitas Books