Can't Stop Won't Stop

A History of the Hip Hop Generation

Hardcover, 560 pages

English language

Published Jan. 27, 2005 by St. Martin's Press.


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5 stars (1 review)

Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop has been a generation-defining global movement. In a post-civil rights era rapidly transformed by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop gave voiceless youths a chance to address these seismic changes, and became a job-making engine and the Esperanto of youth rebellion. Hip-hop crystallized a multiracial generation's worldview, and forever transformed politics and culture. But the epic story of how that happened has never been fully told . . . until now.

7 editions

Essential hip hop history

5 stars

This is THE book I recommend to anyone who wants to know about the history of hip hop and particularly its first few decades of existence. Where most histories of hip hop begin with kids in the Bronx in the 1970s, Chang instead begins with the Jamaican sound clashes of the 1950s, drawing a direct line from that culture to New York hip hop via DJ Kool Herc's status as a Jamaican immigrant.

The whole book is rigorous without being academically boring, and it treats the subject with the respect that it deserves. It's full of material from interviews, both pulled from archives as well as ones conducted by Chang himself, but it's not a lazy oral history. Chang does the hard work of providing necessary historical context.


  • Anthropology
  • Music/Songbooks
  • History & Criticism - General
  • Music
  • Social aspects
  • Popular Culture - General
  • Genres & Styles - Rap & Hip Hop
  • Music / Rap
  • Hip-hop
  • History and criticism
  • Rap (Music)