In FX’s Atlanta, Alfred Myers is an up-and-coming rapper with an entourage of his most loyal and trusted friends. If you can’t wait for the premiere of season two, these are the hip-hop related books you should pick up in the meantime.
The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas
For an inside look at the heart and soul of hip-hop, this non-fiction book reads like an exciting novel of rising stardom and making it big in one of the world’s most coveted industries. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the rise of the hip-hop empire and exclusive stories told by 300 of the biggest names in the game.
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
In Asymmetry, readers journey with three different up-and-coming artists in their respective fields. If the road to success is what kept you tuning in to season one of Atlanta, this intersecting story, told in three parts, will have you intrigued from beginning to end.
Break Beats in the Bronx: Rediscovering Hip-Hop’s Early Years by Joseph C. Ewoodzie Jr.
According to Ewoodzie, the true story of the origin of hip-hop has yet to be told and in Break Beats in the Bronx, he dives deep in to how exactly the genre came to be. Taking readers back to the ’70s, this book is a unique and insightful read for those who can’t get enough of America’s hip-hop culture.
Summer of ’79 by Darren Sapp
If you can’t get enough of the relationship between Alfred, Earn and Darius, you’ll want to read this hilarious coming-of-age story. Kevin Bishop and his 13-year-old friends ride through the streets of East Texas during their summer breaks but this year will be one that none of them will ever forget. A story complete with a thrilling mystery and the commentary from opinionated young teens makes this book a page turner from beginning to end.
The Tao of Wu by The RZA
We think Alfred could use the sage advice that the founder of the Wu-Tang Clan imparts in this New York Times bestseller. From his start in the Staten Island projects to his international hip-hop success, RZA tells his personal story of self-discovery and how he made something of himself. For an inside look into the hip-hop world and a few wise words for success, The Tao of Wu is a must-read.
Decoded by Jay-Z
Jay-Z is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in hip-hop ever. In his debut book, he reveals to readers the meaning of some of his most popular lyrics. Through his lyrics and personal stories, the rapper paints a picture of his success and the ways in which the hip-hop world has evolved since its humble beginnings.
The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane and Neil Martinez-Belkin
Starting his memoir while serving a short sentence in prison, Gucci Mane’s story is one of rebirth and self-discovery. Coming out of prison a changed and sober man, he’s left behind all the vices that once threatened to end his career and is opening up to the world about his experience. For a real look at the making of a star, this autobiography will tell you all you need to know.
(photo by Kathy Hutchins via shutterstock)