Tuesday, February 06, 2007

You down with OPP?

You may remember Jason Tanz as the gentleman who interviewed me last month for a small piece in Esquire magazine. You may also remember him as the precocious Jamie Lawson from ill-conceived 1980’s sitcom Small Wonder.

Okay, I totally made that last part up. Actually, you probably know Jason as the writer of Other People’s Property: A Shadow History of Hip-Hop in White America.

As today is the release date of this cherished tome, I thought I’d pass along to you some info concerning the launch party and a few readings in NYC and the Pacific North West. Those of you in advantageous locales may want to head down to any of the following vendors to meet one of the noble few writers referencing nerdcore who actually listens to hip-hop music.

If you happen to run into him, tell him Z. says hi.

"[A] thoughtful and often insightful work of long-form journalism."
-- Publishers Weekly

"Takes exploration of pale-faced rappers to a new level."
-- Seattle Weekly

"Unfailingly empathetic. Hip-hop's transformative capacity is the book's most powerful theme."
-- Washington Post Book World

"A penetrating journey through the semiotics of pigmentation, and a hilarious, self-deprecating look by a white man at whiteness in a black-dominated genre."
-- Henry Chalfant, co-director of Style Wars

At long last, OTHER PEOPLE'S PROPERTY: A SHADOW HISTORY OF HIP-HOP IN WHITE AMERICA hits bookstores tomorrow. An eye-opening look at race and identity in our country today, OPP blends memoir, history, cultural analysis, and on-the-ground reportage to explore hip-hop's decades-long journey through white America. Author Jason Tanz -- a hip-hop-loving white boy who grew up in the suburbs of the Pacific Northwest -- provides a one-of-a-kind look at how hip-hop is lived far from the inner cities that birthed and sustain it: from "nerdcore" rappers, who rhyme about Star Wars conventions and computer code; to a group of would-be gangstas in a neighborhood so insulated it's nicknamed "the bubble"; to a breakdancing class at an upper-crusty dance academy in New Canaan, Connecticut. Tanz interviews dozens of fans, artists, producers, and promoters, including some of hip-hop's most legendary figures -- Public Enemy's Chuck D, white rapper MC Serch, and former Yo! MTV Raps host Fab 5 Freddy, among many others. The result is a hard-edged, thought-provoking, and humorous snapshot of the particularly American intersection of race, commerce, culture, and identity. In bookstores everywhere.

Feb 28, 8:30PM
New York City
Jonathan Shorr Gallery, 109 Crosby St.

Get down with OPP at the following panels/readings:

Feb 12, 7PM w/ Jeff Chang and Selwyn Seyfu Hinds
New York
Makor, 35 W. 67th St.
Tix: $12 in advance, $15 at the door

Feb 20, 7:30PM
Portland, OR
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside

Feb 21, 6PM
Tacoma, WA
University of Washington-Tacoma bookstore, 1754 Tacoma Ave. S.

Feb 22, 7PM:
Seattle, WA
University of Washington-Seattle bookstore, 4326 University Way NE

Feb 28, 7PM w/ Alan Light, Sacha Jenkins, and Northern State
New York
Housing Works bookstore, 128 Crosby St.
[Launch party immediately follows this event]

For more information: jasontanz.com.

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