Selwyn Seyfu Hinds—award-winning former editor-in-chief of The Source—presents an extraordinary memoir/history of hip-hop as seen through the eyes of one fan-turned-luminary.
The moment nine-year-old Hinds heard "Rapper's Delight" in Guyana, he embarked upon an amazing, if occasionally contentious, relationship with hip-hop—one that would continue through his migration to Brooklyn as a teenager and on through adult life. Here, he takes readers to a murky nightclub in the violent streets of late-eighties Brooklyn; to an Ivy League campus caught up in political rap during the early nineties; to a curbside in Los Angeles where Notorious B.I.G. has just been shot; to the achingly poor streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as a sea of black humanity surges to touch a hip-hop native son.
Interspersing recollections of life in the hip-hop trenches with profiles of figures like Lauryn Hill, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Dr. Dre, Wyclef Jean, and more, Hinds traces the heights and depths of his hip-hop love affair. Like the Guyanese rice dish "cook-up," Gunshots in My Cook-Up ingeniously pulls wide-ranging elements into an irresistibly cohesive dish.
Selwyn Seyfu Hinds has written for Vanity Fair, Spin, The Village Voice, Vibe, and other publications. He has been the editor-in-chief for The Source magazine, a hip hop and entertainment magazine. He is also a screenwriter, writing for the new adaptation of The Twilight Zone produced by Jordan Peele, and he was a writer and co-executive producer for the TV series, Who Fears Death? A graduate of Princeton University, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Russell Simmons [Hinds does] for hip-hop what Langston Hughes did for jazz.
Publishers Weekly Hinds knows hip-hop as well as any journalist around. This account is part memoir, part behind the music [and it] works because he still believes in the power of this new, brash, and still-not-fully charted art.
Kirkus Reviews Refreshing and insightful....An alert take on hip-hop's trajectory.