If you’re going on holiday this summer but just not sure about which book to pack then fear not, we have a legendary read for you! Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey is a must have for every hip hop fan, so if you want to brush up your knowledge on the popular culture then this is the book which deserves a place in the suitcase.

The luxury 420 page read is surrounded on the culture of Hip Hop and how it has impacted the world globally in four decades with exclusive interviews from hip hop legends and pioneers. Hip hop icons such as Diddy, 50 cent, Will Smith, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Run-DMC are all paid homage to in their contribution to the widely developed hip hop scene.

If you have a concentration span of a 2 year old where you rather two step along the pages then this is just the book for you, as it is a large format book featuring never-before-seen photos of Method Man, Faith Evans, and many more. The publication also features 70 original essays by hip hop journalists and authors who have profiled 40 hip hop artists that have thrust upon a successful career within the genre, with also an introduction by Hip Hop’s finest Afrika Bambaataa.

This essential literary is a much needed tribute to the hip hop culture as hip hop itself hasn’t just been all about the music. Hip hop initially started out as a music genre but then it expanded into a huge craze in language, attitude, and style (or swag, as we like to call it). You could refer to Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey as the bible of hip hop as it is the first book to recall the rise of the hip hop movement. Even though the hip hop culture has dealt with many blows in the media, this book explains the good, the right and the dopest of all within the movement from the very start in the 60s.

Russell Simmons discussed his involvement in Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey saying: ‘My first love was Hip Hop. I just wanted to expose it to the world. It transformed my life from gang member to music producer. I owe Hip Hop everything.’ He continued saying: ‘Anybody who wants to know the history and loves the history. If they’re Hip Hop fans, they need to the book.’

Jordan Sommers, Editor-in-Chief of Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey adds, ‘Growing up during the rise of Hip-Hop Culture had a profound effect on me. It became my mission to create an unprecedented tome highlighting its tremendous impact and influence on the world.’

Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey is out now.

Watch the video of the book’s launch party below and look out for an interview with Russell Simmons in the forthcoming issue of Flavour Magazine.

Words by Melek Derebelyi