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Ed Piskor’s “Hip Hop Family Tree” Comic Series
We only just discovered Ed Piskor’s phenomenal “Hip Hop Family Tree” comic series for BoingBoing, and seriously cannot get enough! The weekly series of illustrations is, as you might expect, a lesson in the genealogy of the musical art form starting with DJ Kool Herc and DJ Hollywood. And as the byline suggests, it’s “a look into the viral propagation of a culture.” Def.
Piskor addressed the subject of Debbie Harry and Fab 5 Freddy mixing up the scene in one installment a couple weeks ago; this week he commented on the initial backlash from the uber-commercial “Rapper’s Delight” and also its infringement of Grandmaster Caz’s lyric (“I’m the C-A-S-A-N-O-V-A and the rest is F-L-Y”).
“Hip Hop Family Tree” runs on Tuesdays. But don’t expect a longform comic book any time soon. Artist Ed Piskor told MTV Hive in March:
I’m taking my time with it right now because my biggest fear is to hook up with a publisher and the editor likes the idea that hip-hop is a billion dollar industry to capitalize on and messes with what I’m building. I don’t want them to force me to go from Kool Herc to the death of Tupac in 200 pages. That would fuck up my entire scene. I’ll entertain it but I’m a ridiculous control freak and it has to be done the way I want it done. I couldn’t handle being told what to do.
Every page you see online is really what’s done. I wasn’t expecting to do this on a weekly basis ’til I got such a positive response. It became a motivating force. Each new strip takes most of the week to do. I’m definitely super pasty white and I haven’t been out of the house. I stink. I’m constantly working on the thing. I have that work ethic anyhow. So I’m gonna keep it going.
Yes, please keep it going!