The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop
The History of the Business of Hip-Hop
"There has never been a better book about hip-hop…a record-biz portrait that jumps off the page."-A.V. Club THE INSPIRATION FOR THE VH1 SERIES THE BREAKS The Big Payback takes readers from the first $15 made by a "rapping DJ" in 1970s New York to the multi-million-dollar sales of the Phat Farm and Roc-a-Wear clothing companies in 2004 and 2007. On this four-decade-long journey from the studios where the first rap records were made to the boardrooms where the big deals were inked, The Big Payback tallies the list of who lost and who won. Read the secret histories of the early long-shot successes of Sugar Hill Records and Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC's crossover breakthrough on MTV, the marketing of gangsta rap, and the rise of artist/ entrepreneurs like Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs. 300 industry giants like Def Jam founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons gave their stories to renowned hip-hop journalist Dan Charnas, who provides a compelling, never-before-seen, myth-debunking view into the victories, defeats, corporate clashes, and street battles along the 40-year road to hip-hop's dominance.
Dan Charnas, a veteran of the hip-hop music business, began his career scouting talent and promoting records for seminal rap label Profile Records and for Rick Rubin’s Def American Recordings. He penned some of the first cover stories for
The Source magazine and was part of a generation of young writers who helped create hip-hop journalism. His writing has appeared in the
Washington Post, the
New York Press, and the
Village Voice. He also worked as a segment producer for MTV’s
The Lyricist Lounge Show. Charnas holds a master’s degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and was awarded a Pulitzer fellowship. He was born and lives in New York City.