Chicago Review Press' recently published How To Rap: The Art And Science Of The Hip-Hop MC is author Paul Edwards' exhaustively in-depth study of what exactly goes into the writing and execution of hip-hop rhymes or raps. For this comprehensive guide to rap making, the hip-hop fanatic author, who holds a master's degree in postmodernism, literature, and contemporary culture from the University of London, went directly to the source, to the experts themselves. Edwards interviewed over a hundred different well known emcees, posing questions on literally every angle of what goes into crafting their lyrical art. E40, Chuck D, Masta Ace, Immortal Technique, Schoolly D, Big Daddy Kane, and Kool G Rap (who also penned the 340 page book's foreward) are among those who fully respond to questions on topics ranging from lyrical content and flow to writing style & structure, rap delivery (including breath control), collaborating, and ghost-writing.
Edwards also set up a corresponding website with related information to the book, such as a breakdown of songs referenced in its pages. How to Rap, which should appeal to the die hard rap fan as much as to the aspiring rapper, is laid out in an easily digestible form and offers some good insights. Even someone who thought they knew everything about hip-hop and its creation will learn something new, no doubt. The "science" part of the book's approach includes illustrated 'flow diagrams' for rappers. This week I caught up with the author, who currently resides in Dubai, to ask him about his new book and the art of MC'ing.
Amoeblog: What gave you the idea to write this book?