Hip Hop Biographies
One of the largest growing music genres, hip-hop has influenced our modern day culture in many ways. These 48-page full-color biographies feature the most well-known artists in the hip-hop community. Each biography is written at a low reading level, so that even the most struggling reader can access the material.
Books include a timeline and glossary with vocabulary words highlighted throughout.
Bad-boy Chris Brown signed with Jive records at age fifteen. I hope I can be the next Michael Jackson, Brown said. His first album was an instant top-ten hit. Grammy nominations brought him even more attention. Billboard named Chris 2008's Artist of the Year. He maintained a low profile after his assault of then-girlfriend, Rihanna. But now he's back on top.
Lexile: 740; ATOS: 5.2
Drake stands out among hip-hop stars. The Jewish Canadian actor has never struggled with drugs or poverty. Critics question his authenticity. Yet Drake has a great attitude. He says, At the end of the day, I consider myself a black man because I'm more immersed in black culture than any other. Being Jewish is kind of a cool twist. It makes me unique.
The world knows 50 Cent as a hip-hop artist and movie star. He has won dozens of awards and made millions of dollars. He works to end hunger around the world. But 50 Cent, also known as Fiddy, grew up living a very different life in South Jamaica, Queens. It was the height of the 1980's crack epidemic. And Fiddy was dealing crack by age twelve
Lexile: 690; ATOS: 4.5
Shawn Corey Carter was born in 1969 and raised in Brooklyn's tough Marcy housing projects. The J and Z trains ran by Marcy, so his friends called him Jay-Z. Hearing rap for the first time was like watching some kind of combat, but he was alone in the center. All he had were his eyes, taking in everything, and the words inside him. I was dazzled.
Lexile: 710; ATOS: 5.0
People find it very hard to describe Nicki Minaj. She is a very successful solo rap artist. But that leaves out her talent in other styles of music. You could describe her as a fierce feminist. But she also works hard at being really cute. Fans of Nicki Minaj understand that she is anything but simple.
Armando Christian Perez would record his rapping over other songs. This made him one of the most popular local rap artists in Miami. He called himself Pitbull and explained how he and the dog were alike: They bite to lock. The dog is too stupid to lose. And they're outlawed in Dade County. They're basically everything that I am. It's been a constant fight.
She was a little girl born on an island in the Caribbean Sea. She dreamed of singing for more than just her schoolmates and friends. She sold clothing in a street stall. But one day she would be famous enough to help children who were poor. Now she's a megastar. Rihanna has been on television, in movies, and splashed across the covers of popular magazines.
Lexile: 740; ATOS: 5.2
From gospel choirboy to Star Search winner, Usher, whose full name is Usher Terry Raymond IV, is not just a multi-platinum recording artist. He's a singer, a dancer, and an actor. He is a composer. He has written songs for many famous artists. Usher is a proud father. He is also a mentor, a person who helps or teaches people. He works hard as an activist. He does good things for others.
Lexile: 820; ATOS: 5.5
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. wrote his first rhyme at age eight. Lil Wayne still sets his own rules and does not let people tell him how to make his music. He's an artist with a trademark appearance, wearing his hair in dreadlocks. His teeth are covered in gold, platinum, and diamonds. His body is covered with tattoos. And he is rarely seen without a red bandana.
Kanye West is known as an overconfident musician and fashion designer. He is considered a genius by many in the music business. He produced megahits for Jay-Z, Ludacris, and Common. Kanye calls himself the voice of a generation. He said, Someone could be a better rapper, dance better. But culturally impacting? When you look back ... who's the icon at the end of the day?
Beyonce gained fame as part of the R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. She won the first 5 of her current 20 Grammy Awards for her first solo album, Dangerously in Love, and then ventured into acting with starring roles in Dreamgirls, The Pink Panther and Obsessed.
Andre Romell Young is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats. In 2014, Dr. Dre was ranked as the second richest figure in the American hip hop scene by Forbes with a net worth of $550 million.
After writing and producing hit tunes for the likes of Madonna, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and Robin Thicke, Pharrell became a household name when his composition Happy became the bestselling song of 2014 with sales of 13.9 million units.
Sean John Combs, aka Puff Daddy, Puffy, Diddy and P. Diddy, was born in a public housing project in Harlem, New York. In 1993 he founded Bad Boy Records, releasing an album with The Notorious B.I.G. Combs eventually became an actor/producer and an entrepreneur, with a clothing line, and an equity stake in a television network.