Over the course of my research, I have done a fair bit more on hip-hop than punk, so it seemed about time to find a good book on punk/post-punk in 1970’s-80’s New York City. Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds fit the bill almost perfectly. As well as chapters on the foundations of pure Punk, No Wave, and Ska, this book also contains a section on “mutant disco and Punk Funk” (pg 261). It details the work and social impact of the B52’s and Basquiat to Afrika Bambaataa and Rammellzee. Collaboration between Basquiat and Rammellzee is an example of the crossover between Punk and Hip-Hop that took place in the strange club scene of early eighties New York City.
A large part of what makes Rip It Up and Start Again a valuable source is that it takes the same events I have researched in the past and approaches them from a punk perspective. Both this book and a previous source, the documentary Hip-Hop Evolution, discussed how Debbie Harry of Blondie was perhaps the first white MC, on the band’s song rapture, but took the event from different angles. Hip-Hop Evolution touched on it during anInterview with Grandmaster flash, whereas Rip It Up and Start Again mentioned it in a section about more pop oriented punk. This source has finally started to give me a sense of just how much crossover there was in the two genres I’m researching. Moving forward in my research I would like to look more into Basquiat, an African-American neo-expressionist who was mentioned in Rip It Up and Start Again but seems influential enough to delve further into.
Reynolds, Simon. Rip it up and start again: postpunk 1978-1984. New York: Penguin , 2006. Print.