I haven’t done a book review for school age Hip Hop Heads in a while so I this book review is on the Hip Hop Coloring Book by Mark 563. This book was released just weeks ago and thought it would be a great pick! Soon as you open this book it almost starts at the beginning and the book serves as kind of a Hip Hop Culture timeline. Starting off with the elements of dee jaying, Emceeing, Graffiti writing, and Break Dancing on the first two pages really impressed me because the elements are what drive the culture. There are coloring pages of DJ Kool Herc in front of 1520 Sedgewick Ave, Grandmaster Caz, and Afrika Bambaataa. I am thinking that the book was already printed or in production at the time the allegations against Bambaataa came to light. So if that is a sensitive subject in your home, school, or program you can make the appropriate choices. There is a coloring page of Run DMC without Jam Master Jay which I thought was odd needless to say. Especially since Mark563 has Spinderella depicted with Salt-N-Pepa. Slick Rick is depicted with big teeth and although Rick was well known for his jewelry it looks a little buffoonish to me.
I know Eazy E was from the West Coast but having him depicted with a 40 ounce is unnecessary, Too Short nor Uncle Luke are depicted with “hoes”. I do like the variety of emcees that were depicted in the book and most of the pictures look like the artist! Wu Tang Clan is depicted on multiple pages as to include everyone. Madvillain, Jay-Z in his Reasonable Doubt days, and one of the greatest emcees of all time in Big Pun are all included in the coloring book. There are some new Rapper included for your high school age young person(s). Danny Brown, Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar, and Run the Jewels. I’m not a fan of Action Bronson ever since that Ghostface situation but he is also depicted in the book. I do not cosign Riff Raff being in the book whatsoever. As I was ordering the book I did notice the details indicated that the book was for children and adults. Books or any product for that manner with that indication always make me weary because I may not want to expose a child to something that is deemed to be for adults.
When the book came I was impressed with the cover and theme. As I was going through the book I was very impressed with how Mark563 captured everyone. I didn’t like however; seeing KRS-One’s iconic BDP album cover. Only because I was just KRS with an oozy without any context or reference to Malcolm. It was simply a KRS cartoon character with an automatic weapon in his hand, not even a window. Overall I plan to utilize this book in my lessons but will probably use the certain coloring pages for certain age groups to avoid any miseducation. The back page has other books by the author that are more geared to graffiti and tattoo artwork which I’m sure are pretty dope. Overall this was a great book and I hope you and your little Hip Head have fun with this one!