‘Hip-Hop Alphabet’ Book Aims to Teach Kids the Fundamentals of the Genre

In October, kids across the world will have the opportunity to learn about hip-hop culture in a fun and inventive way. Hip-Hop Alphabet, written by Howie Abrams and illustrated by Brooklyn graffiti artist Michael “Kaves” McLeer, will introduce a new generation to the rich and rewarding history of the genre, which turned 44 earlier this month.

All 26 letters of the alphabet touch upon different icons and elements of hip-hop culture. In the world of Abrams and Kaves, “B” is for Beastie Boys and “J” is for JAY-Z. Children will read about the accomplishments and storied careers of rappers and groups like LL Cool J and A Tribe Called Quest, while also learning about pillars of hip-hop, like DJing, vinyl, microphones and graffiti.

Hip-Hop Alphabet also includes a forward from Darryl “DMC” Daniels of Run-DMC, who describes the book as combining, “the wit and words of hip-hop with the artistic mastery of graffiti (our art) to provide a creative educational experience for young and old alike. It’s solid proof that hip-hop, as well as all of the arts, are powerful tools for learning—and educating our children!”

Along with the forward from DMC, a percentage of the book’s proceeds will go to the Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music. The foundation provides equal access to the arts for children, regardless of their economic background.

It has been a great year for rap books and literatureThe Rap Year Book, written by music critic Shea Serrano, is becoming a documentary as part of the AMC Visionaries project. The Roots’ Questlove and Black Thought are set to be executive producers.

Introduce children to hip-hop history and the wonders of reading by purchasing a copy of the Hip-Hop Alphabet in October.