Friday, September 21, 2012

Drake by C. F. Earl

The wait is over.  New this year to the Superstars of Hip-Hop series from Mason Crest, Drake the biracial Canadian rapper on the rise since 2009 now has a spot on school library shelves. While this title would benefit from higher quality images and a reconsideration of the “hip-hop lingo” text boxes that define words as basic as “rap” (telegraphing to teens that this book does not recognize their prior knowledge), the current dearth of available library materials on this popular topic makes this volume worth considering.  Earl focuses on Drake’s ascent to stardom after establishing the music star's success as actor Aubrey Graham.  Earl pays particular attention to Drake’s use of the internet and mixtapes to create a fan base without the backing of a major label, and offers a sequential explanation of the artist's eventual connection with Lil’ Wayne which may have been previously obscure.  For urban teens not yet ready to tackle more challenging text, Drake offers an opportunity to access a simple expository text on a subject that will be of high interest to some.  The back matter includes a sparse timeline, web links, an index and picture credits.--Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Earl, C. F.  Drake.  Pennsylvania: Mason Crest, 2013. Print.

* note this review copy was provided by a publisher at the request of the reviewer.

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