The Come Up

Jonathan Abrams

The essential oral history of hip-hop, from its origins on the playgrounds of the Bronx to its reign as the most powerful force in pop culture


ISBN: 9781800752771

Published: November 10, 2022


ISBN: 9781800752788

Published: October 18, 2022


Reviews for The Come Up

‘Jonathan Abrams, for the entirety of his career and regardless of the subject matter, has shown a profound ability to take the words and recollections of others and stitch them together into something big and special. Here, in maybe his most massive undertaking yet, he’s done it with the rise of hip-hop. The Come Up is Abrams at his sharpest, at his most observant, at his most insightful’ – Shea Serrano, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hip-Hop (And Other Things)

‘Hip-hop is a story machine, and Jonathan Abrams is unsurpassed in capturing the best of them. What Please Kill Me did for punk rock, The Come Up has done for hip-hop—it’s something essential, profane, profound, hilarious, tragic, riveting, and real. These are the tales that made a movement’ – Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

The Come Up is as close to Studs Terkel as hip-hop has ever gotten. Abrams set out to accomplish a task that sounds absurd: assemble an oral history of hip-hop from the five boroughs to the Bay and from Memphis to Miami, and the ascendance of everyone from G-Funk to G-Unit. But not only does he succeed, he makes it seem effortless and ordained. Brilliantly curated and meticulously reported, this book will last for decades’ – Jeff Weiss, founder of Passion of the Weiss

‘To say this book is incredible simply doesn’t do it justice. It’s essential – a primary source. It isn’t just the fact that Abrams has collected the voices of the most seminal pioneering rap artists; he has captured their insights with the benefit of time, perspective, and reflection. Read this book. Eat this book. Steal this book’ – Cheo Hodari Coker, creator of Marvel’s Luke Cage and author of Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G.

‘It’s one thing to say you want to write an oral history on hip-hop. It’s another thing to actually do it. Abrams weaves in and out of eras, regions, and decades, painting a full picture of the world’s most influential music genre. The result is special – even for one of this country’s truly legendary storytellers’ – Justin Tinsley, author of It Was All a Dream


Jonathan Abrams

Jonathan Abrams is an award-winning staff reporter for The New York Times. He is the bestselling author of two previous books, Boys Among Men and All the Pieces Matter. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Abrams was formerly a staff writer at Bleacher Report, Grantland, and the Los Angeles Times.