What’s in a definition? The following came to me in a flash of inspiration/madness at the weekend.

It’s a book about hip hop.
It’s a book about beats.
It’s a book about trip hop.
It’s a book about wonky.
It’s a book about glitch hop.
It’s a book about off beat.
It’s a book about electronic music.
It’s a book about hip hop production.
It’s a book about producers.
It’s a book about the evolution of hip hop production in the last ten/fifteen years.
It’s a book about cycles.
It’s a book about how the Internet changed the world.
It’s a book about people who make music in bedrooms.
It’s a book about people who make music in studios.
It’s a book about people who make music on stage.
It’s a book about Tubby’s shadow.
It’s a book about technology.
It’s a book about people.
It’s a book about modern day artists.
It’s a book about why I love hip hop.
It’s a book about MySpace and how it changed everything for a bunch of nerds.
It’s a book about how we got from Mo’ Wax to Flying Lotus.
It’s a book about all the stories in between that few people know about.
It’s a book about human connections.
It’s a book about records.
It’s a book about digital technology.
It’s a book about sampling.
It’s a book about how sampling evolved.
It’s a book about… [fill the gap]

It’s a book. About many things that I think are related and linked in some shape or form. It’s a celebration of something I feel very passionate about.

I started listing ways to describe the book to myself on Saturday, and it felt strangely cathartic as I did it. I’ve had to describe the book to many people, often refining the definition as I’ve gone along, especially in the earlier days when the book started to become a real thing I was undertaking, not just a potentiality or pipe dream.

All of these definitions above are valid. Yet none of them fully capture the totality of what I want to achieve. And in a way I feel that perhaps that’s for the best, that perhaps if your book is too easy to define in a bite-sized sentence then there is something missing. A lot of the books I’m reading for research, the most enjoyable ones certainly, feel like much more than their tagline/definition. I find things in them I didn’t expect. They trigger lines of thoughts I hadn’t expected. All of which I hope I can somehow achieve with my own endeavour.

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