Hip Hop Family Tree not only explores the history of a musical genre, but also the socio-political climate from which it emerged. This latest volume explores the racial tensions between Black communities and government agencies in the mid 80’s- from the the war on drugs to the leveling of “crack houses” by LAPD militarized battering ram tanks. Ed Piskor (literally) illustrates how the famous hip hop lyrics “The roof is on fire” were elevated to anthemic status and connects it to the context of the oft-forgotten bombings by West Philadelphia police that destroyed the compound of MOVE activists; taking the lives of 11 men, women and children. Hip Hop history is American history. Hip Hop Family Tree offers as much style as it does substance as Piskor continues to present this engaging and rigorously researched look back at the not-too-distant American past.
The struggle continues. #BlackLivesMatter
Before being collected and published by Fantagraphics, Hip Hop Family Tree was serialized as a web comic on Boing Boing.