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Other People's Property: A Shadow History of Hip-Hop in White America

Jason Tanz



It ain't always easy being a white fan of hip-hop. There can be associated feelings of guilt, fear and, at worst, acute misunderstanding, as author Jason Tanz (a senior editor at Fortune Small Business) explores in both hilarious and analytical detail in O.P.P. It serves both as the title's stated history of the lighter component of hip-hop and as a personal memoir for Tanz -- who is of the Caucasian persuasion -- and his evolving comfort level with fitting in with his life-long love of black music and culture. His interview subjects, including Chuck D and the creators of VH1's The (White) Rapper Show (and host MC Serch), also help legitimize the space in the culture for white fans who might be conflicted. Though it's a bit of a miss at bat when he advances "Wegro" as a somewhat disturbing alternative word for the slur "wigger," the book is a largely entertaining and informative read.

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