Total Chaos - The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop


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Jeff Chang has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music.

He is a 2008 USA Ford Fellow in Literature and a winner of the 2008 North Star News Prize.

His first book, Can't Stop Won't Stop, garnered honors including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He has also edited the acclaimed anthology, Total Chaos: The Art & Aesthetics of Hip-Hop.

Jeff was a founding editor of ColorLines magazine, and a Senior Editor/Director at Russell Simmons' He began writing for URB and The Bomb Hip-Hop magazines, and has written for the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Vibe, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and Mother Jones, among many other publications.

He covered the 2000 presidential elections for 360hiphop. In 2007, he interviewed Barack Obama for the cover of Vibe.

In 1993, he co-founded and ran the influential hip-hop indie label, SoleSides, now Quannum Projects, helping launch the careers of DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker. He has helped produce over a dozen records, including the "godfathers of gangsta rap", the Watts Prophets.

After being politicized by the anti-apartheid and anti-racist movements at the University of California at Berkeley, Jeff worked as a community, labor and student organizer, and as a lobbyist for the students of the California State University system.

He received a bachelor's degree from Cal and a master's degree in Asian American Studies from the University of California at Los Angeles and has published scholarly articles on culture and race relations in Hawai'i and Los Angeles. He has lectured at dozens of colleges, universities, festivals, and institutions in the U.S. and around the world.

He was an organizer of the inaugural National Hip-Hop Political Convention and has served as a board member for several organizations working for change through youth and community organizing, media justice, culture, the arts, and hip-hop activism. In 2006, he was selected to participate in a conversation with Tom Hayden in the prestigious Mario Savio Memorial Lecture.

Born of Chinese and Native Hawaiian ancestry, Jeff was raised in Hawai'i where he attended 'Iolani School. He lives in California. He is a big fan of Japanese curry and poi, but not at the same time.
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