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Check the Technique Volume 2: More Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (Book) (zulumerch.com)
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The in-depth stories behind 25 classic hip-hop albums from the 1980s and ‘90s, straight from the original artists. With a Foreword by Adam Mansbach (“Go The F*ck To Sleep,” “Rage Is Back”).

Featuring: Ice Cube, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Naughty By Nature, Mos Def & Talib Kweli, 3rd Bass, Raekwon, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Mantronix, Black Sheep, Smif-N-Wessun, Dr. Octagon, Stetsasonic, Gravediggaz, Company Flow and 11 more!

Why the hell didn’t hip-hop albums have liner notes????!!!!

It’s a sad fact, but it can’t be denied: since the genre’s earliest platters on wax, hip-hop album notes have been reduced to a list of producer and sample credits, a publicity photo or two, and some hastily composed shout-outs (if we were lucky). This lack of information has robbed fans of a deeper context that would help them enjoy their favorite classics even more.

Since the publication of his first book – Rakim Told Me: Hip-Hop Wax Facts, Straight from the Original Artists – journalist Brian Coleman has given hip-hop fans around the world the opportunity to be a fly-on-the-wall in conversations he has had with some of the artform’s most talented and colorful subjects. His latest installment, the follow-up to the acclaimed book Check the Technique, continues this path, with 25 new albums discussed in-depth, ranging from Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted and Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx to DJ Jazzy Jeff’s & The Fresh Prince’s He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper, Mos Def’s & Talib Kweli’s Are Black Star, and Company Flow’s indie rap classic Funcrusher Plus.

The format is simple: One chapter, one artist, one album, blow-by-blow and track-by-track, delivered straight from the artists who produced these classics. And whether you peruse the chapters in chunks over time or devour the book all at once, fans are guaranteed to revel in these conversations, reliving their favorite albums from hip-hop’s “Golden Age.”

Featuring over 80 interviews and 325 songs discussed and dissected, along with over 350 images, this is a book that will give years of enjoyment to any music fan.


“My circle of liner notes junkies runs deep, and we spend many hours dissecting the chapters in Brian Coleman’s Check the Technique series. FINALLY someone has put in perspective the stuff I have been DYING to know about!!!! I can’t get enough.”

“It’s good to see somebody going in-depth in hip-hop, not just surface sh*t. I really do feel that this book is good for the history of hip-hop.”

One of “2014’s Great Reads”


“Flip to any page in Brian Coleman’s latest tome and you’ll likely find a revelation that reflows hip-hop history and / or blows your mind.”

– PITCHFORK (Nate Patrin)

“Brian Coleman is the Ken Burns of hip-hop. The noted music journalist and historian has written three books that every rap fan should have in their library.”

– NUVO TV (Carlos Ramirez)

“Boasting over 20 track-by-track breakdowns of some of the greatest rap albums of all time, it [continues] his series of unprecedented documentations of what went into making hip-hop classics.”

– VILLAGE VOICE (Chaz Kangas)

“His books are excellent, informative looks at the makings of classic albums, pulling together interviews from hundreds of important players, both on wax and behind the scenes.”

– AV CLUB (Eric Thurm)

“Truly epic.”