Adafruit’s comic reading list: Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor #adafruitcomics


A new edition of Adafruit’s comic reading list — this week it’s Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor, recommended by Shipping Group Managing Director Zay, who still sort of wishes he was Turbo from Breakin’!

Here’s the thing about Hip Hop: it’s the most DIY of all music genres. The breakbeat, one of the the earliest Hip Hop tools, got its start by figuring out the most danceable, funkiest part of a song, buying two copies of the same record, and extending the break longer than any human ever thought possible. It was DIY music, created through innovative use of technology, mixed live for people to get their groove on.

DJ Kool Herc did that in the mid-70’s. It was the birth of Hip Hop and the beginning of a type of music that required DIY engineers to create, develop, and transform into a truly American art form.


Can’t Stop Won’t Stop is the industry standard for telling the tale of the birth of Hip Hop out of the dismantling of the South Bronx — but if you want the most entertaining, detailed, and fun way into the history of Hip Hop, you gotta go with Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree. You know those Comics History of the United States books? This is like that.

But funky.


The history of Hip Hop is a kind of cultural restoration that takes place after the dismantling of infrastructure in post-industrial New York. From the destruction of neighborhoods due to the Cross Bronx Expressway, to Government-aided white flight, to the devastating loss of jobs and a nation-wide recession, things were tough in the Sough Bronx. Hip Hop helped pull the community together and create a new kind of culture.


Like any historical epic, Hip Hop Family Tree would be nothing without extraordinary people. Piskor’s take on these Hip Hop legends is grounded and human, but always embedded in the greater story. When we see moments that will alter the course of music history they’re both monumental and minute. Words and ideas that shape our language today happen in playgrounds and street corners, apartments and long gone dance clubs.


Nowadays Hip Hop is everywhere. In a way nobody could imagine in the 80’s, Hip Hop is one of the load-bearing pillars of popular culture. Most hit songs and club hits owe everything to Hip Hop. EDM couldn’t exist without it. It’s so pervasive it’s difficult to see.

But back in the 70’s ajnd 80’s, Hip Hop was about a specific culture in a specific place. It was about relationships and moments and people striving to express themselves and celebrate with their community.


#blacklivesmatter. One way you can show you understand that is by delving into the history of one of the great artistic developments of the 2oth Century. Hip Hop Family Tree is essential reading.


Check out our previous posts Bee and the Puppycat, Spacetrawler, Grrl PowerKrazy KatShe-Hulk, King CityThe Whiteboard, HubrisAkiraThe Wicked and the DivineSagaAre  You My Mother?Cairo,  Static, and Elfquest!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.