Roots & Culture of the Hip Hop Family Tree

Every Tuesday for over a year now, Pittsburgh resident Ed Piskor has been adding to an increasingly complex archive, telling the tale of hip hop from DJ Kool Herc onward, including an ever growing flowchart of nearly all its innovators, influences and important participants. He does this by penning, illustrating and digitally inking his webcomic, Hip Hop Family Tree.

His subject matter is well researched, pulling from documentary and historical footage, books and interviews, then compiling what is known into a weekly story, with some occasional artistic license thrown in for good measure when needed. However, his overall goals seem to include both accuracy and increased awareness, having already gotten props from the likes of Chuck D, Fab Five Freddy and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five.

And this does not look like your typical webcomic. In fact it doesn’t look like any comic due to its educational and authentic nature, in addition to its wide reaching scope. The look and style is that somewhat reminiscent of R. Crumb but also pulls from the traditional four color format of superhero comics, down to the yellowed newsprint paper and colors being grabbed from such iconic hues as Superman’s cape. Piskor cites DC Comics’ 1978 issue Superman vs. Muhammad Ali as an early hip hop comic crossover due in part to the fact that Ali won.

Ed’s thesis statement prior to Hip Hop Family Tree’s first issue. (Click to enlarge.)

So far the actual comic does a fine job of following a rough chronology, building off of what is already established and explaining who these people are and their contributions while still being comprehensive and yet easy to follow.

According to interviews the artist has done with the site that hosts Hip Hop Family Tree: Boing Boing, as well as About.com, Columbus Museum of ArtInternational Design TimesMTV Hive and Reglar Wiglar, among others, he plans to make upwards of six hundred pages worth (saying it may take up to a decade to complete), going as far as showing the deaths of Tupac and Biggie or at least the last episode of Yo! MTV Raps, though he has also thought about stopping as early as Wu-Tang and Illmatic.

To see what is going on behind the scenes, constant updates are being posted by Mr. Piskor himself on his Tumblr and Twitter pages.

Click to see the process in which Ed creates his art.

Download the first sixty issues, properly organized and titled either here or here and be sure to check here each and every Tuesday for the next in the series.

(Note: The weekly family tree itself is included in a separate folder within the download, though it is missing a few pages. That is because either nobody new was added that week and / or the wrong photo was uploaded to the site, meaning this collection is as complete as it can be as of this posting.)

If you like what you see, a physical copy including illustrations by other artists and a bibliography will be included in the first volume of Hip Hop Family Tree (of which there will be at least four others), which’ll be released sometime before Christmas this year. The project is available for pre-order now.

— The Big Sleep

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


16 Responses to “Roots & Culture of the Hip Hop Family Tree”

  1. Sam says:

    This is genius. Thanks.

  2. The Big Sleep says:

    For sure, thanks for checkin’ it. He definitely keeps it interesting for people who are more into comics than they are hip hop, but it’s even better for people like me who are just the opposite.

  3. Kent says:

    You produced some decent points there. I looked on the net for the issue and discovered most individuals will go together with with your site.

  4. Kelsie says:

    Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!

  5. Felipe says:

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  6. see says:

    Thanks for every other informative web site. Where else may I am getting that type of info written in such an ideal manner? I have a venture that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

  7. I’m seriously enjoying the theme/design of your blog. Do you face any browser interface troubles? A lot of my website visitors have complained concerning my best homework help websites blog not operating properly in Explorer though looks wonderful in Safari. Have you got any solutions to assist correct that matter?

  8. You are definitely right, I’d like to find out even more on this particular subject! I am also interested in pc for sale because I think it is very trendy at the moment. Great!

  9. Celena says:

    Thank you, I have just been searching for information about this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

  10. Tamiko says:

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Magnificent. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  11. Hi! I just saw this website and I certainly love it. I always like to talk about aadhar card status enquiry from time to time. Good to be here, thank you!

  12. You are absolutely right, I’d like to discover more info on that issue! I am also interested in web router because I believe it’s quite cool currently. Keep it up!

  13. I was discussing with a good friend of my own around this article and also about facetime download too. I think you made a few good points here, we are looking forward to read more material from you.

  14. It was actually great to read this article and I believe you’re absolutely right. Inform me in the event that you’re considering medical injury lawyer, this is my major competence. I really hope to see you in the near future, take care!

  15. I actually arrived right here from some other website on the subject of omega xl rating and imagined I might as well look into this. I adore what I see therefore I am just following you. Looking forward to going over the blog back again.

  16. click here says:

    You are definitely right, I would really like to learn even more on that topic! I’m as well captivated by aptoide android download as I feel it is really quite cool presently. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *