No Half Steppin': An Oral and Pictorial History of New York City Club the Latin Quarter and the Birth of Hip-Hop’s Golden Era (Wax Poetics Books)
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No Half Steppin' — An Oral and Pictorial History of New York City Club the Latin Quarter and the Birth of Hip-Hop's Golden Era is 212 pages with over 175 color photographs and flyers from the greatest period in hip-hop history. Oral history by participants Special K and Teddy Tedd, KRS-One, MC Shan, Eric B., DJ Kool Red Alert, Fab 5 Freddy, Just-Ice, Positive K, DJ Clark Kent, Kid, Dana Dane, TR Love, MC Serch, Chuck D, Grand Puba, Sadat X, Pete Nice, Prince Paul, Kurtis Blow, Mike Gee, Daddy-O, Wise, Ced Gee, Big Daddy Kane, Queen Latifah, Kool G Rap, and many many more.
In the mid-1980s, DJ duo the Awesome 2, along with hip-hop impresario Paradise Gray, helped transform Manhattan salsa club the Latin Quarter into an iconic hip-hop institution.
Legends were born in that bustling Times Square club—from Stetsasonic, KRS-One, and Eric B. & Rakim to Queen Latifah, Public Enemy, and A Tribe Called Quest. Unsigned artists could drop a hot set and score a record deal—or get booed off the stage like Amateur Night at the Apollo.
You could walk into the club a nobody and come out a star.
A musical incubator of hip-hop’s Golden Era, the Latin Quarter was also pivotal in the creation of the the Stop the Violence Movement.
About the authors:
Claude “Paradise” Gray was raised in the South Bronx. He was cofounder of the X Clan, whose 1990 album To the East, Blackwards is an Afrocentric and socio-politically conscious Golden Era hip-hop classic. Prior to that, he was host and entertainment manager for the Manhattan nightclub the Latin Quarter where he was a key figure in transforming it into an historical hip-hop venue. Paradise is also a noted writer, photographer, and hip-hop historian/archivist, as confirmed with this book, No Half Steppin', where his personal collection of photographs and memories—paired with an oral history from some of the club's most famous patrons—tell the story of the most important incubator of talent for the Golden Era of hip-hop.
Giuseppe “u.net” Pipitone is an author and an activist; a lover of hip-hop culture and Black history; and a believer in the power of oral history. His previous books include Bigger than Hip Hop (2006), Renegades of Funk (2009), Louder than a Bomb (2012), and Don’t Believe the Hype (2016).
“One moment that I always think of when people ask me about the Latin Quarter was Red Alert playing Eric B. & Rakim’s ‘My Melody’ for the first time. That might even be my most magical moment in hip-hop.” –Daddy-O of Stetsasonic