Hip-Hop Alphabet, by Howie Abrams and Michael "Kaves" McLeer (Lesser Gods, 2017)

As a father of two young kids, I spend many hours of my life reading children's books. Many of them are a lot fun, but many of them are rather mind-numbing, so I'm always on the hunt for stuff to read them that turns a bit left of center.

That's why I was excited when I saw an announcement for Hip-Hop Alphabet appear on my Facebook feed.

Featuring a foreword by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run-D.M.C., Hip-Hop Alphabet aims to help teach kids both the fundamentals of reading and rap music. Talk about a worthy cause! 

The book matches fun rhymes from former A&R executive (In-Effect and Roadrunner Records) author Howie Abrams and graffiti-styled drawings by Michael "Kaves" McLeer, a famed street artist and member of the music group Lordz of Brooklyn. 

Courtesy of Lesser Gods.

In terms of the musical artists covered in the book, the list reads like the lineup of a rap mixtape I would hand down to my daughter and son to school them on the early greats of the movement. A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy just a few of the artists given the graf treatment by Mr. Kaves.

My son is only two, so he's still a bit too young to grasp the copy, but my 5-year-old daughter started asking me a ton of questions, wanting to understand the meaning behind many of Abrams' rhyming entries. I had a blast getting into that, breaking down trivia tidbits that she could easily absorb. She seemed genuinely interested in learning more about the artists while reading the book, so I would call that a win for the folks behind Hip-Hop Alphabet.

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Tagged: hip-hop alphabet