I recently finished reading "The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop" by Dan Chamas. A fascinating look at the economics of the genre. It's illuminating-- though often disheartening-- to know the dollars and cents behind so many deals.
The only passages that slowed down for me were the lengthy explorations of radio. The author is clearly well versed in the ins and outs of hip hop vis a vis radio, and while the relationship of the genre to that particular medium is an important one, these sections got a little tedious to navigate given the vast multitude of characters we need to keep track of.
My favorite sentence in the book: "Surprisingly, the often obstreperous DMX was up to the task."