The Graphic History of HIp Hop

Celebrate 50 years of Hip Hop.

Uniquely blending music, history, research, and art, The Graphic History of Hip Hop takes you on a journey of the music revolution that changed the world over the last half-century. From its roots in The Bronx to today’s game-changing artists, this beautiful one-of-a-kind graphic novel intertwines hip hop’s storied history, massive global appeal, and its extensive influence on culture, politics and economics into a new and innovative scholastic experience.

As the first in a series of graphic novels, The Graphic History of Hip Hop brings together a powerful blend of music, art and history with over sixty years of research from hundreds of professional historians and other scholars from the humanities and social sciences. The curriculum is uniquely designed to engage students as they will see, hear and experience how the world of Hip Hop evolved in response to the rapidly changing political and environments from the 1970s through the 2000s. This work is an essential resource to enhance modern urban and world history curriculums and create a unique and engaging classroom settings for students.

The series is a collaboration between lifelong Visual Afrofuturism artist and illustrator, Tim Fielder  and preeminent historian of Afrofuturism, Walter Greason.

The Graphic History of Hip Hop Cover

The Evolution

Hip Hop isn’t just beats and rhymes… it’s a movement that fought to redefine the times.


The transition nearly tore the United States apart. With the elections of President Richard M. Nixon in 1968 and 1972, Cold War anti-communist politicians shaped a conservative agenda to deindustrialize the nation and to use the military-industrial complex to dominate world affairs. The massive failure in the Vietnam War combined with the explosive Watergate scandal to shatter the nation’s confidence in elected leadership. By the end of the decade, disco was dying and the Iran Hostage Crisis doomed the diplomatic presidency of President Jimmy Carter.

Hip Hop was born in this crucible of militarism, greed, patriarchy, and white supremacy.

The ascendance of the conservative movement shaped social and economic policy dedicated to privatization. Nearly every form of public goods from airports to libraries to hospitals lost access to public resources. Instead, President Ronald Reagan exploded military and law enforcement budgets to destroy the civil rights and labor coalition that had shaped the Democratic Party for fifty years. American cities fell into rapid disrepair, and new markets for global investment became the heart of an American empire, dedicated to consumer debt and digital extraction disguised as human freedom.

Hip Hop moved through its adolescence in this era, determined to condemn the betrayals that condemned billions of people to lives of consumerism.


The Democratic Party capitulated to the conservative movement under the presidency of William J. Clinton. Both political parties moved aggressively to support unlimited corporate expansion and the creation of digital marketplaces worldwide. The rhetoric of abundance was unlimited, and very few people paid attention to the costs inflicted by the rising tide of mass incarceration and the emergence of corrupt, terrorist networks around the world. It would not be long until the price came due.

Hip Hop became a vehicle of American globalization after 1994. Its roots in Black liberation withered, but did not die.


The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania transformed the world. The adoption of the Patriot Act eliminated accountability and transparency in the use of government power in the United States. Dissenters faced incarceration, beatings, and murder at the hands of militarized police forces, while surveillance and assassination squads operated with impunity around the world, especially in the framework of the War on Terrorism and its largest theaters in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rap music emerged as an industry celebrating street violence, substance abuse, and sexual license. For many of its greatest admirers, Hip Hop was dead.

The Graphic Novel

The Global History of Hip Hop is the inaugural publication in a series of graphic novel works that bring advanced research across the curriculum and into scholastic classrooms. These inspirational stories convey intellectual and emotional power through the lens of Afrofuturist art. This work is an essential resource in every classroom.

The Graphic History of Hip Hop - Page 1
The Graphic History of Hip Hop - Page 2

Who We Are

The Graphic History of Hip Hop is a collaboration between interdisciplinary scholar and polymath, Walter Greason, and pioneering OG Afrofuturist artist, Tim Fielder.

Walter Greason

Walter Greason

Dr. Walter Greason, Ph.D., DeWitt Wallace Professor in the Department of History at Macalester College is the preeminent historian of Afrofuturism, the Black Speculative Arts, and digital economies in the world today. Named one of “Today’s Black History Makers” by The Philadelphia Daily News, Dr. Greason has written more than one hundred academic articles and essays. His work has appeared on Huffington Post, National Public Radio, and The Atlantic among other popular, professional and scholarly journals. He is also the author, editor, and contributor to eighteen books, including Suburban Erasure, The Land Speaks, Cities Imagined, Illmatic Consequences, and The Black Reparations Project.

From 2007 ­­– 2012, Dr. Greason was an advisor to Building One America, the coalition that designed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009). He also served as the Founding President of the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation, an organization that saved the National Historic Landmark dedicated to the leading, militant journalist of the nineteenth century. Dr. Greason’s digital humanities projects, “The Wakanda Syllabus” and “The Racial Violence Syllabus”, produced global responses in the last six years. His work in historic preservation and virtual reality continues to inspire new research around the world. Dr. Greason currently writes about the racial wealth gap and the patterns of economic globalization.

Dr. Greason is currently serving as a special consultant to the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.


The Land Speaks
Encyclopedia of Black Comics
Cities Imagined
Industrial Segregation
Planning Future Cities
The American Economy
Suburban Erasure
The Path to Freedom

Tim Fielder

Tim Fielder

Tim Fielder is an Illustrator, concept designer, cartoonist, and animator born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and raised in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He has a lifelong love of Visual Afrofuturism, Pulp entertainment, and action films. He holds other Afrofuturists such as Samuel R. Delany, Octavia Butler, Pedro Bell, and Overton Loyd as major influences. He is the creator of the graphic novels INFINITUM: An Afrofuturist Tale, published by HarperCollins Amistad in 2021, and the Glyph Award-winning ‘Matty’s Rocket.’
Fielder is also known for participating in the Carnegie Hall Afrofuturism Festival exhibit ‘Black Metropolis’ and The Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture exhibit ‘AFROFUTURISM: A History of Black Futures’.

INFINITUM An Afrofuturist Tale
Matty’s Rocket Book One

Jamar Nicholas

For Educators & Fans

Enhance your curriculum with an innovative, interactive and engaging educational tool

The Graphic History of Hip Hop the first volume in a suite of planned graphic novels designed to differentiate the academic experience that combines visual learning with stimulating content which invokes powerful, thoughtful discussions about events in modern history.

The graphic novel was born from a vision to continually evolve academic curriculums through new formats to convey complex topics in history. The Graphic History of Hip Hop combines a powerful blend of music, art and history with over sixty years of research from hundreds of professional historians and other scholars from the humanities and social sciences.

Students will see, hear and experience how the world of Hip Hop evolved in response to the rapidly changing politics between 1973 and 2006 and rose as a sonic force and transformed into world culture.

Bringing it to life in the classroom

Beautifully written and illustrated, The Graphic History of Hip Hop is brought to you by two of the most respected voices in Afrofuturism. As part of choosing The Graphic History of Hip Hop as your next generation teaching tool, our team provides an orientation, and ongoing content and resources on how to continually use and evolve your curriculum. 

All of this and more is waiting for you and students to explore in The Graphic History of Hip Hop.


Special Educators/Institutional Packages:

We offer special educational/institutional packages for schools, school districts and individual educators. This special edition is a soft cover, classic comic-book style version- making it easy for educators and students to read, store, and transport.




For Hip Hop & Comic Fans

No matter your vibe, there’s something for everyone in The Graphic History of Hip Hop ! This hard-cover comic is a one-of-a-kind collector’s piece throwing you back to Hip Hop’s beginnings in the Bronx and taking you all the way to today’s most game-changing artists.

The Graphic History of Hip Hop covers it all. Every step of the way, we’re schooling you on Hip Hop’s worldwide mass appeal, trailblazing artists and the impact it has had on modern politics, culture and environment .
From Run DMC to Missy, Eminem, Snoop and many others, you’ll see all your fave Hip Hop artists represented in beautiful color-rich graphics and how each has laid the groundwork onto which Hip Hop’s phenomenal rise was built.

Today, the mic has been passed from generation to generation to embrace and continually define Hip Hop in a way that speaks to younger generations. The Graphic History of Hip Hop bridges the generations and brings it to all to life as we reminisce about the successes, the struggles and the world of Hip Hop as it sought to redefine the times.

Illustrated and written by two of the most pre-eminent voices in AfroFuturism, Tim Fielder and Walter Greason , The Graphic History of Hip Hop hits all the notes with exciting imagery and a comic style layout delivered in a one-of-a-kind hard copy book.

All of this and more is waiting for you to explore in The Graphic History of Hip Hop.

Get More Info