BOOKS: THE BOOMBOX PROJECT By Lyle Owerko
On last Saturday's broadcast of The Underground Dugout, I reviewed photo-journalist Lyle Owerko's ode to a bygone era- "The Boombox Project: The Machines, The Music and The Urban Underground". One part coffee table book, one part historical text and 100% Hip Hop, "The Boom Box Project" is Lyle Owerko's labor of love. Mr. Owerko fascination with the boombox, its status in urban culture and vital component of early hip hop is explored throughout this book. From interviews with Kool DJ Herc, Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, The Clash and Rick Rubin among others (with a foreword by Spike Lee), the boombox is elevated to its rightful place in pop culture.
During the 1970s and 1980s, it was common to see many people hoisting these sound systems on their shoulders and in their hands sometimes requiring two people to carry them. Often times the freshest music was heard through these portable stereos and they provided the backdrop for many b-boy performances. Lyle Owerko combed the world for some of the rarest and forgotten models and photographed them as pieces of art. This book is a must have for those who remember that era and for those who appreciate the foundations of urban culture.