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The History of Hip

By Rachelle Bowden in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 10, 2004 7:06PM

Hip: The HistoryAuthor John Leland is going to be at the W Hotel on Adams tonight from 6pm - 8pm talking about his new book, Hip: The History. Leland is an award-winning reporter and his new book delves into the annals of history to bring us the lowdown on hip as we know it.

Leland describes hip as the dance between black and white, or insider and outsider, that gives America its unique flavor and rhythm. And did you know that the word "hip" is derived from the Wolof word hepi or hipi ("to see," or "to open one's eyes"), which came to America with West African Slaves?

Leland is now with the New York Times, but in the past has written for Spin Magazine, Newsday, and Newsweek, and was also the editor-in-chief of Details. We heard that he's a real authority on "hip" and is an engaging, wonderful speaker. And that on Monday when he was talking about his book in LA he ended up in a friendly debate with the audience.

The book sounds cool, so if you're not going to see Stella or going to the jazz fest tonight, you should head down. If nothing else, we're told that there will be "complimentary cocktails"!