After graduating Magna Cum Laude at Florida International University, Jonel Juste has published his third book titled “Haitian Hip Hop: From Top to Bottom”. This is the first book published by the author in English after “Carrefour de Nuit” and Joseph, Prince d’Egypte”, written in French. Available on Amazon.
This new book is an essay about Haitian Hip Hop. As a front-row witness of the rise of this movement in Haiti, I show how it started strong in the 80’s to stumble down in the past years, particularly after the devastating 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti. Like the country, Haitian Hip Hop was devastated; however, it was not because all the rappers were killed (in fact just a few were), but because Haitian Hip Hop has changed a lot, and not for the better. This doesn’t mean we don’t have some good Hip Hop artists in Haiti anymore, we still do but they’re not the most popular or the most followed. The most popular rappers are those who present a bling-bling, Americanized version of Hip-Hop, those who sing about their very expensive sneakers or underwear (yes, a female rapper bragged about wearing a $200 pair of panties in a country where some people are living with less than $2 a day). Haitian rappers today want to do commercial rap and, to them, the best way to go about it is bragging about money and wealth they often don’t possess, and selling the American dream in a poor country like Haiti.