It has been more than thirty-five years since the first commercial recordings of hip-hop music were made. This Companion, written by renowned scholars and industry professionals reflects the passion and scholarly activity occurring in the new generation of hip-hop studies. It covers a diverse range of case studies from Nerdcore hip-hop to instrumental hip-hop to the role of rappers in the Obama campaign and from countries including Senegal, Japan, Germany, Cuba, and the UK. Chapters provide an overview of the 'four elements' of hip-hop - MCing, DJing, break dancing (or breakin'), and graffiti - in addition to key topics such as religion, theatre, film, gender, and politics. Intended for students, scholars, and the most serious of 'hip-hop heads', this collection incorporates methods in studying hip-hop flow, as well as the music analysis of hip-hop and methods from linguistics, political science, gender and film studies to provide exciting new perspectives on this rapidly developing field.