Raquel Cepeda is hip-hop. Her work, her experiences, and her voice encapsulate the history and aesthetics of the hip-hop generation. Cepeda, a leading journalist whose work has appeared in People, the Associated Press, The Village Voice, MTV News, CNN.com, has shaped the conversation about hip-hop for decades. Her film, Bling: A Planet Rock, “takes a hard-hitting look at how the flashy world of commercial hip-hop played a significant role in the 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone, West Africa” and her edited collection And It Don’t Stop: The Best Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years are two significant works within the hip-hop landscape. A career of reflecting on artistry, identity, culture, and a generation looking for voice, Cepeda turns inward with her memoir Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina (Atria Books, 2013). Telling the story of a young women whose life was turned upside down over and over again, Bird of Paradise is her story of redemption, of a her search to understand her identity in a society that told her over and over again that she did not matter. READ MORE HERE.