The release of Straight Outta Compton and the sort-of soundtrack from Dr. Dre, Compton: A Soundtrack, serves as a reminder that hip-hop history has been woefully underrepresented in film, and that the genre’s forefathers and early royals have (with the exception of Dre and a few others) faded from the main stage completely; their stories and the story of hip-hop music and culture pulverized under the weight of time.

Luckily, comic book writer and illustrator Ed Piskor is working to preserve a sense of hip-hop’s early history through the widely acclaimed Hip-Hop Family Tree comic series from Fantagraphics, an expansive look at the early ’80s formative hip-hop scene and the young pioneers that poured the foundation.

With Piskor’s well-earned rep as a hip-hop historian, we could think of no one better to ask about which stories and “characters” in hip-hop history deserved the chance to follow Straight Outta Compton to the…

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