Books for changing the world
Her Word Is Bond
Navigating Hip Hop and Relationships in a Culture of Misogyny

“Nowhere near famous but still infamous,” Psalm One is a legend to rap nerds, scholars, and “heads,” and has gone on to work with the brightest names in rap and have her work celebrated and taught around the globe. In Her Word Is Bond, Psalm One tells her own story, from growing up in Englewood, Chicago through her life as a chemist, teacher, and legendary rapper. Intrinsically feminist, this story is a celebration of the life and career of one artist who blazed the trail for women in hip hop.

  • “If there’s one voice missing from the ongoing conversation about representation, equity, and the intersection between queerness, the femme experience, and Black lives in the hip hop scene—it’s Psalm One’s. A prolific lyricist, poet, philosopher, and emcee, Psalm One is the visionary chemist of our alt hip hop dreams; an artist whose buck is def as good as their knuck, both on and off the page. And we know that Cristalle Bowen has always championed for the rights and protections of those most neglected and harmed by the music industry—Black womxn—but in Her Word is Bond, readers receive an in-depth look at the complex and vibrant brilliance that is the renegade known as Psalm One. Epic from beginning to end—this is a book every warrior for equity and representation in the music industry needs to have on their shelf.”
    —Faylita Hicks, Author, Poet, 2021 Shearing Fellow and Recording Academy Member

    “Reading Psalm’s music business travails triggered my PTSD. Then I realize how lucky I was to be single through most of mine, because only a true psychopath or someone with the tenacity of a honey badger and patience of Job can handle the rap game and romance at the same Goddamn time.”
    —J-Zone, Drummer, Musician, Author and Retired Former Hip Hop Artist

    Her Word Is Bond is a long overdue and necessary memoir about not only fighting other people's expectations, assumptions and projections about who you are while constantly feeling judged, marginalized, tokenized, exploited and under represented. Psalm One is brutally honest about the struggles of just trying to function in a male dominated, black & white binary world when she should've been given the support, space and freedom to grow and thrive.”
    —Dart Adams, Journalist, Historian/Researcher and Author of Best Damn Hip Hop Writing: The Book of Dart and Instead We Became Evil: A True Story of Survival & Perseverance

    “I have the utmost respect and admiration for Psalm One – not just as a rapper and artist -- but as someone who lives by their word and always stands for something. As an emcee, her lyrics were always very visual and colorful, and her foray into being a published author is no exception. Her story is one that needs to be told, and I highly recommend this memoir to all, especially those looking to jump into the world of professional music. I’ve truly enjoyed the journey thus far and look forward to what’s next.”
    —Andrew Barber, Hip Hop Historian, Recording Academy Member and owner of the iconic FAKESHOREDRIVE platform

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