The United States
is the nation of origin of hip hop
, a cultural movement that began in the 1970s in New York City
, among primarily African American
audiences. For many years, hip hop
remained known only in a few neighborhoods in New York, but it spread to nearby urban areas like Philadelphia
and New Jersey
. During the early to mid-1980s, hip hop underwent regional diversification, while New York-based East Coast hip hop
attained the first national recognition for recorded hip hop. Cities like Miami
, Los Angeles
, Washington D.C.
and the San Francisco Bay Area
developed their own styles, incorporating local influences.
Beginning with N.W.A., West Coast rap, based primarily in Los Angeles, became a mainstream success. For the first time, New York was not the only city on the hip hop map. The two were rivals in many ways, fueling the East Coast-West Coast rivalry. In the late 1990s, many cities saw their own scenes find popular acclaim. These included Miami, Atlanta, St. Louis and New Orleans.
The East Coast
first gained attention nationally with the success of Ed O.G.
and Da Bulldogs
in the early 90's, most notably with their song "I Got To Have It" off of the album "Life of a Kid in the Ghetto
". Their burgeoning underground hip hop scene has given rise to many notable undergrounds acts, such as Mr. Lif
of the Perceptionists
, and 7L & Esoteric
. Boston is also home to Dre Robinson
. John Cena
a rapper/wrestler from West Newbury, Massachusetts
released his debut album "You Can't See Me
" in 2005. Cena is also famous for freestyle raps that he perform on his fellow WWE
Boston is also the birthplace of The Source, America's longest running rap periodical, as well as undergroundhiphop.com, one of the more recognized websites dedicated to underground hip hop. Boston was also home to Landspeed Records, which was a dominant independent hip hop label in the 1990s and early 2000s, and home to many underground hip hop acts.
Having historically played second violin to New York, New Jersey's musical circles have nonetheless produced several high-profile artists, such as Jus Allah
, Queen Latifah
, Naughty By Nature
, Poor Righteous Teachers
, The Fugees
, The Outlaws
, Chino XL
, Joe Budden
and Hip-Hop producers Just Blaze
, who was born in Paterson
. Some rappers also have little-known ties with the state, such as Ice T
, was born in New Jersey but later moved away. Its Major Hubs are Newark
, Jersey City
New York City
New York City
- Main articles: East Coast hip hop, Music of New York City
was the birthplace of hip hop, in 1973 and all of its prime early movers, such as DJ Kool Herc
, Grandmaster Flash
, Caz and Afrika Bambaataa
grew up and began performing there.
The city also produced all of the style's early stars, like LL Cool J (from Queens) and Kurtis Blow. Other influential artists from the New York area and this era that have endured through the ages are KRS-One (from the Bronx), Public Enemy (from Long Island), Run-DMC (from Queens), and the Beastie Boys (from Brooklyn). By the beginning of the 1990s, however, the West Coast had eclipsed New York in popular success. This began a rivalry which culminated in the deaths of New York MC Notorious B.I.G. and West Coast rapper 2Pac, who was born in East Harlem. In 1993 the pioneering Wu-Tang Clan from Staten Island emerged, and have continued to be influential to independent street hip hop. By the middle of the decade, Puff Daddy (from Manhattan), the Notorious BIG and Mase reinvigorated East Coast rap to popular acclaim with a very pop-oriented approach to hip hop. The East Coast also bred several hard-edged stars during this time, like the legendary Big Pun, Busta Rhymes, DMX (from Yonkers) and Nas, culminating in the breakthrough of Brooklyn's Jay-Z late in the decade. New York also produced a vital underground in the Native Tongues Posse, led by alternative hip hop crew A Tribe Called Quest, which also included Long Island's De La Soul. 50 Cent & his G-Unit clique, Ja Rule, Mobb Deep, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, and Fabolous are a few successful rappers/groups of the 21st century from the New York area. Brooklyn New York is Known to have Birth the greatest Hip Hop stars ever.
has produced a few of the most hard-edged rappers, including Schoolly D
. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
were one of the first to put Philly on the map along with Steady B
. While Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff made music that crossed over to R&B and Pop radio, Steady B drove the Philly underground sound with hard beats and rhymes which were reminiscent of early LL Cool J
. The Roots
, the first proclaimed Hip-Hop Band
, have also been followed by underground fans since the mid-1990s. It also famous for early 2000s mainstream acts such as Beanie Sigel
, State Property
. The Philadelphia underground scene consists of Reef the Lost Cauze
, Chief Kamachi
, The Last Emperor
, Jedi Mind Tricks
, and more. The Philadelphia hip hop scene has a unique style and slang; the term "jawn" is used as a universal interjection.
The first Chicago
hip hop record was the Groovy Ghost Show
by Casper, released in 1980 and a distinctively Chicago sound began by 1982, with Caution and Plee Fresh. Chicago also saw the development of house music (a form of electronic dance music, Chicago House
) in the early 1980s and this soon mixed with hip hop and began featuring rappers; this is called hip house, and gained some national popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Chicago underground scene produced several major acts such as Common
, Da Brat
, Do or Die
, and Crucial Conflict
. Despite having the second-largest African American population in the nation (after New York
, in numbers), only now with Kanye West
, Rebel XD, Shawnna
, Lupe Fiasco
, Yung Berg
, Mikie da Poet, Rhymefest
, and Boo and Gotti, is the Windy City beginning to receive mainstream attention. Its home to an emerging underground more dance oriented movement featuring acts like Dude 'n' Nem
Chicago rappers, Twista and Rebel XD, were Guinness Book record holders in the category "Fastest Rap MC" (though of the pair, only Twista has released a CD).
One of the most influential hip hop groups from Ohio
and in Midwest hip hop in general have been Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
. They have launched numerous artists from cleveland that have went on to Bigger Things than any other rapper from the Mid-Western coast. Major rappers Ray Cash
and Bow Wow
and also hail from Cleveland & Columbus
. Some up and coming rappers are Boo Millions AKA Mr.420
, Lil Chico
, Skant Bone
, Big Keyes
, Young Ray
, Johnny Givens
, Yung Shank
, Cry Baby Gangsta
, and Chip Tha Ripper
. They are all natives of Cleveland. Also Cincinnati hip hop producer and rapper Hi-Tek
has become a well respected player in the hip industry. He is best know as the producer and other half of Talib Kweli. Hi-Tek has released a collaboration album with Talib Kweli and two solo albums. His third solo album Hi-Technology 3: Underground
is due to be released in November 2007. Hi-Tek has produced songs for 50cent, G-Unit, The Game, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Common.
St. Louis, Missouri
has produced a few prominent rappers, of which Nelly
& the St. Lunatics
are the best known.
is known to be a reasonably fast rapper, also known for his ability to speed-rap, a skill mostly dominant in the American Midwest
, and due to his geographic location as well as his fast rapping shares many of the same fans as Twista
and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
. Tech, however, is also known to compose a rather slower flow, with a yelling, almost chanting delivery. He has been both praised and stigmatized for his dark, almost psychotic and sometimes suicidal subject matter, which has kept Tech N9ne out of the mainstream rap scene, but has risen his popularity in the underground astronomically. Other notable artists including Mac Lethal
, Reach, Rich the Factor, DJ Sku, Stik Figa, Miles Bonny
, Joc Max, Approach, and Anti-Crew (among others) are steadily making names for themselves on national level.
has taken home the most awards, local and statewide, for Rap/HipHop in Wisconsin/Milwaukee history. Other noteworthy Milwaukee hip hop acts are Speech (rapper)
of the hip hop group, arrested Development, Coo Coo Cal
, Baby Drew, Derrick Note, Streetz & Young Deuces
(Rap Duo), The Country Boy Clique, The United Nations, Taste Emcees, Def Harmonic, Mayhem Entertainment, Rico Love, Malicious,'65, Black Elephant and Genesis. Also home to great Djs such as Kid Cut Up, DJ Musko, and DJ Nu Styles
- "Main article: Music of Colorado"
's rap culture has been well over looked for quite some time. Now the music scene for Colorado is starting to rise, with rappers Ezzie, Corey coca, cashmeres, Ricky jewels all of the group FFE (Cocaine Click) all rising together. Colorado has been getting much attention since the success of the groups in the area. Although no majors have snatched up the FFE team, they still have made incredible hits such as "Freshness
" produced by Colorado super producer Concept, "Thought You Were The One
" also produced by Concept, and "Everything On
" produced by Team Green. Katilyst has also been making a lot of noise in the Denver music scene recently. While working on his debut album "The Politician", he has managed to release underground hits such as "Change They Mind" and "Tell Me Something Good". It seems as if the Denver music scene is beginning to shine in the mainstream spotlight.
Although strictly underground, there existed a subterranean hip hop culture in the Twin Cities starting as early as 1981. Similar to the development of hip hop in the South Bronx, Twin Cities rap started as humble parties with a DJ and an emcee.. A DJ named Travitron was comparable to the DJ Kool Herc of the Twin Cities area. Shows took place at many venues, most notoriously Club Hip Hop on Selby Avenue in St. Paul. Other artists and DJs include Disco T, Verb X, Brother Jules, Delite, and Truth Maze. The first real album to come out of the Twin Cities was called The I.R.M. Crew, released in 1985. Graffiti and b-boy crews were also existent in the city. This is the world that the current movers of Twin Cities Hip Hop were brought up in.
The main movers of Twin Cities Hip Hop came together to form the group Headshots, a precursor to the Rhymesayers Entertainment label. Members of this group included Slug, I Self Devine, Micranots, Musab, Siddiq, and Ant. Slug was one of the main artists to move into the foreground, setting the tone for the style of music to follow in the years to come. Many new artists, such as Brother Ali, are beginning to gain national attention.
Despite having one of the largest African-American populations in the nation (64%), Baltimore
's biggest claim to fame in rap was being the teenage hometown of the late Tupac Shakur who attended the Baltimore School for the Arts
. Also from Baltimore was the 1990s R&B group Dru Hill
. Its lead singer Sisqo
, who in 2000 had a few hits, most notably with the "Thong Song
." Baltimore is also the hometown of Mario
, who is best known for his hit single "Let Me Love You." There is also a music scene in Baltimore that is often referred to as Baltimore Club
. While not traditional hip hop, it incorporates hip hop as well as house
and drum and bass
influences. It is also the birthplace of DMX
, who in turn grew up in Yonkers, New York
. Baltimore also has a ton of new up and coming rappers including: Bossman
, Mully Man, COMP, Heavy Gold, Hots, Backland, UnReal, Skarr-Akbarr, Los, NOE (from byrdgang), D.O.G., and a bunch of others. They all are what they call lyricists and care more about their lyrics than hit songs and dance songs. This is probably a main reason why Baltimore hasn't become a major force yet but it definitely has the potential and as stated by hiphopgame.com be the "hottest city up-and coming".
has long been a state of Southern Hip-Hop innovation since the early 90’s with Teddy Riley
’s (originally from New York) Future Records; based in Virginia Beach
and its Wreckx-N-Effect
duo with hits like “Rump Shaker”. Which later gave rise to other performers and producers like Pharrell
and Chad Hugo
as The Neptunes. He also spear-headed the Hip-Hop sub-genre of New Jack Swing
The scene has also produced numerous other well sought after producers such as Timbaland
, and Rich Harrison
. Other notable acts include Skillz and The Superfriendz, DMP, Clipse
who shot to mainstream status with their Neptunes produced hit "Grindin", Yung Nem from Hampton Roads who is a member of the Bronx and Virginia group Young Warriorz, Wu Syndicate (a short lived expansion of the Wu-Tang Clan), also NBA player Allen Iverson
as Jewelz and his controversial unreleased album, and Missy Elliott
Virginia has a well defined underground scene with epicenters around the cities of Hampton Roads
and Virginia Beach), Richmond, VA
, and the Northern Virginia
suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Fam-Lay is also a big name in Virginia hip hop.
's hip hop scene has always been overshadowed by go go
. While go go has failed to break into popular mainstream music, it still remains at the forefront of urban music in the greater Washington D.C. area.
Two notable pioneers in the D.C. hip hop scene are DJ Kool, whose 20+ year career includes the hit "Let Me Clear My Throat", as well as guest appearances on tracks by Redman, Mya and Rampage, and DC Scorpio. Although DC Scorpio only released three singles in the late 80's, the video for "Stone Cold Hustler II" was a staple on BET's Rap City for months after it's release. Though considered more go go than straight hip hop, Stinky Dink, who had a major hit locally with his 1991 release "One Track Mind", and Fat Rodney are both considered forefathers in emceeing in the D.C. area.
The 90's saw an expansion of D.C. hip hop's scene. 3LG, also known as Three Levels of Genius, were a cornerstone of the D.C. hip hop scene. Combining a 4-piece band with complex lyics, 3LG paved the way for many underground acts in the D.C. area, winning 6 Washington Area Music Awards for Best Hip Hop Group throughout their career. Head-Roc and Platted Mind, two of the emcees from 3LG, were also members of the group Infinite Loop, which included One Two, Noyeek the Grizzly Bear and Omega Red among its expansive roster of members. Priest Da Nomad and Storm the Unpredictable are two established emcees who started making a name for themselves in the mid-90's. Though actually hailing from the Northern Virginia metropolitan area, Team Demolition is also a notable group in the D.C. hip hop scene, and was one of the first to independently release and distribute their music on record and CD, garnering some buzz off the strength of their 1998 single "Dirty Gusto". Asheru and Blue Black, also known as the group Unspoken Heard, are well known in the underground hip hop scene; Asheru is best known nationally for performing the theme song for the Adult Swim cartoon The Boondocks.
Notable acts emerging since 2000 include K-Beta, Flex Mattews, Poem-Cees and Wale. Wale is currently generating a lot of buzz, in part to his work with producer Mark Ronson, and was listed in the November 30, 2007 issue of Entertainment Weekly, as one of 8 people to watch in 2008. Wale's song "Breakdown" was featured in the sports video game Madden NFL 09.
The Dirty South Movement of Hip Hop
In the late 1990s, a wave of Atlanta
-based performers like Goodie Mob
gained some national renown. By the early 2000s, Outkast had become critical darlings and the Southern rap
-inspired Dirty South
style was a major component of popular hip hop. Although there a many subgenres of Dirty South Hip-Hop, Atlanta created the most popularized Crunk
Music, which was driven by rapper/producer Lil' Jon
. Atlanta has also popularized another subgenre of hip-hop call Snap
music, which helped to spawn many dances including the Bankhead Bounce, the A-town Stomp, the Laffy Taffy, Walkin' It Out and the Roosevelt. Atlanta is currently the most productive hip hop city with the biggest names being Outkast
, Bubba Sparxxx
, Lil Jon
, Young Jeezy
, Ying Yang Twins
, Field Mob
, Dem Franchise Boyz
, Crime Mob
, Yung Joc
, Jermaine Dupri
New and other artists include;Big Skunk
, Bobby Creekwater
, Lil Scrappy
, Stat Quo
and many others. Atlanta is sometimes referred to as the capital city of the Dirty South.
first came on to the national scene in the late 1980s with the violent and disturbing stories told by the Geto Boys
, with member Scarface
going successfully solo in the mid 90s.
In the early 2000s Houston, also known as the "3rd coast", exploded into the forefront of Southern hip hop, with commercially successful acts like Mike Jones
, Slim Thug
, Lil Flip
and Paul Wall
now calls Houston home although they are originally from Port Arthur, Texas
. UGK which consists of Bun B
and Pimp C
(deceased) are considered to be Texas underground legends. They have been an enormously influential entity on southern hip hop since the 1980s.
Houston has produced hip hop artists such as Mike Jones, Slim Thug, Lil Flip, Chamillionaire,Magnificent, Paul Wall, Bun B and Pimp C of UGK,Brooke Valentine, Trae, Z-Ro, Big Hawk, Big Pokey, Chingo Bling, Devin the Dude, DJ Screw, Fat Pat, Lil' Keke, Michael 5000 Watts, Scarface, Rob G and the legendary Geto Boys.
has also begun to emerge as force with artists such as Big Tuck
, Tum Tum
, Play N Skills
, Mr. Pookie
and Mr Lucci
, Kotton Mouth Jesse
.Can't forget Twisted Black
, The Realest
from funky-town Ft. Worth
also Six Two
in connection with Dallas D/FW
, But it didn't all just emerge with the above artist mentioned,.In the late 80's, early 90's you have Nemesis
is the first rap crew from Dallas, Texas to enjoy popularity in the US and world-wide, thanks to their label, Profile Records, which was well-known for bringing out many popular east coast rap releases such as Run-DMC, Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, and Dana Dane. Originally, Nemesis was called Sumthin Fresh and consisted of rappers
Geno Def (MC Azim), Bhumble Bee, and Eazy Roque (pronounced Rock) who were joined by Deejays Snake, Big Al, and Casanova Rock. The rappers (from Hamilton Park) and the deejays (from Oak Cliff) quickly built a rock-solid chemistry with one another to become the cream of the Dallas, Texas underground rap scene in the late 1980s.
As Sumthin Fresh, the group appeared regularly on KNON FM 90.9. Initially, they appeared as guests on Nippy Jones Freaky Fresh Friday afternoon show and after teaming up with DJ Snake for music production, they were regulars on the "All Hardy Def Party" radio show which became the metroplex's hottest radio show at the time. The radio show, which was hosted by DJ Snake, Big Al, and Casanova Rock, was most popular to young Dallas hip-hoppers who had no other options or outlets for rap music. Every Wednesday night, from 9pm til Midnight, Dallas/Fort Worth listeners were deluded with local artists, local sounds along with underground beats which provided a better listen for the hip-hop audience than the local R&B stations which were not yet sure if Dallasites were ready to enjoy hip-hop mainstream.
Sumthin Fresh was inspired by tension between DJ Snake and local hip hop radio jock, Dr. Rock aka Cleo Turner who is a Dallas hip-hop radio legend in his own right. This inspiration led to the diss song entitled "Oak Cliff" which was aimed at Dr. Rock's crew called the Fila Fresh Crew. Fila Fresh consisted of Rock, Fresh K (Kurtis) and Doc-T (Tracy) who later became known as D.O.C. after Rock introduced the young rapper to his childhood friend Dr. Dre and later signed with Eazy E's Ruthless Records. Fila Fresh answered the diss by Sumthin Fresh with a song called "Toughest Man Alive" which was released as a maxi-single and was co-produced by Dr. Dre himself.
Sumthin Fresh became local superstars and Bhumble Bee, feeling that Sumthin Fresh was a bit soft, decided to change their name to Nemesis. Nemesis released their first album entitled, "To Hell and Back" on their independent Get Off Me Records label. Ironically, Bhumble Bee left the group shortly after they signed with Profile records due to creative and philosophical differences between himself and the producers. Eazy Roque, also called it quits in support of his longtime friend and partner Bhumble Bee.
This left MC Azim behind as the lone MC with the group and now needing to deliver on their recently signed deal with Profile Records. Big Al (R.I.P.), one of the groups producer/deejays then manned a microphone in order to help complete the project and reinvent the group's sound forever to feature more of Bass oriented sound featuring beats by DJ Snake.
There have been various reincarnations of the rap group which infused random affiliates such as Ron C, Joe Macc, and Mubuda.
The group's last known recording is 2000's, "Munchies for Your Bass, Da Return" which was developed by Big Al along with a cast of virtual unknowns such as Mubuda. Stylistically, they were inspired by many genres of music Gangsta rap, Miami bass, Metal as well as (in terms of lyrics) spirituality (greatly inspired by Islam).
Then there is Fresh Roc Productions, a hip-hop music production company which was founded in Spring of 1985 by DJ Willie Fressh aka Willie Drew and DJ Roc-D aka Dan Brown, Jr. in Dallas, TX, was instrumental in the birth of the Dallas, Texas hip-hop/rap music scene in the mid 1980's. After listening to cassette tape recordings of New York mix shows which showcased pre-recorded turntable mixes by deejays like DJ Red Alert, DJ Marley Marl, DJ Chuck Chillout, and DJ crew the Latin Rascals, the duo of local party deejays decided to create Fresh Roc in order to create pre-recorded hip-hop/r&b mixes for sale to the public as well as radio publicity.
Fresh Roc became well-known for their creativity by recording their mixtapes via multi-tracking hardware. The crew's 4-track mixtapes were highly sought after by high school kids in the Pleasant Grove section of Dallas, Texas. The crew soon inspired the creation of the "Freaky Fresh Friday Mix Show" hosted by DJ Nippy Jones on community radio station KNON (then 90.9 FM and now 89.3 FM). Nippy Jones, known for featuring live Deejays in the studio like DJ Scratchmaster FDS now known as DJ Dallas Scratch (who introduced the guys to Nippy), was approached by FRP with the concept of showcasing pre-recorded mixes on his show. Nippy was blown away after sampling the work of this duo and decided to showcase them every Friday afternoon on his show which aired Monday through Friday from 12noon til 3:00pm.
This show quickly became one of the most listened to programs in the city of Dallas and facilitated Nippy's move to commercial radio station K104FM (KKDA) in 1987. Nippy continued to feature FRP and their growing roster of Deejays/Producers like DJ Jam Kutter, DJ Davy Def, DJ Sir Snoopy, DJ Curly, Mixmaster Jamm, Winston Flood, DJ B-Insane, and DJ Tip (feat Funky Lee). These Deejays became producers who attracted the most talented MC's in the city and created a title wave of local rap recordings to fuel the rap scene in Dallas and created a foundation and platform for successful artists today.
In 1986, Willie Fressh urged best friend and confidant Michael Sharp to join the organization in order to provide structure and focus to the group. Sharp, recognizing the potential and talent of the FRP roster, quickly formed Razor Sharp Artist Management and began seeking venues for these artists to be heard. Unfortunately, at the time, there were no venues available for young rappers to showcase their skills in Dallas. Sharp decided that if these artists would be showcased, then the best move would be to create venues for them to perform. Behind the scenes, Fressh and Sharp worked along with their entertainment lawyer, Randy Bowman, who also worked with Tommy Quon and his protege, Vanilla Ice.
In 1987, Sharp began setting up shows for his acts in Bowling Alleys, Armouries, Recreation Centers, Skating Rinks, apartment clubhouses, Schools auditoriums, and even as regular guest entertainers at the McKinney Job Corps. FRP became a powerhouse of deejays, producers, rap artists, singers and dancers who went on to provide command performances and release various recordings between 1987 and 1994.
Local Artists who participated with Fresh Roc, enjoyed enormous regional and statewide success, but none were quite able to explode onto the national scene. Fressh Roc included the following acts: MC K-Cold, Miss Vee, Dizzy Def, Gemo, T.Y.E., AGLOVE, K.A.O.S.S., Full Effect, Philly Boy, Sir Snoopy, STO, AMD-Criminal of Violence, Devo X, Mad Wisdom, MC Jesse Jess aka Kottonmouth, Mecca X, Mark Dog Productions, MC Nikki, Elite Gangsters, Michael Sheffield, Mannish D, Infrared, Bo and Solo, UpTighT, BKM-10, NX, Lethal MC, and Dekumposed, to name a few.
Summer of 1987, FRP was the driving force behind the conversion of a fading teen skate spot called "Fast Times" which was transformed into Club Countach (see Lambourgini). Countach was the first Dallas-area club to successfully merge various cultures from Anglo, African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, and more. There was very little violence thanks to a strong presence of off-duty Garland police personnel. Club Countach wasn't the first hip-hop venue in the Metroplex, but it was the largest with a capacity of about 3000. Club Countach was host to parties, concerts, and live radio broadcasts which quickly became the hottest destination for hip-hop lovers all across the metroplex and launched many artists professional careers. In Early 1988, FRP hooked up with local radio celebrity, Dr. Rock in order to create a Saturday Night Extravaganza that was broadcast all over North Texas via the airwaves of K104. This is where the Dallas music scene showed the most promise due to the increasing number of venues created to expose local artists and their ideas.
After Countach faded in early 1990, Fresh Roc Productions made local music history as their acts: MC K-Cold, Miss Vee, AGLOVE and Gemo along with K.A.O.S.S., became the first hip-hop artists to ever perform at Deep Ellum hotspot, Club Trees in 1990. They later performed before a capacity crowd as the opening acts for the Geto Boys (Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill) at the same Club Trees. FRP then became regular performers at the first Hip-Hop Club in Deep Ellum called Club Americana.
After Fresh Roc disbanded in 1995, DJ Willie Fressh continued to work under his production company called Knee Deep Productions, with such notables as Erotic-D, MC Breed, Nemesis (rap crew), Ra'koo Nation, DJ Snake, Ron-C, Bumble-B, D-Kru, Litefoot (Credited as "Litefoot and Big Will" as writers on the score for motion picture "The Indian and the Cupboard" starring Litefoot), Liz Mikell, DeJuan, Gugu, MC E-Rock, Top Dolla aka Richie Rich, Quint Black, Dezire (Fila Fresh), MC Azim, Daze and Raggtop, Mayhem aka Corey Johnson, Khrome & Bone, Doeski, Mike Grayson, Gangster C, Willi Will, Los Hill and Groveside.
Also in the moment of truth comes DJ EZ Eddie D, remixer and producer for over 24 years. Being the closest thing to a hip-hop historian that Dallas has ever known, he has worked with the early pioneers as well as many of the current up and comers in the Dallas hip-hop scene. From his early days growing up in Finneytown (a mostly caucasian suburb in Cincinnati, Ohio) to his 23 years in Dallas it's no surprise to find his influences are all over the musical map. With a collection containing everything from R&B to Classic Rock, Funk to Retro and Blues to Hip-Hop, his studio is the Mecca that record collectors dream of. His main focus today is fusing all of these genres with hip-hop beats creating a distinctive sound all his own. In 1982, Dallas DJ The Master Mixer taught Eddie how to blend records and also introduced him to the radio station KNON 89.3 "The Voice of the People". He interned and moved his way up the ranks, working with DJ Cisco Soul & the Party Patrol and Nippy Jones of the "Fresh & Freaky Friday Show"(later KKDA). Nippy helped groom him for his own time slot. In 1987 station manager Craig Taylor gave him that chance with his first show airing Thursday nights 9-11. The show moved a few times finally landing on Saturdays 5-7pm where you can still tune in weekly for "Knowledge Dropped-Lessons Taught(Vol.2)". It is the only source Dallas has for true underground hip-hop and being a public radio station is a perfect forum for his philosophies on politics, religion, racism and social responsibility. Tune in to 89.3 on Saturdays 5p.m. to 7p.m. "Knowledge Dropped-Lessons Taught".
Things began to blossom out when a four-man crew came about. The four-man Dallas crew Mad Flava were brief players in the mid-'90s "weed-hop" scene that followed the breakout success of Cypress Hill. Comprised of MCs Cold Chris the Soulman (real name: Chris Parker) and Don Kasaan, DJ Baby G the Cut Selectah, and producer/MC Erich "Hype Dawg" Krause, Mad Flava procured a deal with Priority Records after upping their profile with support gigs throughout Texas for established artists like KRS-One, A Tribe Called Quest, and Cypress Hill themselves. Concurrent to the popular explosion of Cypress Hill was the House of Pain phenomenon of 1992-1993. The Muggs-produced "Jump Around" had popularized the notion of a Caucasian MC. Mad Flava's main man, Cold Chris, was white and he and his group smoked prodigious amounts of marijuana. Everything pointed to Priority having a hit on its hands in From tha Ground Unda, the Flava's debut album. But litigation over sample licensing and distribution problems hung up its release, and by the time Ground finally arrived in late 1993, the Flava's brief window of opportunity had closed. A half-hearted promotional campaign from Priority did little to drive interest in the group, and soon Mad Flava faded back into the Dallas underground, casualties of a fickle hip-hop market.
So basically Dallas has a sound of both East and West coast influence, but with Houston southern hospitality inspired by the late D.J. Screw made Dallas a major market. The whole Swisha House movement got a lot of attention in this city. So if the City of Dallas is feeling you, then you have a chance at blowing up in the music industry.
Then in the late 90's came Erykah Badu American R&B, soul, and hip hop singer and songwriter, whose work encompasses elements of jazz. She is best known for her role in the rise of the neo soul sub-genre, and for her eccentric, cerebral musical stylings and sense of fashion. Early in her career she was recognizable for wearing very large and colorful headwraps. For her musical sensibilities, she has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday.Working and touring with her cousin, Robert "Free" Bradford, she recorded a 19-song demo, Country Cousins, which attracted the attention of Kedar Massenburg, who set Badu up to record a duet with D'Angelo, "Your Precious Love," and eventually signed her to a record deal with Universal Records. Vanilla Ice,is from suburban Texas.
With the helped of Dallas Producers including "Jah-Born" who produced On & On, On & On (live), & On. Robert"Free"Brandford who produced No Love, & Apple Tree, Badu's highly acclaimed debut album, was released in early 1997 and debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts. Lead single "On & On" reached #12 on the singles charts in both the U.S. and UK. Badu received notice for her introspective lyrics and jazzy, bass-heavy sound, and was hailed as one of the leading lights of the burgeoning neo soul genre. Her sophisticated style of singing drew many comparisons to Billie Holiday. Baduizm eventually went triple platinum and, along with "On & On," won Grammy Awards at the 1998 ceremonies. Currently she just released her album New Amerykah February 26, 2008. She recently form an band called The Cannabiniods featuring talented producers and D.J.'s Dallas in still growing and The underground scene is expanding.
is credited as the original source of the fly sound that spread across the South in the 2000s, and 1990s with artists like Kia Shine
, Yo Gotti
, RISKY D
& DJ VENTRA
& Three 6 Mafia
is home to artists like Young Buck
, Allstar Cashville Prince
. They are so far the only known rappers out of many more from another major city in Tennessee, coming from Nashville
. Jellyroll is from a suburb of Nashville known as Antioch.
is best-known for a bass-heavy form of hip hop called Miami bass
. The first all Hip-Hop label from South Florida was the Broward County based Big Baller Records & Films. Founded by Mr. Frank "Cash" Murray. Big Baller was the first true Hip-Hop label in South Florida to sign a major multi-million dollar deal with Sony Music. Big Baller was also the first label in the entire state of Florida to produce and film their own movie. Mr. Murray has repeatedly given credit for any so called success to Master P and Jermaine Dupri and his favorite, Luther "Uncle Luke" Campbell. Uncle Luke and his Luke Records had a brief brush with national fame in the late 1980s, aided by a censorship controversy surrounding the crew 2 Live Crew
. Trick Daddy
are other well-known rappers, as well as Latino rapper Pitbull
was also from Miami, but moved to New York City
. Hip-Hop producers Cool and Dre
also hail from Miami
. 2006 has seen the reemergence of Miami's hip hop scene with the break out success of Rick Ross
, new CDs from Luke
, DJ Khaled
and also newcomers Wrekonize
. Singer T-Pain
is from Florida's capital city of Tallahassee
. Rapper Plies
is from Fort Myers, FL. Tampa
is home to the production team JUSTICE LEAGUE
who won a Grammy in 2007 for working with Mary J. Blige, and are rumored to be teaming with The BASIQS
, the rap duo reported by O-Zone Magazine as "The next big thing" to come out of Florida. Orlando has been showing a lot of talent as of late with rappers such as Wes Fif who just signed to Slip-N-Slide Records, along with other promising rappers such as Jon Young, J.Cash, and the rap group known as Treal (recently signed to Universal Records) who are making a lot of noise recently with their hot single "I'm Not Locked Down". Smilez & Southstar are a duo of rappers from Orlando who were on MTV with their single "Tell me" in 2002. Their first album since then is expected to drop in 2008 called "The Re-Introduction".
Hip Hop production duo The Runners
hail from Orlando home. Also, Paper Chasers Productions (PC$P) is a large hip-hop and R&B group out of South Florida. The Miami-based group was formed in 2004 by Alvin Santamaria, better known by Yung Focus. The group also contains Triple Threat, Fugitive, Cream, and a collection of various singers. Jacksonville Have 69 Boys, 95 South and Quad City DJs who all together sold over 35 million records. New acts from Jacksonville are Former Universal Records now is on T-Pain Nappy Boy Label Young Cash. Swordz, Bread Boys, Jim Beam, Supa Chino, T-Rone, Dukwon, M.O.E., S.O.D, & many more. Many Famous DJs such as Bigga Rankins, DJ King Ron, T-Roy & Easy-E.
Before Atlanta's takeover around 2001, the most popular scene in the South was New Orleans
, led by Master P
's No Limit Records
featuring his 504 Boyz
, Silkk the Shocker
, and C-Murder
. Cash Money Records
and Cash Money Millionaires
, consisting of the Big Tymers
, who are Baby
and Mannie Fresh
, the Hot Boyz
, which were Lil Wayne
, had a 1999 hit, "Bling Bling
", which created a national catchphrase called Bling
. They formed in 1991 by Baby and his brother Slim and made many hit records throughout the late 90s and 2000s. The future of New Orleans
rap is in jeopardy due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
, which has directly affected many local rap personalities.
, from Jackson, Mississippi
, is the only known rapper to come out of Mississippi
, with recent hits such as Like A Pimp and Play
. He also released a song called Get Like Me
, the most prominent Native American
rapper, is based in Tulsa
, and operates the record label Red Vinyl.
has many underground artists, Rich Boy
, from Mobile, Alabama
is the most successful rapper to come out of the state.
- Main articles: Music of California
In the early 1980s, recorded hip hop from Los Angeles began. There were two styles. One was hardcore hip hop
vocalists, like Ice-T
, King Tee
and Toddy Tee
, while the others performed a kind of electronic dance music
called electro hop
; these included the Arabian Prince
, Egyptian Lover
, and World Class Wreckin' Cru
Though there was no major acclaim until the very end of the 1980s, West Coast artists grew in stature by the middle of the decade. These hits included Ice-T's "6'n da Mornin'" (1986), one of the first gangsta rap songs, and Toddy Tee's "Batterram." Ice-T's Rhyme Pays (1987) brought critical acclaim for the West Coast. With the success of N.W.A and N.W.A. and the Posse soon after, West Coast hip hop moved quickly towards the mainstream. N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton completed the transition of West Coast hip hop to the forefront of American popular hip hop, but it was 1992's The Chronic by Dr. Dre that established the style's permanence. Death Row Records was the prominent West Coast record label. Founded by Suge Knight the label included Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and 2Pac. Another notable west coast group from the time was Latin group Cypress Hill who, like Ice-T, also dabbled in the alternative rock scene and gangsta rap. Other prominent Los Angeles artists of the 80' & 90's are Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Low Profile, Kid Frost, Above The Law, MC Eight and his group C.M.W., DJ Quik, WC and the Maad Circle, Freestyle Fellowship, Snoop Dogg, The Pharcyde, Tha Alkaholiks, Coolio, Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound, Mack 10, Ras Kass, Xzibit, WC, Psycho Realm, Jurassic 5, and Dilated Peoples.
The Chronic was the beginning of what was known as G-funk, and included such stars as Snoop Doggy Dogg and Warren G. Its release came at a pivotal period, simultaneous with the release of Nirvana's Nevermind, and American music went through a watershed moment. There was a backlash against the late 1980s heavy metal bands, which were seen as cheap and formulaic. Nirvana and Dr. Dre shared an anti-establishment attitude which resonated with the country's youth.
Since Eazy-E and Tupac died, West Coast rap has died down a bit with the exceptions of elder statesmen Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg as well as Xzibit. Recently the West Coast has made a comeback with Compton rapper The Game. He sold 5 million records on his first album titled The Documentary, due to the success of rapper 50 Cent. He was also known to sign with G-unit Records, but was booted out because of his un-loyalty. Although things looked dire for The Game (and the West Coast in general, being that it was being renovated by The Game) he struck back with his now famous G-Unot campaign that looked at everything from 50's possible steroid abuse to his penchent for snitching. He has since called a cease-fire with the release of The Doctor's Advocate. The Doctor's Advocate (featuring several famous West Coast acts such as Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, and Tha Dogg Pound) marked a semi-return for the Left Coast. The new acts rising from L.A. are G-Unit records signee Spider Loc and The Game's entire Black Wall Street Organization.
Though technically a part of L.A.'s hip hop sense, its huge population and successful hip-hop scene has led to some seeing Long Beach
in its own light. It is the home of stars such as Snoop Dogg
, Warren G
, Nate Dogg
, Tha Dogg Pound
and Tha Eastsidaz
who have all had spans of major success. Now with a lot of the California focus spread out to artists such as , E-40
and Ya Boy
a lot believe the future of the LBC name relies on former "Death Row Savior" Crooked I.
Rapper/Actor Nick Cannon
is from San Diego, with singles like, "Gigolo", "Your Pops Don't Like Me", and "Dime Piece", he has enjoyed moderate success with music before moving on as an entertainer. Mexican
rapper Lil Rob
is another rapper from San Diego
to become mainstream, with his recent hits "Summer Nights" and "Bring Out the Freak in You". Jayo Felony
is a rap veteran who as been rapping gangsta rap since the late 90's. Other rappers include Mitchy Slick
, Jimmy Powers
and Entra-P of which the latter two form the underground collective Clay Pigeons
.Verbz (Caveman Beats) has become one of the most sought after producers in the city.
Known for hardcore gangster Sacramento
acts such as X-Raided
, Hollow Tip C-Bo
and Brotha Lynch Hung
. The label is known for it's shocking near horrorcore lyrics involving cannibalism, rape, and graphic violence. Brotha Lynch has worked with a diverse selection of artists, from popular underground acts such as Tech N9ne
to mainstream rapper Snoop Dogg
. other rappers like siccmade rapper Zigg Zagg, Marvalous
, north highland'sp-folks
, phonk beta
, Tallcann G
, Jack Paper
, Ballin A$$ Dame
, brotha lynch's brothers C.O.S
, and many other rappers are from the 916.
The Bay Area
The Bay Area
's reputation is largely based on alternative acts such as Souls of Mischief
, The Coup
, Zion I
, and Del tha Funkee Homosapien
. The Bay Area (specifically Oakland
) is also the adopted hometown of the late 2Pac
, who started with the famous local act Digital Underground
, and who is regularly listed as one of, if not the most highly overrated rapper of all time. It is also the hometown of the Luniz
consisting of rappers Yukmouth
as well as other rappers such as Too Short
, Spice 1
, MC Hammer
, and Mac Dre
. In current times, the Bay Area is home to the "Hyphy
" Movement, featuring uptempo club songs from artists like E-40
, Keak da Sneak
, Mistah F.A.B.
, The Federation
, Ya Boy
, San Quinn
, Turf Talk
, Messy Marv
, JT the Bigga Figga
, and The Team (rap)
The Pacific Northwest
's rap scene is similar to Oakland's more intellectual style. Seattles old School consisted of The Silver Chain Gang, The Emerald Street Boys, The Funk Brigade, Boss Cross and Gary Jam, The Gangster Girls, and The Chill Hill 3. It briefly gained national prominence in 1988 to 1991 with Sir Mix-A-Lot
's novelty hits "Posse On Broadway
" (selected as one of Source Magazine
's 100 Best Singles of all time), and "Baby Got Back
". Later, major regional acts included Source of Labor
, and most recently the Oldominion
, and Blue Scholars
. Underground Hip Hop acts the Boom Bap Project
have been signed to the major underground label Rhymesayers Entertainment
. Thirstin Howl III
(though he denies it) also hail from Seattle. The Guinness Book
record holder for Fastest Rap MC is the Seattle-based No Clue (Ricky Brown)
, breaking the record previously held by Chicago rapper Rebel XD
who broke another Chicago native, mainstream rapper Twista
's record back in 1993. Brown rapped 723 syllables in 51.27 seconds on his track "No Clue" at B&G Studios, Seattle, on January 15
In Oregon, hip-hop culture is also alive and well, thriving in the population centers of Portland and Eugene. The most recognizable figures in Portland hip-hop are Bosco "Bosko" Kante's and Terrance "Cool Nutz" Scott's Jus Family Records, the nationally recognized turntabilist DJ Wicked, and the Sandpeople group, which is loosely affiliated with Seattle's Oldominion.