East Coast hip hop

East Coast hip hop is the original style of hip hop music that originated in New York City, USA, during the early-1970s. Famous East Coast rappers include KRS-ONE, The Notorious B.I.G, Wu-Tang Clan, Big L, Nas, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Run-D.M.C., Rakim, Gang Starr, Public Enemy, Naughty By Nature and many more. East Coast hip hop emerged as a definitive subgenre after artists from other regions of the United States, West Coast hip hop, Southern hip hop and Midwest hip hop, emerged with different styles. It has since grown into a major subgenre of hip hop, and has played an instrumental role in hip hop history. East Coast hip hop has developed several creative epicenters and local scenes within the Northeastern United States, most of which are primarily located within African American and Hispanic urban centers.

Beginning stages of hip hop (1970-1980s)


Hip hop music emerged from block parties thrown by owners of loud and expensive stereo equipment, which they could share with the community or use to compete among ultra-competitive West Indian DJs, most notable of which was Kool DJ Herc, who began isolating the percussion break from funk or disco songs. The rough economic situation of the inner-city community motivated DJs to remake, rearrange, or remix existing recordings into completely different compositions with the use of turntables. DJs would extend the break section of previously released songs by alternating between duplicate copies of a vinyl recording with the use of two turntables and a mixer. In the late 1970s, visionary DJs residing in New York City (specifically the Bronx), such as Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambataa molded this new sound into a definable genre of music, which soon evolved into a urban sub-culture, which included rapping, beatboxing, scratching, graffiti, and breakdancing. Therefore, because New York City is considered to be the birthplace of hip hop, many look to the East Coast (New York City in particular) as the prestigious capitol, or Mecca, of hip hop culture.

Soon MCs entered the equation to enhance the DJ's efforts and act as a crowd moderator. Originally, early hip hop performers focused on introducing themselves and others in the audience (the origin of the still common practice of "shouting out" on hip hop records). These early performers often emceed for hours at a time, with some improvisation and a simple four-count beat, along with a basic chorus to allow the performer to gather his thoughts (such as "one, two, three, y'all, to the beat, y'all"). Later, the MCs grew more varied in their vocal and rhythmic approach, incorporating brief rhymes, often with a sexual or scatological theme, in an effort at differentiating themselves and entertaining the audience.


The techniques used in hip hop changed during the 1980s as well. Most important were the DJ records such as Grandmaster Flash's "Adventures on the Wheels of Steel" (known for pioneering use of scratching, which was invented by Grandwizard Theodore in 1977) as well as electronic recordings such as "Planet Rock" by Afrika Bambaataa and Run DMC's very basic, all electronic "Sucker MCs" and "Peter Piper" which contains genuine cutting by Run DMC member Jam Master Jay. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five released a "message rap", called "The Message", in 1982; this was one of the earliest examples of recorded hip hop with a socially aware tone. In 1984, Marley Marl accidentally caught a drum machine snare hit in the sampler; this innovation was vital in the development of electro and other later types of hip hop.

With the advent of recorded hip hop in the late 1970s, all the major elements and techniques of the genre were in place. While Kool Herc & the Herculoids were the first hip hoppers to gain major fame in New York, the public at large was first introduced to hip hop by the releases of the first two commercially issued hip hop recordings, "King Tim III" by The Fatback Band and "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang. Neither act had significant roots in the culture; the Fatback Band was primarily a funk act, while the Sugarhill Gang was the studio creation of Sugar Hill co-founder Sylvia Robinson. Nevertheless, "Rapper's Delight" became a Top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard pop singles chart, and after the releases of follow ups by acts such as Kurtis Blow ("The Breaks"), The Sequence ("Funk You Up"), and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five ("Freedom"), hip hop was pegged as a successful, yet temporary, trend in music. During the early 1970s, breakdancing arose during block parties, as b-boys and b-girls got in front of the audience to dance in a distinctive, frenetic style. The style was documented for release to a world wide audience for the first time in Beat Street.

Though not yet mainstream, it was well-known among African Americans and Latinos, even outside of New York City; hip hop could be found in cities as diverse as Los Angeles, Washington, Baltimore, Boston, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, Cleveland, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Houston. In particular, Philadelphia was, for many years, the only city whose contributions to hip hop were valued as greatly as New York City's by hip hop purists and critics. Hip hop was popular there at least as far back as 1976 (first record: "Rhythm Talk", by Jocko Henderson in 1979), and the New York Times dubbed Philly the "Graffiti Capital of the World" in 1971, due to the influence of such legendary graffiti artists as Cornbread. The first female solo artist to record hip hop was Lady B. ("To the Beat Y'All", 1980), a Philly-area radio DJ.

The Golden Age of Hip Hop (1986–1993)

Old school hip hop would often sample disco, soul, and funk tracks. In the case of the Sugarhill Gang, a live band was used for samples. However, the old school sound soon became based largely on drum machines and popular break samples. Mixing and scratching techniques eventually developed along with the breaks. In contrast with the later rhymes of new school hip hop, old school rap was relatively simple in its rhythms and cadences. However, from the mid- to late 1980s, Hip hop gradually gravitated to a more sample-reliant sound, as rappers increased their technical dexterity in crafting lyrics. As time went by, a distinction appeared between the old school sound (defined by simplistic rhyme schemes, straightforward messages, and sparse rhythms and cadences with few samples) and the new school. Typifying this Golden Age of the East Coast sound was Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid in Full. Paid in Full showcased Rakim’s multi-syllabic lyrical delivery which would be subsequently adapted by numerous rappers —introducing the idea of a rapid, continuous, free-rhythmic flow, based around deeply woven rhyme structures (incorporating internal rhymes and sophisticated metaphors). Furthermore, Eric B.'s innovative distillation of James Brown samples ushered the "godfather rap" period, which witnessed the extensive sampling of R&B and soul music as instrumentals for hip hop songs.


While New York City would remain the center of hip hop culture for much of the 1980s, hip hop music itself was gaining mainstream success and becoming increasingly accessible within the musical fabric of pop culture. Artists such as Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Biz Markie, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane, The Fat Boys and EPMD, were considered the closest thing to superstars that hip hop had yet produced, and all were firmly rooted on the East Coast. In fact, Kurtis Blow (Kurtis Blow), LL Cool J (Radio) and especially Run-D.M.C. (Raising Hell), were among the first hip hop artists to legitimize the genre by gaining acceptance from the mainstream media. LL Cool J's Radio spawned a number of singles that entered the dance charts, peaking with "I Can Give You More" (#21). 1986 saw two hip hop acts in the Billboard Top Ten; Run-D.M.C.'s "Walk This Way" collaboration with Aerosmith, and the Beastie Boys "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)". The pop success of both singles was unheard of for the time. Kurtis Blow's appearance in a Sprite commercial made him the first hip hop musician to be considered mainstream enough to represent a major product, but also the first to be accused by the hip hop audience of selling out. Another popular performer among mainstream audiences included DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, who won rap's first Grammy award in 1988.


During the late-1980s, Philadelphia's Schoolly D developed what became known as gangsta rap. Although Gangsta rap is usually credited as being a West Coast phenomenon (due to the mainstream success of Ice-T and N.W.A) Schoolly D and Boogie Down Productions (with the release of Criminal Minded) were instrumental in pioneering hardcore hip hop, an East Coast variant of gangsta rap.

Another major influence on East Coast hip hop was the pioneering work of the politically-aware performers, Public Enemy. In the late 1980s, Public Enemy became one of the premiere acts in hip hop, both among aficionados and mainstream listeners. In 1987, Public Enemy released their debut album (Yo! Bum Rush the Show) on Def Jam - one of hip hop's oldest and most important labels, and Boogie Down Productions followed up in 1988 with By All Means Necessary; both records pioneered wave of hard-edged politicized performers. In particular, Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back became surprisingly successful, despite its militant and confrontational tone, appearing on both the club and rap charts, and peaking at #17 and #11, respectively. Aside from the lyrical innovations, Public Enemy's DJ, Terminator X, and their production team, The Bomb Squad (along with Eric B., Marley Marl, and Prince Paul among others) both pioneered new techniques in sampling and scratching that resulted in dense, multi-layered sonic collages.

Public Enemy's politically aware lyrics and militant activism served as the blueprint for groups such as X-Clan, Brand Nubian, and Native Tongues Posse (the last of which arose as a form of alternative rap with artists like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest). In 1988 and 1989, albums from the Native Tongues Posse collective such as De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising, A Tribe Called Quest's People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, and the Jungle Brothers' Done by the Forces of Nature are usually considered the first definitive alternative rap albums, with jazz-based samples and quirky, insightful lyrics covering a diverse range of topics and strongly influenced by the Afrocentric messages of Bambaataa's Zulu Nation. This period, between 1988 and 1992, when the Native Tongues (together with other groups such as Pete Rock and CL Smooth and The Main Source) were at their creative peak, is considered the apogee of golden age of hip hop.

In addition to the Native Tongues Posse, influential singles were released in 1988 (see 1988 in music), by Gang Starr ("Words I Manifest") and Stetsasonic ("Talkin' All That Jazz"); these two singles fused hip hop with jazz in a way never done before, and helped lead to the development of jazz rap. Digable Planets also achieved phenomenal success in the early nineties with their single Cool Like Dat and the album Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space). However, the alternative rap movement had largely fizzled out in the mid-1990s, with A Tribe Called Quest experiencing a career slump, and De La Soul, the Jungle Brothers, and Gang Starr retreating into the hip hop underground.

Modern hip hop (1992–present)

The rise of the West Coast

Though East Coast hip hop was dominant throughout the 1980s, N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton and later Dr. Dre's The Chronic would introduce West Coast hip hop to the mainstream, and went on to supersede the East Coast's dominance. The Chronic, in particular, took West Coast rap in a new direction that was strongly influenced by P-funk artists, melding the psychedelic funky beats with slowly drawled lyrics. This came to be known as G-funk, and dominated mainstream hip hop for several years through a roster of artists on Death Row Records, including most popularly, Snoop Doggy Dogg (whose debut, Doggystyle, included "What's My Name" and "Gin and Juice", both Top Ten hits). Thus, for much of the mid-1990s, the West Coast hip hop scene overshadowed several East Coast rappers. Encapsulating the torrid times, Jay-Z stated that, "It's like New York's been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed them buildings", a nod to Dogg Pound's "New York, New York” video that featured Death Row artists stepping on New York's famed skyline. East Coast hip hop appeared to be in such disarray, that in 1993, West Coast rappers sold three times as many records as their East Coast counterparts.

The East Coast Renaissance

Although G-Funk was the most popular variety of hip hop during the early-1990s, the East Coast hip hop scene remained an integral part of the music industry. Several New York City rappers rising from the local underground scene, began releasing noteworthy albums in the early and mid nineties (including Black Moon (Enta Da Stage), Wu-Tang Clan (Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)), AZ (Doe or Die), Nas (Illmatic), Smif-N-Wessun (Dah Shinin'), Onyx (Bacdafucup), Mobb Deep (The Infamous), Raekwon (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...), Ol' Dirty Bastard (Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version), GZA (Liquid Swords), Jay-Z (Reasonable Doubt), and Redman (Whut? Thee Album) —most of them gaining outstanding critical acclaim. Gabe Gloden of Stylus Magazine wrote, “From my perspective in the Midwest, the market was dominated by West Coast hip hop, and these albums didn’t make much of a dent in West Coast sales, but with time, these albums filtered their way into everyone’s collections” The most commercially successful of these albums, Ready to Die, launched Notorious B.I.G. into stardom and established Bad Boy Records (under the direction of Puff Daddy) as the main competitor of Death Row Records.

In addition to the hugely profitable and pop-accessible Bad Boy label, the East Coast produced its share of varied, highly acclaimed artists that included AZ and Nas, the influential hardcore groups Wu-Tang Clan, Boot Camp Clik, and Mobb Deep, and artists such as Big L (Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous), Capone-n-Noreaga (The War Report), DMX (It's Dark and Hell Is Hot), Lost Boyz (Legal Drug Money), Ghostface Killah (Ironman), Das EFX (Dead Serious), Jeru the Damaja (The Sun Rises in the East), Gang Starr (Hard to Earn), Originoo Gunn Clappaz (O. G. C.) (Da Storm), Group Home (Livin' Proof), O.C. (Word...Life), Big Noyd (Episodes of a Hustla), Mic Geronimo (The Natural), Method Man (Tical), Az (Doe or Die), Kool G. Rap (4,5,6), Gravediggaz (6 Feet Deep), Mad Skillz (From Where???), and Organized Konfusion (Stress: The Extinction Agenda). This wave of new artists signaled what many hip hop purists have since coined as the "East Coast Renaissance" or the "Boom Bap" era.

The Shiny Suit era and mainstream pinnacle

The revival of the East Coast hip hop scene as a reemerging identity soon spawned an inter-coastal confrontation. West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur was shot outside of a recording studio in New York in late 1994, an event he would later claim was orchestrated by The Notorious B.I.G. and Puff Daddy. Tupac proceeded to sign with Death Row Records, and the personal rivalry would grow into a feud between the Bad Boy and Death Row labels. Due to Biggie and Tupac's prominence on their respective coasts, the rivalry is often referred to as the East Coast/West Coast feud. It would culminate into the murders of both rappers in the mid-1990s. In the wake of the deaths of both artists, Biggie's certified-diamond double album, Life After Death, became a huge posthumous success in 1997. Whereas West Coast dominance soon crumbled after the death of Tupac, as Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg left Death Row Records and Suge Knight was jailed over illegal business practices.

This spelled an end to the West Coast’s four year reign —which was soon to be superseded to the East. Bad Boy Records went on to further dominate the charts upon the release of Puffy's and Mase's respective multi-platinum albums: No Way Out and Harlem World. However, this commercial success came at the detriment of critical acclaim (due to the perceived over-reliance on sampling). Generally, the period in which this sound prospered (1997—1998) is mockingly called the "Shiny Suit Era", due to Puffy and Mase's tendencies to wear expensive clothing that would literally shine.

Afterwards, during the remainder of the late-1990s and into the early 2000s, a new breed of hard-edged East Coast rappers soon emerged, who began topping the charts once again. These rappers included DMX, Ja Rule, and Jay-Z, who all rose to mainstream prominence with their multi-platinum releases: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, 36, and Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life.

"Second Wave" alternative hip hop

Just as Hardcore rap and pop-rap was beginning to achieve incredible mainstream and crossover success, hip hop's alternative side experienced a resurgence. The Afrocentric neo-soul movement was heavily influenced by the Native Tongues and artists such as Mos Def (Black on Both Sides), Talib Kweli (Train of Thought), The Fugees (The Score), Common (One Day It'll All Make Sense and Like Water for Chocolate), Erykah Badu (Baduizm), and Slum Village (Fantastic, Vol. 2) achieved great success at the close of the decade. The Rawkus record label, home to Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Company Flow as well as Pharoahe Monch is largely credited with aiding the late 1990s resurgence of alternative rap.

Mos Def and Talib Kweli's 1998 release, Black Star (largely produced by Hi-Tek) also contributed greatly to this evolution, with its return to Native Tongues-style old school hip hop. Mos Def's solo debut, Black on Both Sides (1999), quickly established him as a darling of alternative media for its incendiary politics. Kweli's solo career, however, took some time to get off the ground; as he did not release his debut, Train of Thought until 2000. Pharaohe Monch's Internal Affairs, his 1999 solo debut after leaving Organized Konfusion, also added more pop and hardcore hip hop elements to the mix. The hip hop band, The Roots were among the leaders of the second alternative hip hop wave, dropping several critically acclaimed albums in the mid-to-late 1990s, including Do You Want More?!!!??! (1995), Illadelph Halflife (1996), and the breakthrough, Things Fall Apart in 1999.

The Rise of the South

However, for much of the early 2000s, the East Coast chart-dominance began losing its momentum to the then growing Dirty South. Southern rap had experienced a wave of popularity in the late 90's with roster-filled New Orleans labels such as No Limit Rec. and Cash Money Rec. Particularly, in the year 2003 (a year which coincided with the retirements of Jay-Z and DMX, and the decline of Ja Rule's popularity), Southern rap experienced an unprecedented degree of mainstream popularity with several hit singles, including Never Scared by Bone Crusher, featuring Killer Mike and T.I., Damn! by Youngbloodz, and especially Get Low (produced by Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz and featuring the Ying Yang Twins). Rap News Network summed up this phenomenon when it stated, "This year's hottest hip hop artists are from the Midwest and the South, from Atlanta or St. Louis or Chicago. Anywhere, it seems, but here New York." Since then, 50 Cent and G-Unit remain the only multi-platinum selling East Coast artists to top the charts. From the aforementioned mass appeal of Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins to the meteoric rise of Trick Daddy, T.I., Ludacris, Outkast and Houston rappers such as Z-Ro, Scarface, Lil' Flip, Paul Wall, and Chamillionaire, the East Coast has struggled to retain its former status in the mainstream.


In 2003, 50 Cent debuted his first album Get Rich or Die Tryin, which contributed to the decline in popularity of Ja Rule. Bronx rapper Fat Joe gained popularity. Jay-Z retired with his critically acclaimed album The Black Album, DMX would also retire after his 2003 album Grand Champ, Ja Rule fell from popularity after his album Blood In My Eye only went gold. 50 Cent and G-Unit went on to dominate the charts from 2003 into 2004. After Southern hip hop dominated the charts for nearly the whole year, Ja Rule released a gold album in 2004 named R.U.L.E.. In 2005, 50 Cent came back with his album The Massacre which would go 5x platinum. Together they would dominate the charts from November to May. Then Fat Joe would have a hit in June. In April 2006 DMX would return to hip hop with his new single "Lord Give Me a Sign" off of his August album Year of the Dog...Again. On November 21, 2006, New York rapper Jay-Z returned to the hip hop scene with his multi-platinum Kingdom Come LP. The album would mark a return by New York to the top of the charts. In December 2006, Jay-Z rival turned friend Nas would see his album Hip Hop Is Dead debut at #1 on the charts. The same day rapper Fat Joe released his highly anticipated Me, Myself & I. The album did not sell very well, but was very popular in New York City, despite that he told people to stop hating the south. 2007 was a great year for East Coast hip hop as we would see the rise of New York MC Mims and his debut album, Music Is My Savior, being one of the most popular albums of early 2007. Fabolous would release his album From Nothin' To Somethin'. These two albums combined kept the East Coast on the radio. 50 Cent would also return with his third album Curtis during 2007. Jay-Z also returned with his highly anticipated tenth album, American Gangster, while Ja Rule's, eighth album, The Mirror originally due to be released in 2007, was delayed put back to October 2008. 2007 also saw Saigon release his debut album The Moral of the Story. 2007 has been compared to the resurrection that the East Coast experienced in 1994 which was led by new artists and the older ones like LL Cool J also had popular singles and albums. Cassidy would release his highly popular album, B.A.R.S..

Musical style & regional difference

The stand-out point of East Coast hip hop from other regional forms (in general) is the intricate and multi-threaded lyrics and delivery of this sub-genre. East coast artists tend to be more complex, witty, and versatile (depending on the artist). As a general rule, East Coast rap artists tend to emphasize lyricism coupled with production centered on the frenetic use of a drum machine. Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, Big Pun, Nas, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Big L, and Rakim are among the many East Coast artists considered to be among Hip Hop's greatest lyricists.

East coast hip hop also tends to be the only form which still emphasizes the role of the DJ in production, still employing the original techniques of scratching, sampling, and blending (transforming). Producers such as DJ Premier, Pete Rock, and the RZA are well known for their rare and unique sounds and techniques.

Critically-acclaimed East Coast artists such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Nas have a wide margin of subject matter thus appealing to a wider audience, particularly when they address social issues in their communities. Alternative styles usually develop in this region with groups such as A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Gang Starr, and De La Soul, and Common; who blend jazz or abstract production with socially-conscious raps.

A huge number of East-Coast rappers such as DMX, Jadakiss, and Prodigy or groups such as Wu-Tang Clan, and Black Moon have adopted hardcore hip hop personas which typically glorify violence, drugs, mafioso or gang affiliation.

East Coast hip hop also tends to have a slower pace (70-120 Beats Per Minute) than its Southern and West Coast counterparts.

The beats of East Coast rap tend to be more sparse than those of Southern or West Coast rappers, such as the G-Funk beats of Dr. Dre or the pounding clubbish beats of Lil' Jon. For example, Nas's New York State of Mind features a beat with only drums and a piano riff, with some turntable scratching in the chorus. Another example of this is the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, especially on the group's debut album.


Major Areas of Influence


New York City

- New York City, specifically the West Bronx and South Bronx, was the birthplace of hip hop, in 1973 and all of its prime early movers, such as DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster 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 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 CeRonnah C-Jobe (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 Mount Vernon), 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, Jadakiss, The Diplomats, Immortal Technique and Fabolous are a few successful rappers/groups of the 21st century from the New York area. - -

New Jersey

- Having played second fiddle to New York artists, New Jersey has produced great artists itself. Some of the earliest known New Jersey rappers are the pioneer rap group Sugarhill Gang with their ground-breaking hit, Rapper's Delight. In the late eighties and early nineties, Naughty By Nature, Queen Latifah, Redman were all critically acclaimed and commercially successful. In the mid-nineties The Fugees, led by Lauryn Hill and wyclef Jean, were highly successful with their album The Score. Other artists from the nineties are Poor Righteous Teachers, Lords of the Underground, The Outlawz, and Chino XL. Recently artists like Joe Budden, Jus Allah, Artifacts, and hip hop producers Just Blaze have set the stage for New Jersey artists. Major cities are Newark, East Orange, Paterson, Jersey City, and Trenton. - -


- Philadelphia has produced many rappers in the eighties, such as Schoolly D, Cool C, Steady B, and Three Times Dope. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince were one of the first to put Philly on the map. The Roots have also been followed by underground fans since the mid-1990s. It also famous for early 2000s mainstream acts such as Cassidy, Beanie Sigel, Eve, Freeway, and Peedi Crakk. The Philadelphia underground scene consists of Jedi Mind Tricks, Reef the Lost Cauze, Chief Kamachi, Random, Meek Millz, Joey Jihad, Last Emperor, Reed Dollaz Chic Raw, and Cyssero. - -


- Though not very widely recognized, Boston has had a long history of hip hop mainly coming from the Black/African American and Latino ghettos of Dorchester, Mattapan, certain parts of the South End, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, East Boston, Hyde Park, Roslindale, Lowell and Lawrence. Some of its acclaimed acts include Mr. Lif, Akrobatik, music producer Clinton Sparks, Termanology, Reks, M-DOT, Virtuoso, Kabir, Supraliminal, Dre Robinson, Bobby Brown, Benzino, Triple Threat, Made Men, Ed O.G., members of Gang Starr Foundation and 7L & Esoteric; it has also spawned artists who have gone on to impact Hip Hop majorly, such as Guru (who moved to New York to become one half of Gang Starr). A recent notable to emerge from Boston has been Slaine. Lawrence native Reks recently releases his new album Grey Hairs. Though garnering much praise and critical acclaim, it has not sold well. - -


- Baltimore is best known for its Baltimore Club music scene. Baltimore Club music is a subgenre of hip hop that combines repetitive, looped vocal snippets with heavy breakbeats and call and response stanzas similar to those found in the go-go music of Washington, D.C. Baltimore has had a long history of hip hop, and continues to thrive with a large underground scene. Bossman is a Baltimore based artist that has had limited regional attention. Other Baltimore area artists include Tim Trees with his breakout hit Bank Rolls, and B-Rich who achieved national attention with his hit single Whoa Now. Also Young Leek has made a name for himself with his hit "Jiggle It". - -

Washington D.C.

- The DC hip hop scene has always taken a backseat to the other more prevalent genres in the area. Even still very influential groups have planted seeds in the city for future generations to follow. Groups like The Amphibians & Freestyle Union laid the foundation for artists like Wale, Unspoken Heard, Doujah Raze,Thad Reid, Tabi Bonney, & Low Budget to help put DC's hip hop scene on the map. - -


- Virginia, with its unique style of hip hop, features such artists such as Missy Elliott, The Clipse, FAM-LAY, Nottz, Skillz, Timbaland and Pharrell, along with the The Neptunes and N*E*R*D. Timbaland and The Neptunes are known for their highly successful productions, with many string of number one hits. All have been major successes with crossover hits. Many of the artist are from the Virginia Beach-Norfolk area.

East Coast hip hop record labels


See also

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