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90’s Hip Hop

Wzup 90's hip hop heads! This section of the website is dedicated to the Golden Era of Hip Hop. The days when Martin & The Fresh Prince ruled television, groups like Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, and Outkast were just emerging. The Source & Vibe were the premiere magazines, East Coast, West Coast, Dirty South, Bad Boy, Death Row. And of course, the late greats 2Pac & Biggie.


It's the generation I grew up in and, in my eyes, the best time of hip hop! 90's hip hop gave us some of the best memories, videos, groups, and lyrics. Hip hop expanded across the nation and grew into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today. Now that there has been a changing of the guard in hip hop, I felt it only right to pay homage to one of my favorite decades in hip-hop.


90’s Top 10 Lists:

  Top 10 90's Hip Hop Albums
  Top 10 90's R&B Albums
  Top 10 90's Movies





90’s Hip Hop - The Golden Era

Early 90’s Hip Hop

Hip hop in the early 90’s was making the transition from a popular new genre to establishing itself in the industry. Early 90’s hip hop music had strong themes of afrocentricity, political and social consciousness. Lyrics were at a premium, black pride & empowerment were still valued, and people were rockin red, black and green with pride. Prominent 90's hip hop artists were Public Enemy, Ice Cube, A Tribe Called Quest and Arrested Development.




Mid 90’s Hip Hop - East Coast / West Coast Rivalry

Hip hop was born in New York during the early 80's. And up until the 90’s, most of the successful artists had been from that area. The group Wu-Tang Clan released Enter the 36 Chambers, with a style and flow unlike any previously scene. Nas, Mobb Deep, and Jay-Z also made successful debuts and were considered among the lyrical elite. But there was something brewing out west…


In 1992, Dr. Dre released The Chronic, on Death Row Records. Widely considered one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time, the album shot to #1 on the Hip hop/R&B chart. The album also was the launching pad for Snoop Dogg, who then released the mega-successful Doggystyle.


In 1994, The Notorious B.I.G. released the hip hop classic Ready to Die, on Bad Boy Records. This big boy from Brooklyn had a gansta godfather appeal & smooth lyrical style. The album was a commercial success and helped the East Coast gain back some commercial dominance from the West Coast.


In 1995, Suge Knight bailed 2Pac out of jail, he signed with Death Row Records and released his highly anticipated All Eyez on Me, his last album during his lifetime. For the next several years, Death Row Records dominated mainstream hip hop. The high, or low point (depending on where you live) was Tha Dogg Pound’s video “New York, New York” which featured Snoop Dogg walking around New York crushing the buildings.


The two most popular and polarizing rappers during this time were 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. Once friends, these two talented artists found themselves at the center of a beef that was dividing the hip hop nation. Unfortunately, it resulted in the death of both these artists in ’96-’97. R.I.P. Big & Pac, we miss yall.







90's Hip Hop Expands

It was during the mid-to-late 90’s that hip hop from different regions began to emerge. The mid-west produced artists with new lyrical styles like Twista and Bone Thugz-N-Harmony. The 2Live Crew, from Miami, was making dance rap music or “booty music.” But it wasn’t until Outkast hit the scene, winning the Source award for best new group, did the south really emerge. “The South’s got sumthin to say!” proclaimed Andre 3000. Along with Goodie Mob, Outkast kicked the door open for the rest of the south. Underground groups like UGK, 8ball & MJG, The Geto Boyz gained in popularity and a new hip hop capital was formed in Atlanta, GA.


Late 90’s Hip Hop

“Uhh,” Master P came on the scene during this time and introduced the hip hop world to New Orleans. The supreme businessman, Master P established No Limit Records and flooded the market with his product, changing the way rappers do business. Up until then, most artists released an album every year or two. But No Limit artists released albums every month or two, increasing profits, and forcing others to keep up.


Unfortunately, lyrical content began to suffer. It was the emergence of the big baller, flashy jumpsuits, rims, and bling bling. However, hip hop had also arrived. It’s artists became mainstream (no more St.Ides commercials) and it was now a billion dollar a year industry that set trends around the world. Long live hip hop!











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