Hip Hop began to have an impact on music – that’s hip-hop music – in the Bronx, in the City that never sleeps, New York, during the 1970s. This influence on new music was started among African Americans but Latin influence was in the mix also. This path was mostly underground until now it lives everywhere as a major style throughout the world as now it is not just popular but a commercial hit, especially in the US.
10. Enter the Wu-Tang (1993)
In November 1993, led by RZA, Wu-Tang Clan had their first album released “Enter the Wu-Tang”. Their contract with Loud Records and was the first contract by a hip-hop group leading the way for individual members to sign solo deals to whatever record label they wanted. This was the groundbreaking standard in the record business for hip-hop and hip hop came up from underground.
9. The death of Tupac Shakur (1996)
Up and coming in the Hip Hop world, 2Pac real name Tupac Amaru Shaku, was an actor and rapper. Shakur sold over 75 million plus records globally, marked him as one of the bestselling music artists ever. MTV placed him as #2 on the list of “The Greatest MCs of All Time” and Rolling Stone put him as the “86th Greatest Artist of All Time”. But sometime the good die young and Tupac Amaru Shakur died of multiple shots while leaving a Mike Tyson fight in La Vegas. This gangsta rapper becomes a martyr for hip-hop. And every good movement needs a martyr.
8. Christopher Wallace: Known as the Notorious BIG (1997)
Sporting a bigger than life persona and a flow that seemed uncomplicated, Christopher “The Notorious BIG” Wallace wanted rap back on the East coast. When he dropped his first album in 1994 “Ready to Die”, BIG turn into a key player in the hip hop scene on the East Coast enlarging New York’s importance in that scene when hip hop West Coast was dominant in the that scene. On the 9th of March 1997, Wallace was murdered by an unknown shooter in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.
7. Lauryn Hill – First Lady MC and there aren’t Many (1998)
Lauryn Hill’s first album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” was nominated for up to 10 Grammy Awards in 1999 and she wins five plus Album of the Year. This milestone album sets a goal for hip-hops ladies MCs and MCs in overall. Her fans are still wanting an appropriate follow up – but none yet! Although The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill concentrated mainly on love, Hill’s work with the Fugees and recently solo work has been focused heavily on social injustice. Her work shows that she is disturbed by racism and empowerment for women. She also has worked and issued a series of public announcements precarious of pop culture and societal institutions.
6. Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav or William Jonathan Drayton, Jr. (2004)
Started as a musician and became a TV persona he came to fame as one of the group “Public Enemy”. He is infamous for stimulating the character of the hype man and for yelling out during shows “Flavor Flav!” and “Yeah boy!”. After dropping from the scene for several years, he returned as the new player of some VH1 reality series, such as The Surreal Life, Flavor of Love and Strange Love.
5. Shawn Corey Carter known by his stage name Jay-Z - From drug dealer to star rapper to music mogul and exec! (2004)
Jay-Z is an entrepreneur, rapper, and record producer, as well as one of the more prosperous hip-hop artists as well as entrepreneurs in America. In the year 2012, Forbes estimated Jay-Z’s net at nearly $500 million. He is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time having sold more than 75 million plus records, and his Grammy Awards stand at 17 for his work, and numerous other nominations.
As a businessperson and financier, Jay-Z co-owns 40/40 Club, and is the co-creator of the line of clothes Roca Wear. Jay-Z is the previous head of “Def Jam Recordings”, co-owner of his own record label, and the creator of Roc Nation.
This led to the generation of hip-hop entrepreneurs.
4. Kanya West - best-selling and most awarded artists in popular music (2005)
American hip hop artist, songwriter, film director, record producer, entrepreneur and designer of hip-hop fashion from Chicago. West first came to fame as a music producer for a record label he co-founded; he gained fame for work on The Blueprint (2001), for rapper Jay-Z as well as many singles that were hits for other musical artists including Ludacris, Alicia Keys, and Janet Jackson. His way of production first used high-pitched vocals.
West is one of the best-selling and most awarded artists in popular music. West has won a total of 21 Grammys, making him one of the most awarded artists of all-time and the most awarded artist for his age. Time named West one of the “100 most influential people in the world” Three of his albums are on Rolling Stone’s 2012 “the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list.
3. DJ Drama – We have To Do Things Right (2007)
DJ Drama’s offices in Atlanta were raided by the feds because of his selling of mixtape that were illegal. In spite of the fact that most of the music on these unofficial albums were given by the artists themselves and providing plenty of promotion; the profitable mixtape game of recent years came to a halt. This was illegal and hip-hop needed to clean up its act.
2. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five was Best of the Best – First Hip Hop Group to Make it in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2007)
“Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five” was a significant hip hop group coming out of New York City South Bronx in 1978. Made up of 1 DJ (Grandmaster Flash) and 5 rappers (Kidd Creole, Melle Mel, Mr. Ness/Scorpio, Rahiem and Cowboy) the group used break-beat deejaying, choreographed routines, turntablism, and lyricism was a force in the early growth of hip-hop music.
This group was active for only 5 years and released 2 studio albums. In 2007, it became the very first hip hop group invested in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Hip-hop had arrived!
1. The President like Hip Hop (2008)
Campaigning for the Presidency, Obama answer to a question about the digs Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton sent in a debate, Obama progressed to “brush” his shoulders off. This was a reply given through Jay-Z’s ‘Dirt off Your Shoulder.’ The seemed to show that the President was a fan and the merging of politics and hip-hop culture is born and still will be for some time.
So the history of rap and hip-hop which started as an underground culture change rose to now being melted with politics and has become a major force in the entertainment industry. And looks as if it is here to stay!