This site is a dedication to greatest era of Hip-Hop… The 90s.
I’d love to share with you what I consider to be some of my favourite artists and albums from this decade. Some names and albums will be familiar with a lot of you but also wanna exhibit some of the more underground, lesser know artists and albums.
I have been listening to Hip-Hop since I was a young boy. My earliest memories of listening to Rap are playing my dad’s vinyl records of Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby‘ (pretty cheesy, I know) and De La Soul’s ‘The Magic Number‘ (way more credible). From there my Hip-Hop journey evolved with my uncle Robert, who is 7 years older than me making me and my brother cassette tapes of Hip-Hop albums from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, he was what kept us up to date with the best albums of that time. It was the pre-internet days of course so finding the latest and greatest was a little less accessible, you had to do your digging. Whether it was Dr Dre, Cypress Hill or Xzibit he kept us in the know. From there my older brother Rikki sort of took the roll of what my uncle did for us and would let me listen to his CDs, opening my eyes to rappers like Sticky Fingaz, the Wu Tang Clan (particularly the RZA) or Nas.+ It gave me the fire to go off and explore the Hip-Hop world. The first Rap album I remember going to purchase on my own was Eminem’s ‘The Slim Shady LP‘, I was probably a bit too young to be listening to some of the content on this album but that was what made it feel rebellious and dangerous, it was what made it exciting and a thill to listen to. The lyrics in a lot of these albums are so descriptive that it’s like watching a mini movie through soundwaves with every track to ingested. To me that is what kept me hooked and excited to devour as much different types of Hip-Hop and albums as possible. I have been a huge fan ever since and continue to keep grow with Hip-Hop it evolves and expands.
I always find myself swaying back towards the 90s when it comes to Hip-Hop, something about this era keep dragging me back, it was a time when Hip-Hop was really starting to find its feet and aged into something quite spectacular, it is most definitely the roots and foundations on what today’s Hip-Hop stands on.
Hip-hop is a subculture and art movement developed in South Bronx in New York City during the late 1970s. While the term hip hop is often used to refer exclusively to hip hop music (also called rap), hip hop is characterized by nine elements, of which hip hop music is only four elements (rapping, djaying, beatboxing and breaking). Afrika Bambaataa of the hip hop collective Zulu Nation outlined the pillars of hip hop culture, coining the terms: “rapping” (also called MCing or emceeing), a rhythmic vocal rhyming style (orality); DJing (and turntablism), which is making music with record players and DJ mixers (aural/sound and music creation); b-boying/b-girling/breakdancing (movement/dance); and graffiti art. Other elements of hip hop subculture and arts movements beyond the main four are: hip hop culture and historical knowledge of the movement (intellectual/philosophical); beatboxing, a percussive vocal style; street entrepreneurship; hip hop language; and hip hop fashion and style, among others.
The South Bronx hip hop scene emerged in the 1960s and 1970s from neighborhood block parties thrown by the Ghetto Brothers, a Puerto Rican group that has been described as being a gang, a club, and a music group. Members of the scene plugged in the amplifiers for their instruments and PA speakers into the lampposts on 163rd Street and Prospect Avenue and used their live music events to break down racial barriers between African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Whites and other ethnic groups. Jamaican immigrant DJ Kool Herc also played a key role in developing hip hop music. At 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Herc mixed samples of existing records and deejayed percussion “breaks”, mixing this music with his own Jamaican-style “toasting” (a style of chanting and boastful talking over a microphone) to rev up the crowd and dancers. Kool Herc is credited as the “father” of hip hop for developing the key DJ techniques that, along with rapping, founded the hip hop music style by creating rhythmic beats by looping “breaks” (small portions of songs emphasizing a percussive pattern) on two turntables. This was later accompanied by “rapping” or “MCing” and beatboxing. An original form of dancing called breakdancing, which later became accompanied by popping, locking and other dance moves, which was done to the accompaniment of hip hop songs played on boom boxes and particular fashion styles also developed.
Art historian Robert Farris Thompson describes the youth from the South Bronx in the early 1970s as “English-speaking blacks from Barbados” like Grandmaster Flash, “black Jamaicans” like DJ Kool Herc who introduced the rhythms from Salsa (music), as well as Afro conga and bongo drums, as well as many who emulated the sounds of Tito Puente and Willie Colón. These youths mixed these influences with existing musical styles associated with African-Americans prior to the 1970s, from jazz to funk. Hip hop music became popular outside of the African-American community in the late-1980s, with the mainstream commercial success of Beastie Boys, The Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and then emerging hip hop movements such as the Native Tongues, Daisy Age and then later (in the early 1990s) gangsta rap. Critic Greg Tate described the Hip Hop movement as “the only avant-garde still around, still delivering [a] shock” of newness to the wealthy bourgeoisie. Ronald Savage, known by the nickname Bee-Stinger, who was a former member of the Zulu Nation, coined the term “Six elements of the Hip Hop Movement”. The “Six Elements of the Hip Hop Movement” are: Consciousness Awareness, Civil Rights Awareness, Activism Awareness, Justice, Political Awareness, and Community Awareness in music. Ronald Savage is known as the Son of The Hip Hop Movement. Hip Is The Culture and Hop is The Movement.
Hip hop culture has spread to both urban and suburban communities throughout the United States and subsequently the world. These elements were adapted and developed considerably, particularly as the art forms spread to new continents and merged with local styles in the 1990s and subsequent decades. Even as the movement continues to expand globally and explore myriad styles and art forms, including hip hop theater and hip hop film, the four foundational elements provide coherence and a strong foundation for hip hop culture. Hip hop is simultaneously a new and old phenomenon; the importance of sampling tracks, beats and basslines from old records to the art form means that much of the culture has revolved around the idea of updating classic recordings, attitudes, and experiences for modern audiences. Sampling older culture and reusing it in a new context or a new format is called “flipping” in hip hop culture. Hip hop music follows in the footsteps of earlier African-American-rooted musical genres such as blues, jazz, rag-time, funk, and disco to become one of the most practiced genres worldwide. It is the language of urban environments and the youth around the world, many who do not know what Hip Hop (the consciousness which makes up the collective culture of Hip Hop) is or what it means to “Be Hip Hop” , have recently begun to attribute being Hip Hop with being black, however that is race , not culture and not consciousness. as KRS-One says “Hip Hop is the only place where you see Martin Luther King Jr. s; ‘I have a dream speech’ in real life” and “To be Hip Hop you have to have the courage to be you and be Hip Hop all the time not just when it’s popular or convenient, and have repped it when it wasn’t and you were the only one repping it.” He also notes that Hip Hop is beyond something as simple minded as race or gender or nationality, it belongs to the world.
Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins, a member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, has been credited with coining the term in 1978 while teasing a friend who had just joined the US Army by scat singing the made-up words “hip/hop/hip/hop” in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of marching soldiers. Cowboy later worked the “hip hop” cadence into his stage performance. The group frequently performed with disco artists who would refer to this new type of music by calling them “hip hoppers”. The name was originally meant as a sign of disrespect, but soon came to identify this new music and culture.
The song “Rapper’s Delight“, by The Sugarhill Gang, released in 1979, begins with the phrase “I said a hip, hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, and you don’t stop”. Lovebug Starski, a Bronx DJ who put out a single called “The Positive Life” in 1981, and DJ Hollywood then began using the term when referring to this new disco rap music. Bill Alder, an independent consultant, once said, “There was hardly ever a moment when rap music was underground, one of the very first so-called rap records, was a monster hit (“Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang on Sugarhill Records). Hip hop pioneer and South Bronx community leader Afrika Bambaataa also credits Lovebug Starski as the first to use the term “hip hop”, as it relates to the culture. Bambaataa, former leader of the Black Spades gang, also did much to further popularize the term. The words “hip hop” first appeared in print on September 21, 1981, in The Village Voice in a profile of Bambaataa written by Steven Hager, who also published the first comprehensive history of the culture with St. Martins’ Press.
DJing and turntablism, MCing/rapping, breakdancing, graffiti art, and beatboxing are the creative outlets that collectively make up hip hop culture and its revolutionary aesthetic. Like the blues, these arts were developed by African American communities to enable people to make a statement, whether political or emotional and participate in community activities. These practices spread globally around the 1980s as fans could “make it their own” and express themselves in new and creative ways in music, dance and other arts.
[excerpt from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop]