I have to start off with a shoutout to OkayPlayer for the first article about Hip-Hop Evolution. Since then, they have released two more seasons. The show is obviously incredible, but not yet complete. Original Article Here
We spoke to Grandmaster Flash, and Grand Wizard Theodore, but they kind of skipped over the invention of scratching (by GWT) to give Flash most of the credit (rightfully so). I think an entire episode could be dedicated to DJs, DJ Tech, and DJ Culture. They could even have me as a guest 😉
There’s too much hip-hop history in Atlanta for just a couple episodes. Next up could be the rise of the mainstream sound from OutKast, Usher, and Gnarles Barkley/CeeLo. We can also get into the 2010s, but that was discussed in the previous article.
West Coast Underground
While Gangsta Rap was the mainstream, there was a conscious underground movement. They took a different stylistic approach than Dre, Snoop, and DJ Quick. Maybe it doesn’t need a full episode, and we did already talk to The Pharcyde (although that was more about Dilla than the West Coast). I think artists like Del, Heiroglyphics, Gift Of Gab, Murs, and more deserve to be highlighted.
Some might call it a stain on hip-hop history, for others, it was a doorway. Say what you will about the genre, but if at least for a section, it deserves some sort of highlight.
Chopper / Bone Thugs
Although people like Bone Thugs, Twista, and Tech N9ne didn’t invent ‘fast-rapping’, they definitely popularized it in the lat 90s/early 00s. Although Bone Thugs took their talents to Ruthless in California, this is primarily a Midwest genre (which can be another section)
Violator / Ruff Ryders
Don’t tell me that Chris Lighty doesn’t deserve a shoutout on the show! Busta also deserves more than just the bit about Scenario. At the same time we, also had Ruff Ryders, with The LOX, DMX and Eve. This is also the company that released two #1 records by DMX in the same calendar year (the second only behind 2Pac)
Chopper is the main genre known in the Midwest, but that doesn’t mean its the only sound. Artists like Nelly (St Louis) had a more mainstream sound. Up in Minnesota, artists and groups like Atmosphere, and DoomTree, seemed to take it back to the boom-bap.
More Mainstream / Pop-Hop
A small dip in the mid 2000s led to a BOOM by 2010! Drake, Black Eyed Peas, and more autotune (in the previous article), can be highlighted, and I think it’s about time. Don’t forget about bands like Gorillaz and Gym Class Heroes.
Moguls & Money Moves
Hip-Hop has never just been about the music, and now, its so much more. Jay and Diddy definitely led the way, but by now, almost every rapper owns equity in multiple companies.
Streaming / SoundCloud Rap
I know this story is still being written, but a lot of it can already be told. We all remember Napster and Limewire. But you might not remember hearing Soulja Boy on a track you thought was 50 Cent. Even Myspace deserves a shoutout here. Also, can you believe mumble rap is almost a decade old?