Hip Hop has grown to the cult phenomenon
it is now I remember the times when there
wasn't Hip Hop throughout commercials,
television and American culture period.
Remember when Yo MTV Raps and
Rap City was the only shows when
you could see your favorite rap video?
Remember when positive Hip Hop artists
like KRS-One, A Tribe Called Quest and
Public Enemy were speaking that ish and
people actually brought it? Yeah those
were different times. Groups were thing
to be in when I started coming into my
own as a Hip Hop listener.
The back and forth between a crew of hungry
emcees was a sure sign that you weren't
just in it for yourself but embraced the
idea of "I got your back, you got
mines" Collectivity was the name
of the game and these following groups
were staples of my tape (later CD) collection
and is probably why I would rather fly
high with my team than be in space by
myself. Check my list out and give me
your feedback. Shouts to the pioneers
of the 70's and 80's also. I know I didn't
get to you specifically but your place
in Hip Hop is unquestioned.
Tongues - This supergroup featured
A Tribe Called Quest, The Jungle Brothers,
De La Soul, Black Sheep, Leaders of the
New School, Queen Latifah and Monie Love
among a few others. This group is my top
team because they gave respect to where
black people came from and also moved
forward with new innovative sounds.
Musical Highlight: "Buddy
Camp Clik - Original Gunn Clappaz,
Smif N Wessun, Black Moon and Heltah Skeltah
make up this awesome team of hard beats
and rhymes. The group mostly talked about
neighborhood struggles and skillz on the
Musical Highlight: "Headz
Squad - This short lived team
consisted of EPMD, K-Solo, Redman and
Das Efx. All members had their specialities.
Das had that sewer flipping flow, K-Solo
was a situation storyteller, Red was a
grimy dirt kicking rhymer and EPMD were
like Voltron E they formed the collective
heads. The Def Squad was hot but it wasn't
Musical Highlight: "Headbanger"
Clan -First Supergroup to first
get individual deals after coming out
as a group. You people know the names
and each continue to bring different styles
to Hip Hop. Special to me because they
brought the chinese flicks to Hip Hop
and the RZA beatmaking hasn't been duplicated
(and never will).
Musical Highlight: "Triumph"
- We all know what the initials stood
for and this group brought hype to the
Los Angeles style of living and spoke
on what was going on even if that meant
having the FBI trailing them around the
country. Ice Cube was my favorite of the
bunch but Eazy E. was the pioneer who
cultivate the look and style of the group.
Dr. Dre was coming off the success of
the World Class Wrecking Crew (along with
DJ Yella) but provided that West Coast
sound we take for granted now! They made
their own path and that's why they made
my list. I remember when my brother had
to sneak the tape into the house and we
listened to it with our ears to the speakers.
This group prompted the Advisory labels
to start appearing on music.
Musical Highlight: "Express
Row - This group came to the
forefront of Hip Hop with the Deep
Cover soundtrack and Dr. Dre's introduction
of a young Long Beach cat named Snoop
Doggy Dogg on "Deep Cover".
Then Dr. Dre brought us the classic The
Chronic and it was a free for all.
Daz, Kurupt, The Lady of Rage, RBX, crooner
Nate Dogg and D.O.C. among other came
through the door swinging hits. Suge Knight
had (and still) has rumors swirling. about
his attitude and history but it didn't
matter. The sounds this group gave the
people was crazy for its time and onward.
I'm not even talking about the Tupac era
of tha Row because that was towards their
end of influence.
Musical Highlight: "Deep
Boy - In the mid 90's West Coast
Hip Hop dominated the airwaves and television
sets and Hip Hop looked to be a "G
Thang" for life. That was until Sean
"Puff Daddy" Combs came through
with a rock faced MC named Craig Mack
and dropped "Flava In Ya Ear"
followed by the Brooklynite named Christopher
Wallace b.k.a. Biggie Smalls or The Notorious
B.I.G. Biggie (along with a young Queens
cat many said was the next Rakim named
Nasty Nas) grabbed the attention from
Snoop, Dre and the rest of the West. Other
members included Mase, Black Rob and The
Lox along with singer Faith Evans. Lil'
Kim joined in from time to time to help
her homie out!
Musical Highlight: "All
About The Benjamins (Remix)"
Family - This group gave us Goodie
Mobb, Sleepy Brown and Outkast among others.
Cool Breeze told us all to "Watch
For The Hook". This team put ATL
on the map. Outkast came out and we can
never figure their style, even to this
day. I wasn't feelin the whole Cadillac
music thang but was hooked as soon as
I heard "Elevators". No one
in the South needs to call themselves
King before paying respect to this group
especially those 'Kast boys!
Musical Highlight: "Watch
For The Hook"
In The Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.) - A team
full of NY rappers and producers, D.I.T.C.
lives on but it's missing my favorite:
Harlem's own Lamont "Big L."
Coleman. Fat Joe, Diamond D, Showbiz and
A.G., Buckwild, O.C. and Lord Finesse
were underground in media stature but
not in their talents. They talked about
the street tales, the women and their
lyrical prowess but in a hard way I don't
see many doing again.
Musical Highlight: "Thick"
Down Productions (B.D.P.) - KRS-One,
D-Nice, Kenny Parker, DJ Scott LaRock
(R.I.P.) among others formed this team
of progressive artists. KRS was the leader
and left later to persue a solo career
but B.D.P.'s impact on Hip Hop: the ability
to do conscious rap and get critical acclaim
from publications and the streets will
never be forgotten. Along with Public
Enemy this team taught and should continue
to teach people who doubt that people
will listen to knowledge. That's why they
were so influential in my Hip Hop life.
Musical Highlight: "South
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