- New York City, New York – Birthplace of rap, Birthplace of Biggie, Jay Z, P Diddy, Run DMC ( Hip Hop Tours) Nicky Minaj, Lil Kim, Busta Rhymes, Foxx Brown, 50 Cent, Mobb Deep
Hip hop is recognized to have originated and evolved first in New York; East Coast hip hop only became a distinct subgenre after artists from other regions of the United States emerged with different styles. In contrast to other styles, East Coast hip hop music has prioritized complex lyrics for attentive listening rather than beats for dancing. The main components of hip hop culture from that time and still today are MC’ing, DJ’ing, break-dancing, and graffiti.
In contrast to the simplistic rhyme pattern and scheme utilized in old school hip hop, East Coast hip hop has been noted for its emphasis on lyrical dexterity. It has also been characterized by multi-syllabic rhymes, complex wordplay, a continuous free-flowing delivery and intricate metaphors. While East Coast hip hop does not have a uniform sound or standard style, it tends to gravitate to aggressive beats and sample collages. The aggressive and hard-hitting beats of the form were emphasized by such acts as EPMD and Public Enemy, while artists such as Eric B. & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions, Big Daddy Kane, Nas, Notorious B.I.G and Slick Rick were noted for their lyrical skill. Lyrical themes throughout the history of East Coast hip hop have ranged from lyrical consciousness by such artists as Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest to mafioso rap themes by rappers such as Raekwon and Kool G Rap
Although East Coast hip hop was more popular throughout the late 1980s, N.W.A‘s Straight Outta Compton presented the toughened sound of West Coast hip hop, which was accompanied by gritty, street-level subject matter. Later in 1992, Dr. Dre‘s G-Funk record The Chronic would introduce West Coast hip hop to the mainstream. Along with a combined ability to retain its primary function as party music, the West Coast form of hip hop became a dominant force during the early 1990s. Although G-Funk was the most popular variety of hip hop during the early 1990s, the East Coast hip hop scene remained an integral part of the music industry. During this period, several New York City rappers rising from the local underground scene, began releasing noteworthy albums in the early and mid nineties. Black Moon‘s 1993 debut, Enta Da Stage, was one of the first major recordings to emerge from New York’s hardcore hip hop scene. The album has been credited with helping spark trends that would later come to characterize this period in East Coast hip hop, and marked an early appearance for the rap supergroup Boot Camp Clik ..
Nas‘s 1994 debut album Illmatic has also been noted as a creative high point of the East Coast hip hop scene, and featured production from such renowned New York-based producers as Large Professor, Pete Rock and DJ Premier. Meanwhile, The Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep became pillars in New York’s hardcore hip hop scene, achieving widespread critical acclaim for their landmark albums, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993) and The Infamous (1995) and spawning legions of imitators. Adam Hemleich comments on the collective impact of these emerging artists: “Along with Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and Mobb Deep all but invented 90s New York rap […] Those three…designed the manner and style in which New York artists would address…rap’s hottest topics: drugs and violence.”
The Notorious B.I.G. became the central figure in East Coast hip hop during most of the 1990s. Bad Boy Records comprised a team of producers known as the Hitmen Stevie J, Derrick “D Dot” Angelletie and Amen Ra directed by Sean Combs to move the focus on hip hop to New York with the Notorious B.I.G.’s Billboard topping hits. His success on the music charts and rise to the mainstream drew more attention to New York at the time of West Coast hip hop’s dominance. According to AllMusic editor Steve Huey, the success of his 1994 debut album Ready to Die “reinvented East Coast rap for the gangsta age” and “turned the Notorious B.I.G. into a hip-hop sensation — the first major star the East Coast had produced since the rise of Dr. Dre’s West Coast G-funk”. Many saw his dominating presence as a catalyzing factor in the East Coast/ West Coast hip hop rivalry that polarized much of the hip hop community, stirring the issue enough to result in the Brooklyn rapper’s 1997 death, as well as his West Coast counterpart, Tupac Shakur, months prior. His commercial success helped pave the way for the success of other East Coast rappers such as Jay-Z and Nas.
Many hip hop aficionados look favorably upon this period as a time of creative growth and influential recordings, describing it as “The East Coast Renaissance.” Music writer May Blaize of MVRemix Urban comments on the nostalgia felt among hip hop fans for records released during this time:
It was dubbed the East Coast Renaissance. Wu-Tang brought the ruckus with 36 Chambers. The world was ours when Nas released Illmatic. Big L, the MVP, came out with Lifestylez ov da Poor and Dangerous. Temperatures rose in clubs when Mobb Deep came out with The Infamous and Brooklyn’s finest Jay-Z released Reasonable Doubt. . . And who can forget the powerful uplifting anthem that would brand New York’s concrete “Bucktown” (Smif-n-Wessun‘s hit single)? . . .Ahh, it was a beautiful time in hip-hop history that many of us wish we could return to.
David Drake of Stylus Magazine writes of hip hop during 1994 and its contributions, stating: “The beats were hot, the rhymes were hot – it really was an amazing time for hip-hop and music in general. This was the critical point for the East Coast, a time when rappers from the New York area were releasing bucketloads of thrilling work – Digable Planets, Gang Starr, Pete Rock, Jeru, O.C., Organized Konfusion – I mean, this was a year of serious music
2. Los Angeles, California – Birthplace of Gangsta Rap (Hip Hop Tours)
It is known that the five elements of hip-hop culture, B-boying, beatboxing, DJing, graffiti art, and MCing, existed on the East and West Coasts of the United States simultaneously during the mid-seventies. Although it is agreed that hip hop was given its name in New York, some say a culture that closely mirrored the East Coast hip-hop culture also emerged in the West, existing from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area during the same period.
A number of events laid the foundations for West Coast hip hop, long before the emergence of West Coast rappers such as the Rappers Rapp Group & DJ Flash, Eazy E, Ice T, and Too Short. According to geniusrap.com, “a cataclysmic event helped give rise to it out West: the Watts Riots of 1965.” In 1967, Bud Schulberg founded a creative space entitled Watts Writers Workshop, intended to help the people of the Watts neighborhood and provide a place for them to express themselves freely. Out of this background the Watts Prophets formed, its members having moved to the West Coast from southern states such as Texas and Louisiana. Inspired by the New York group The Last Poets, they released their debut album, The Black Voices: On the Streets in Watts, in 1969 and became forerunners of West Coast rap.
The West Coast hip-hop scene started in earnest in 1978 with the founding of Unique Entertainment, a group influenced by Prince, East Coast hip hop, Kraftwerk, Parliament-Funkadelic and others. By 1980, the group were known[who?] as the best party promoters in Los Angeles. In 1983 its leader Roger Clayton, influenced by the Funkadelic album Uncle Jam Wants You changed the group’s name to Uncle Jamm’s Army. In 1984, Uncle Jamm’s Army released their first single, “Dial-a-Freak”, and in the same year Egyptian Lover released his On the Nile album, which included the popular 12″ single “Egypt Egypt”.
Another early landmark occurred in 1981, when Duffy Hooks III launched the first West Coast rap label, Rappers Rapp Records, inspired by Sugar Hill Records in New York. Its first act was the duo of Disco Daddy and Captain Rapp, whose 1981 debut single was “Gigolo Rapp” bw “Gigolo Groove”. The labels second act was The Rappers Rapp Group a six-member group that included DJ Flash, King MC, MC Fosty and Lovin C who’s infectious 1984 hit single Radio Activity Rapp packed the dance floors for L.A. to the Bay. also in 1983, Captain Rapp created the classic West Coast song “Bad Times (I Can’t Stand It)”.
In the mid-1980s, Mixmaster Spade defined an early form of gangsta rap with his Compton Posse. From this group, Spade mentored future rap stars of the West Coast, including Toddy Tee, who recorded the South Central LA anthem “The Batteram” in 1985.
In the same period, the Compton-based former locking dancer Alonzo Williams formed World Class Wreckin’ Cru, which included future N.W.A members Dr. Dre and DJ Yella. Williams also founded Kru-Cut Records and established a recording studio in the back of his nightclub, Eve’s After Dark. The club was where local drug dealer Eazy-E and Jerry Heller decided to start Ruthless Records and where Dr. Dre and DJ Yella met the group CIA, which included future N.W.A member and Ice Cube, Laylaw, Dr. Dre’s cousin Sir Jinx, and K-Dee. Dr. Dre along with Eazy E and NWA made an impact on Rap and how its portrayed by people forever. They have forever changed the rap game, and what it stands for. They stood up against racism and created riots in the streets of L.A. They were one of the first rap groups to give off such a different atmosphere and excel in their specific music industry. They had the theme of “Not caring” and doing what they wanted. Eventually the group split up and went separate ways but will always be remembered for what they accomplished.
During this period, one of the greatest factors in the spread of West Coast hip hop was the radio station 1580 KDAY and DJ Greg “Mack Attack” Mack
In 1988, N.W.A‘s landmark album Straight Outta Compton was released. Focusing on life and adversities in Compton, California, a notoriously rough area which had gained a reputation for gang violence, it was released by group member Eazy-E‘s record label Ruthless Records. As well as establishing a basis for the popularity of gangsta rap, the album drew much attention to West Coast hip hop, especially the Los Angeles scene. In particular, the controversial “Fuck tha Police” and the ensuing censorship attracted substantial media coverage and public attention.
Following the dissolution of N.W.A due to in-fighting, the group’s members – in particular Dr. Dre and Ice Cube – went on to have highly successful careers. Ice Cube released some of the West Coast’s most critically acclaimed albums, such as 1990’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted and 1991’s Death Certificate, as well as making film and television appearances such as in John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood in 1991.
The early 1990s was a period in which hip hop went from strength to strength. Tupac Shakur‘s debut album 2Pacalypse Now was released in 1991, demonstrating a social awareness, with attacks on social injustice, poverty and police brutality. Shakur’s music and philosophy was rooted in various philosophies and approaches, including the Black Panther Party, Black nationalism, egalitarianism, and liberty. Also in 1991, Suge Knight founded Death Row Records using money he had extorted from the pop-rapper Vanilla Ice – the West Coast saw the debut of arguably its most influential and popular rapper. In 1992, Dr. Dre released his solo debut, The Chronic; this marked the birth of the G-funk sound that became a hallmark of the West Coast sound in the 1990s, with the album’s lead single “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” peaking at Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other Death Row releases such as Snoop Doggy Dogg‘s Doggystyle (1993) and 2Pac’s All Eyez on Me (1996) became huge sellers and were also critically acclaimed.
The popularity of hip hop was undoubtedly assisted by the ensuing feud between Death Row Records and the East Coast’s Bad Boy Records, fronted by Puff Daddy and The Notorious B.I.G.. The East-West feud gained particular traction when Shakur was shot on November 30, 1994 outside Quad Recording Studios in New York, coincidentally, this was where Biggie Smalls and Puff Daddy had been recording that day, which led Shakur to accuse them of setting him up. Tensions were at their highest at the Source Awards in 1995, with artists from both sides making indirect comments about the others. In February 1995, Eazy-E would announce he was diagnosed with AIDS, and would die a little over a month later after making amends with his former N.W.A group members.
The drive-by shooting murder of Shakur on September 13, 1996 was a major turning point for hip-hop as a whole. Shakur had been the West Coast’s most popular rapper and amongst the most critically acclaimed. After his death and Suge Knight’s incarceration, Death Row Records – once home to the majority of the West Coast’s mainstream rappers – fell into obscurity. The death of the East Coast rapper and former Tupac adversary, The Notorious B.I.G., concluded the West-East feud that had riddled hip hop throughout the 1990s. The West Coast scene slowly started to fade from the mainstream in the early 2000s, as fans drifted more towards the East Coast scene, with new artists such as 50 Cent coming to the fore alongside veterans such as Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan. In addition, Southern hip hop reached the mainstream in the early 2000s and, arguably, Atlanta‘s rap scene became the most popular in the country with the rise of crunk in 2003-2004.
3. Atlanta, Georgia – Home of many rapper birthplace of crunk
In 2009, the New York Times called Atlanta “hip-hop’s center of gravity”, and the city is home to many famous hip-hop, R&B and neo soul musicians. Local multi-platinum artists include OutKast, Ludacris, T.I., Usher, Ciara, B.o.B and Young Jeezy. Others include:
In the 1980s and early 1990s Atlanta’s hip hop scene was characterized by a local variant of Miami’s electro-driven bass music, with stars like Kilo Ali, MC Shy-D, Raheem the Dream and DJ Smurf (later Mr. Collipark). MC Shy-D is credited with bringing authentic Bronx-style hip-hop to Atlanta (and Miami), such as 1988’s Shake it produced by DJ Toomp; Jones was signed to controversial southern rap label Luke Records, run by Luther Campbell aka “Uncle Luke”. Arrested Development won the Grammy in 1992 with Tennessee, while Mr. Wendal & People Everyday and Kris Kross won with their hit song Jump.
By the mid-1990s, the rise of OutKast, Goodie Mob and the production collective Organized Noize, let to the development of the Dirty South style of hip-hop and of Atlanta gaining a reputation for “soul-minded hip-hop eccentrics”, contrasting with other regional styles.
From the late 1990s to early 2000s, producer Lil Jon was a driving force behind the party-oriented style known as crunk. Record producers L.A. Reid and Babyface founded LaFace Records in Atlanta in the late-1980s; the label eventually became the home to multi-platinum selling artists such as Toni Braxton, TLC, Ciara. It is also the home of So So Def Records, a label founded by Jermaine Dupri in the mid-1990s, that signed acts such as Da Brat, Jagged Edge, Xscape and Dem Franchise Boyz. The success of LaFace and SoSo Def led to Atlanta as an established scene for record labels such as LaFace parent company Arista Records to set up satellite offices.
In 2009, the New York Times noted that after 2000, Atlanta moved “from the margins to becoming hip-hop’s center of gravity, part of a larger shift in hip-hop innovation to the South.” Producer Drumma Boy called Atlanta “the melting pot of the South”. Producer Fatboi called the Roland TR-808 (“808”) synthesizer “central” to Atlanta music’s versatility, used for snap, crunk, trap, and pop rap styles. The same article named Drumma Boy, Fatboi, Shawty Redd, Lex Luger and Zaytoven the five “hottest producers driving the city”.
4. New Orleans, Louisiana – Birthplace of Bounce music and twerkin, Home of Lil Wayne, Master P, Juvenile
New Orleans, with its rich history of African American musical traditions, has occupied a central place in the history of hip-hop in Louisiana, although several notable rap artists have emerged from other cities like Baton Rouge and Shreveport/Bossier. Building on a decade of local activity, rappers and DJs in New Orleans during the early 1990s created a new local style of hip-hop that was eventually christened “bounce.” While the style remained regionally limited, the bounce scene helped support the growth of a local industry. However, the city’s distance from hip-hop’s initial centers of activity (New York and later Los Angeles) meant that it would take a significant amount of time for New Orleans-based rappers, producers, and record labels to penetrate the commercial mainstream. Building on the early foundation, several independent record labels, including No Limit and Cash Money, captured national audiences in the late 1990s, and helped establish New Orleans as one of the centers of the “Dirty South” style. New generations of artists and companies emerged in the early twenty-first century, but many of those suffered a major setback in the form of Hurricane Katrina-related disruption.
Locally established record labels and producers were responsible for some of the earliest rap recordings to come out of New Orleans. These included singles by Parlez (on Senator Jones’s Superdome label) and Jones and Taylor Experience (on Soulin’ Records), among others. New York Incorporated, a group of several DJs and rappers led by transplanted New Yorker Denny Dee, was one of the first devoted exclusively to hip-hop. It included Byron Thomas and Mia Young, who would go on to later fame as Mannie Fresh and Mia X, respectively. Other groups from this period included Rockers Revenge and the Ninja Crew (composed of rappers Gregory D, Sporty T and DJ Baby T), who released a single in 1986 on the Miami-based 4-Sight label.
After Ninja Crew disbanded, Gregory D partnered with Mannie Fresh to form a duo that would prove to be one of the most prolific rap groups of the late 1980s. The pair released records on the Yo! Label, based in Dallas, Texas, and the Los Angeles-based D&D. While they produced music that was largely indistinguishable from mainstream commercial rap, their two-song single on the local Uzi Records was a groundbreaking expression of the local hip-hop sensibility, relying on participatory, call-and-response-based cadences, and references to the city’s housing projects and other poor or working-class areas where hip-hop was taking root.
Other rappers and producers attained prominence in the late 1980s. MC J Ro J’s single “Let’s Jump” was the first local hip-hop tune to sample music from New Orleans’s second line brass band tradition. Other important groups from the period included the Famous Low Down Boys and E.R.C. Several rappers from the West Bank area of greater metro New Orleans achieved prominence, including MC Thick, whose single “Marrero” led to a contract with a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. Other West Bank rappers included Tim Smooth, who signed with Yo! and later, Rap-a-Lot. Ice Mike, who had built his production and rapping skills as a member of the Def Boyz, released records as a solo artist and produced records for others, most prominently BustDown, who was signed to Effect Records, based in Miami, Florida. Club owner and promoter Warren Mayes had a local hit with the chant-heavy song “Get It Girl,” which was released as a single by Atlantic Records in 1991. Several rap groups, includingFull Pack and 39 Posse, started their own independent labels, through which they released recordings of themselves and others.
The isolation of New Orleans hip-hop from the national mainstream ended in 1995, when Michael “Mystikal” Tyler signed with Jive Records. His debut album for Big Boy Records was re-released with the new title Mind of Mystikal, the first of several successful releases for the energetic rapper. Despite many local references in his lyrics, Mystikal’s music was not linked to New Orleans bounce.
Meanwhile, New Orleans native Percy “Master P” Miller was in the process of building an underground gangsta rap empire that would see him become one of the richest entertainers in the world. Miller founded the No Limit label while he was living in Richmond, California, but the enterprise took off after he returned to New Orleans and enlisted several prominent local artists, including Mia X and producer Craig “KLC” Lawson. Along with Mo B. Dick, KLC founded the production company known as Beats by the Pound (later the Medicine Men) including Craig B and Odell who produced music for the label in its heyday. No Limit’s early releases included the group TRU, as well as several albums by Master P himself. In 1995, the label recorded several promising local artists for the Down South Hustlers compilation, including Joe Blakk, Mia X, Skull Duggery, Magnolia Slim, and others. In 1996, No Limit sealed a “pressing and distribution” deal with Priority; the label sold millions of copies of subsequent releases by Master P, his brothers C-Murder and Silkk the Shocker, Mia X and, later, Mystikal. Other artists on the roster included Big Ed, Big Ramp, C-Loc, Choppa, Curren$y, D.I.G., Fiend, Full Blooded, Gambino Family (group), Ghetto Commission, Kane & Abel, Krazy, Lil Italy, Lil Ric, Mac, Magic, Mercedes, Mia X, Mo B. Dick, Mr. Serv-On, Mr. Marcelo, Prime Suspects, Romeo, Silkk the Shocker, Snoop Dogg, Sons of Funk, Sonya C, Soulja Slim, Steady Mobb’n, Tre-8, and Young Bleed.
While No Limit’s success was groundbreaking for New Orleans, it was followed in 1998 by a similar deal between Cash Money and Universal. The agreement helped Juvenile’s second album for the label, 400 Degreez, sell more than three million copies, with bounce-flavored songs like “HA” and “Follow Me Now” winning over critics and audiences nationwide. Juvenile’s success was soon followed by other hits, including B.G.’s iconic song “Bling Bling,” on his album Chopper City in the Ghetto. The rap group The Hot Boys, which included Cash Money artists B.G., Lil Wayne, Juvenile, and Turk rose to regional prominence in 1997 with the release of Get It How U Live! and later found nationwide success with later releases in 1998. Although group found national traction in 1998, the label’s former stable of artists nourished its local popularity in the early half of the decade. The early roster included Magnolia Shorty, PxMxWx, Kilo G, Pimp Daddy, Ms. Tee, Lil SLim, Ziggler to Wiggler, U.N.L.V., Mr. Ivan, B.G., and Lil Wayne.
Beginning around 2000, New Orleans saw the emergence of a cohort of openly gay male rappers, called “sissies” or “punks.” Led by Take Fo’ artist Katey Red, this contingent also included Vockah Redu, Sissy Nobby, and Big Freedia. Other rappers like Gotti Boi Chris and 10th Ward Buck helped return New Orleans rap to a local orientation, with collective participation driven by chanted call-and-response lyrics. Labels including Black House and Money Rules formed part of the newest wave of grassroots activity in the city. However, local favorite Soulja Slim was murdered in 2003, just as his national career was taking off after a high-profile collaboration with Juvenile.
The New Orleans hip-hop scene had barely recovered from this shock when Hurricane Katrina struck, scattering rappers and producers to nearby cities like Baton Rouge, Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta, where they struggled to keep their careers moving forward. Lil’ Wayne, who relocated to Miami after the disaster, has risen to become one of the nation’s most popular rappers. New artists to rise during the post-Hurricane Katrina era include Curren$y and his Jet Life Recordings label, Jay Electronica, 3D Na’Tee, Flow, Ace B, Big Ramp, and Lil Cali. Others include:
A good New Orleans Sound track
- Hoody Hoo 2 . Get Your Roll On 3.
5. Miami, Florida – Home of Luke, 2 live Crew, Trick Daddy, Trina, Rick Ross, Flo Rida, DJ Khaled, Plies, Pretty Ricky, it is where many music videos are shot, and many rappers have their second homes.
A Good Miami Soundtrack
- Trina – Pull Over, Trick Daddy – Nann, Tre Da Hardaway- Born in da ghetto , Kodak Black -No Flocking, Kodak Black-My Struggle, Plies – Ritz Carlton, Gunplay-Bible on the Dash, Rick Ross-Ashton Martin, Gunplay – Take This, Bruno Mali- Gold Bottle Boys, Trick Daddy Boy, Quick Hit Boyz- Bring it Outside
6. Chicago, Illinois – Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Common,Twista, Fast rapping, drill music, House music
Chicago hip hop artists have never coalesced around an easily defined style or sound (with the exception of the recent drill scene). Instead, Chicago hip hop artists took inspiration from a variety of regional influences – initially the East Coast, with its jazz and soul based sampling and “conscious” lyricism. At the same time, other Chicago artists embraced West Coast production, with its funky, synth-driven instrumentation. Eventually, artists like Twista, Do or Die, Crucial Conflict and Psychodrama put their own twist on West Coast instrumentation, adding double-time high hat patterns, and, in what would become Chicago’s first, home-grown, and immediately recognizable “style”, rapping in double or triple time over the funky, synth-driven beats.
Chicago hip hop’s embrace of eclectic regional styles was also reflected in (and probably influenced by) the playlists of local hip hop radio stations, which gave West Coast, East Coast, and especially southern Hip Hop equal consideration.
Choppers, or rappers with incredibly fast flow, originated primarily in the Midwest and in the 1990s, with the scene in Chicago becoming the city’s first cohesive hip hop style. The most significant rappers and groups to come out of Chicago during this time included Do or Die, Crucial Conflict, and Twista, who at one point was considered the world’s fastest rapper.
“Chipmunk Soul” and alternative hip hop
The success of Kanye West has had a ripple effect on the local hip hop, with his production style (dubbed “chipmunk soul” for West’s sampling and pitching-up of soul vocals) having a large impact on albums like Common‘s critically acclaimed album Be and Twista’s Kamikaze, both of whom are Chicago hip hop veterans and both of whom have guested on West’s tracks. His alternative, non-gangster sound also helped pave the way for non-gangster rappers like Lupe Fiasco, whose career had a huge boost when he guested on West’s track Touch The Sky, in addition to conscious rappers such as Rhymefest. West’s influence is still felt in the local hip hop scene by up and coming rappers like Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper, with West’s The College Dropout being the first hip hop record Chance ever heard.
A new sound that has recently gotten very popular in Chicago is a new style of hip hop called drill music that formed on Chicago’s South Side. This style is very slow, repetitive, heavily influenced by trap music which is synonymous with Southern hip-hop and far more thuggish than the music Chicago rappers of the past have put out and is considered representative of the South Side’s dangerous environment and its effect on the youth. The main rapper in this scene who has brought this style to mainstream prominence is Chief Keef, and his success has extended to other local rappers in the drill scene such as King L, Lil Durk, Lil Reese, and many more
7. Houston, Texas – 3rd Coast, Home of Screwed and Chopped Music, Scarface, UGK, Paul Wall, and Beyonce.
Preceding the early 1990s, most Southern hip hop was upbeat and fast, like Miami bass and crunk. In Texas, a different approach of slowing music down, rather than speeding it up, developed. It is unknown when DJ Screw definitively created “screwed and chopped” music: although people around Screw have indicated any time between 1984 to 1991, Screw said he started slowing music down in 1990 and also in Tulsa Oklahoma Dj Dinero And Dj Z-Nasty helped popularize Chopped And Screwed music in the Mid South. There is no debate, however, that DJ Screw invented the music style.” He discovered that dramatically reducing the pitch of a record gave a mellow, heavy sound that emphasized lyrics to the point of almost storytelling. After experimenting with the sound for a while Screw started making full length “Screw Tapes”.
Between 1991 and 1992, there was a large increase in use of purple drank in Texas. Purple drank has been considered to be a major influence in the making of and listening to chopped and screwed music due to its perceived effect of slowing the brain down, giving slow, mellow music its appeal. DJ Screw, however, repeatedly denounced the claim that one has to use purple drank to enjoy screwed and chopped music. Screw, a known user of purple drank, said he came up with chopped and screwed music when high on marijuana.
As the spread of Southern Rap continued the year 2000 became a breakthrough year for one founding group. Rap duo UGK made a high-profile guest appearance on Jay-Z‘s smash hit “Big Pimpin’” and also appeared on Three 6 Mafia‘s hit “Sippin’ on Some Syrup“. Both of these collaborations greatly increased their reputation, and helped fuel anticipation for their next project. A song that originally appeared on the compilation album The Day Hell Broke Loose 2, Mike Jones‘ “Still Tippin’“, achieved mainstream success in 2004, leading to local Houston rap label Swishahouse signing a national distribution deal with Asylum Records. Jones released his major label debut, Who Is Mike Jones?, on Swishahouse/Warner Bros. in April 2005; the album was certified platinum that June. Paul Wall‘s major label debut, The Peoples Champ, on Swishahouse/Atlantic, was released in September 2005, eventually topping the Billboard 200. Before embarking on his rap career and while still at school, Wall had worked in the Swishahouse office.
8. Memphis, Tennessee- Home of Three Six Mafia, Mempis Buckin
9. Detroit, Michigan Eminem, Birthplace of Techno, R&B (Both influnced rap)
Famous People – Eminem, Dej Loaf
According to Insane Clown Posse member Violent J, Detroit’s hip hop scene is not signified by rap battles and waiting to be discovered by a major label, but by independently building up successful business empires, as local rapper Esham did with Reel Life Productions, and Insane Clown Posse did with Psychopathic Records. Esham, Insane Clown Posse and Kid Rock were the first Detroit rappers to gain major notice, though like Eminem, their early careers were primarily suburban-based. Eminem, the hip hop artist with the highest cumulative sales, was discovered by Dr. Dre. Dr. Dre also promoted D12 and Obie Trice. Most recent successful acts include producer J Dilla and rappers Royce Da 5’9″, Trick-Trick, Big Herk, Slum Village, Big Sean, Seven the General, Doughboyz Cashout, Black Milk, Chuck Inglish of The Cool Kids, Danny Brown, Street Lordz Chedda Boyz, Eastside Chedda Boyz, and Bei Maejor.[34
10. Hampton Roads area – Pharell, Missy Elliot, Timbaland,
A number of potent musicians have called Hampton Roads home, stretching across genres from soul and blues to rap and rock. Ella Fitzgerald, The Five Keys, and Pearl Bailey called Newport News home, while indie rock group Mae, Clarence Clemons, and Ernie Watts hail from Norfolk. But perhaps the biggest contribution to music comes from hip-hop and rap, where Hampton Road’s mix of classes and histories bred a new form of the genre
Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Portsmouth are home to the wave of late 90s and early 2000s rap that brought hiphop further into the mainstream and introduced the cocaine-dealing hustler as the new king. Superstars Missy Elliott and Timbaland paved the road for pop-rap to redefine MTV cycles and the generally thuggish image of the genre in the peak of the East Coast/West Coast battles. With techno and classic hip-hop inspired sounds, the pair produced a string of hits, including “Get Ur Freak On” and “Work It.”Timbaland went on to produce for a hip-hop’s A-list, acts as widespread as Nas, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and Michelle Branch. Missy Elliott took a short hiatus, but began recording a new album in 2012, paralleling the remix “Why Stop Now?” with Busta Rhymes.