The hip/hop and rap culture has evolved throughout the years. “Rap” genre of music stands to be one of the most dominant genres in the world. Hip hop has always dealt in extremes, from real-life storytelling to experience on drugs; it covers it all. Hip hop first started in the late 1970s. The emergence of hip hop from culture and an art movement to a music genre was brought to light by African Americans and Latin Americans from the Bronx region of New York City.
Hip Hop is vast. It has had no limitations at all whatsoever. In fact, it is the most controversial genre of music that is questioned the most politically, socially, and religiously. But, that’s what differentiates it from other genres of music. Hip Hop speaks to the masses in a way that it leaves a colossal impact in the minds of the listeners and the followers. “Gangsta-Rap” was the most ascending and commercially lucrative subgenres of hip hop. Characterized by stories of violence, drugs, promiscuity, and immense disdain for law enforcement; represented a mutiny that felt as true as steel.
N.W.A’s “F**k Tha Police” was a climactic juncture in gangster-rap. The song was released in 1988, as a protest song for black people affected by racial profiling and police brutality by the police, which till date stands to be a very sensitive issue for the black community. After the release of the song, the FBI was provoked to send out disapproval to the NWA’s record company, arguing that it misrepresents the police.
Rappers like Tupac, Biggie, and Eminem were the ones who really changed the rap game. They play a very crucial role in shaping the entire movement which stands to be one of the strongest communities today. As this hyper-masculine and violent prototype of rappers begun to rose to fame, female rappers had started to elucidate their position.
Later in the ’00s, 50 Cent, Jay-z, and Lil Wayne embarked themselves very differently into the minds of the people. Their style of rapping was different and not generic. It had a uniqueness to it, a subtle change of flavor. When they first hit the world with their music, they pulled back the curtain on surviving gunshot wounds, selling drugs, and struggling with addiction.
However, on September 11, 2007; gangster rap had run its course and was killed by Kanye West. This day recounts the highly publicized feud between Kanye West and 50 Cent. After Kanye West's experimental fusions with electronic production of music mixed with rap, “gangster-rap” took a blow to the face. It didn’t feel the same, music had changed and people’s taste in music also evolved eventually, thereafter. Kanye flipped the rap game upside down, and it was appreciated by people all around the world. Well, we all love Kanye West. His style became the new cutting edge in music, and it shifted the conversations from street drama to sneakers, style, and design. Kanye West paved the way for rappers who didn’t have stories of socioeconomic struggles or violence.
Today, Hip Hop music is a fusion of every genre that exists. With advancements in technology, there are no limitations to resources. Rappers stand to be tastemakers and trendsetters. From fashion designers to entrepreneurs, this industry has it all. The beginning of hip hop is a distinct and evident contrast to what it is today. The history and the stories that go behind the people who helped to make it what it is today is what makes “Hip Hop” so important. It’s no wonder what the future will hold.