Rapper Rivalries

Since the emergence of hip hop in the United States during the 1970's, rivalries between rappers and record labels have been ever present. One famous example is the feud that culminated between 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie. You can hear the feuds in their songs on music channels offered by www.TVbyDirect.com. Tupac Shakur's label, Death Row Records, represented the West Coast hip hop scene while Biggie's label, Bad Boy Records, was predominantly known to represent the hip hop scene of the East Coast. A regional fight for dominance over the rap industry was thus born in the struggle between the two rappers and their respective record labels and ultimately pitted the East Coast against the West Coast. In turn, this helped fuel the war between the Bloods and the Crips. However, neither rapper earned a victory. Tupac died from gunshot wounds in September of 1996 and The Notorious B.I.G. was also killed less than a year later in March of 1977. Both murders still hold the status of being unsolved and remain the topic of much speculation today.

Another example of a popular rivalry includes the multi-platinum rapper Jay-Z and Nas. Although no one has been able to definitively point to the starting point of the feud, it is known that Nas has never been able to achieve quite the success that Jay-Z has been praised for. Jay-Z made a stab at Nas during his song "Takeover" and Nas retaliated with "Ether," calling Jay-Z "Gay-Z" and making a remark about how "Cockkafella Records wanted beef." At one point Nas also dissed Jay-Z's record label, Def Jam Records. However, who won the rap battle is still subject to debate, as both rappers express talent.

In conclusion, a plethora of rivalries between rappers and record labels have exploded into the more violent genre known as gangsta rap. While feuds still exist today, even as recent as Nicki Minaj and Lil' Kim, in which Lil' Kim accused Minaj of copying her style, the rap industry has been careful to not let the differences escalate to the point of all out violence. While violent episodes cannot be prevented altogether, the rap industry has recently taken efforts to minimize these kinds of instances in which rappers themselves, and even bodyguards and bystanders, are injured.
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Public Enemy: Fear Of A Black Planet

Although Public Enemy was already a force to be reckoned with in the hip hip scene by 1990, the release of Fear of a Black Planet (Def Jam/Columbia) solidified the group as hip hop royalty. Fresh off the momentum of the release of the politically driven cultural anthem "Fight the Power" as a single, Chuck D, Flavor Flav and company smashed all preconceived notions of what hip hop music could and should be, both musically and lyrically, with the release of Fear of a Black Planet.

The album has received high praise from all corners of the music industry. Rolling Stone ranked it number 300 on its list of "The 500 Great Albums of All Time" in 2003. In 1998, The Source included the album in its "100 Best Rap Albums." The Library of Congress even added Fear of a Black Planet to the National Recording Registry for its cultural significance in 2004. Clearly the album continues to stand the test of time.

Other hit singles from the album like "991 is a Joke" and "Welcome to the Terrordome" propelled the album to the top of music charts around the world. No library of hip hop music is complete with a copy of Fear of a Black Planet, a certified classic among certified classics. Whether your copy of the album is worn and dusty or freshly opened, bust out the turntable and give it a spin today.
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The East Coast Vs. West Coast Feud

The East Coast vs. West Coast feud is a musical feud, mostly in the Rap genre, that has been going on for almost two decades now. It mostly consist of rappers form either coast degrading and rapping about rappers from the opposite coast and so forth. However, there have been several occasions where real life violence has erupted over the East Coast vs. West Coast feud.

Height of the Feud

The height of the East Coast vs. West Coast feud was in the mid-to-late 90's when Tupac and Biggie Smalls had a hatred for one another that poured over into the rest of the musical community.Never heard of this before? Get up to speed here. Before that artists such as Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and others were also involved in this feud.

Things got so bad at one point that artist, popular artists, were killed. Both Tupac's killer and Biggie Small's killer both remain at large. Many have speculated and even believe that each coast had a hand the both deaths, but nothing concrete was ever proven.

The East Coast vs. West Coast feud will more than likely continue on, with new artists picking up the torch and carrying it. However, it seems like the most violent days are done, and now it is more of a representation and word war than anything else.
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Schoolly D, Ice T: The Birth Of Gangsta Rap

Who began the gangsta rap movement? While many people credit Ice T for the birth of gangsta rap, Ice T himself has stated that it was in fact Schooly D who began gangsta rap. Ice T considers Schooly D's record "P.S.K." to be the first gangsta rap record, because it refers to the Park Side Killers gang.

Schooly D's rapping incorporated themes or urban violence and sexual aggression. Originating from Philadelphia, Schooly D eventually began to include afrocentric themes in his rap music. During his career, Schooly D has also contributed music to various films and television shows.

Ice T's 1991 album "O.G. Original Gangster" is considered one of the key defining albums in the genre of gangsta rap. As a result, many see Ice T as the originator of the genre. Later, in 2006, Ice T released an album called "Gangsta Rap," his first album since 1999.

Beyond Schooly D and Ice T, often acknowledged as the genre's founders, gangsta rap was popularized by the rap group N.W.A., the solo artist Ice Cube who was formerly a member of N.W.A., and the rapper Too Short. Gangsta rap as a genre is often criticized for purportedly promoting sex, violence, gang warfare, drug use, and criminal behavior. Those involved in the gangsta rap movement counter that they are merely depicting the realities of the urban black experience.Can't get enough? There's more: Freddie Gibbs Speaks On The Evolution Of Gangsta Rap [VIDEO]
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Beatboxing, Breakdancing, And Early Hip Hop Subculture

Born in the urban area of New York City's five boroughs, the hip-hop style of music and genre has seen many changes in the 30 plus years of existence. A way for young, interested musicians to create music while lacking proper instruments and training, hip-hop has evolved into a multi-genre musical category of its own. More colloquially referred to as rap, hip-hop has evolved greatly. Along with the evolution, two unique elements of style have evolved as well. These are breakdancing and beatboxing. Breakdancing is a style of dance. Known for its wild moves, each dance stops with a specific move called a freeze. The freeze is an integral part of the dance, and each breakdancer's freeze was a signature move. Breakdancing involves the entire body moving in specific ways. The dancer spins on their back, shoulders and head. The legs frequently move in large, sweeping circles for momentum.

Beatboxing is a way for a rap team to create a sound and rhythm for the rap artist. Lacking musical instruments, the beatboxer would create various sounds with the mouth, lips, and tongue. The rapper would use the beat to create lyrics that would closely align to the sounds of the beatboxing.
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A Legend Of Hip Hop: Kurtis Blow

In the history of rap has no man that was more of a trailblazer and pioneer than Kurtis Blow. Every big rap breakthrough had Kurtis leading the charge.

Kurtis became the first rapper ever signed to a major record label when he signed with Mercury and released his debut album Christmas Rappin which sold over 400,000 copies. His sophmore effort "The Breaks" topped that with 500,000 sold. The Hits coninued to come with suck hip hop classics as "If I ruled the world," "AJ Scratch," and basketball. Known as a workhorse in the next ten years, eleven albums followed.

Blow was the first american rapper invited to give concerts overseas, helping to bring

Blow then turned his efforts to promoting new up and coming artists inclusing the Fat Boys and Run DMC. Early in his career Rev. Run was actually billed as the "son of Kurtis Blow" Both Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G often praised Kurtis as an inspiration when they were coming up. With Shakur even name dropping him in various songs including "old school."

Currently Blow is an ordained minister preaching the gospel at various "hip hop" themed churched across the U.S. Still inspiring youth after all these years.
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Early Hip Hop And The Role Of The MC

The musical genre of hip hop music has been popularized into it's own diverse subculture since it's virtual debut in the early 1980's. Used synonymously with the term "rap music", hip hop's early beats still find their way onto today's airwaves.Popular 1980's hip hop artists incorporated the use of an MC or a DJ into their early releases. Artists like Vanilla Ice even incorporated well known rock music riffs into his songs. Today popular rap artists record their hits in the same fashion. Much of the popular 80's beats have been reincarnated in today's music.

Some of the 80's most influential hip hop artists are now infamous for their techniques and styles. Artists like Prince, MC Hammer, Kid Frost, Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, 2 Live
Crew and of course DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince aka Will Smith, dominated the airwaves with songs like "Can't Touch This" and "Me So Horny". Female artists as well had a huge impact on this generation of music. Do you believe it all started with the release of "Rapture" by Blondie in 1981? Salt-n-Peppa along with young DJ Spinderella,then led the way with "Push It", a single released in 1986 that went double platinum for the all girl group.

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The 1980s And Hip Hop’s Beginnings

Hip hop has become one of the most popular genres of music in the world, with artists such as Jay-Z and Kanye West becoming global superstars. The roots of this genre can be traced back to the late 1970s and early 1980s. The music was originally created for block parties in New York City by pioneers like DJ Kool Herc, who would mix samples of other records with his own shout-outs to party goers. Keith Wiggins is credited with coining the term "hip hop" in 1978, while the first hip hop song is considered to be "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang, which was released in 1979.

In the 1980s, hip hop continued to develop into its current state, with various artists focusing on rapping, dancing and DJing. Breakdancing attained great popularity in the early 1980s and was closely tied to hip hop music. Through breakdancing, those outside of New York City discovered beatboxing and sampling, along with the relatively new art form of rapping. Pop group Blondie used rapping in one of its hit songs, which drew more interest to the art form outside of urban areas. Artists such as Ice-T, Run-DMC, Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J and the Fat Boys capitalized on this interest to bring the music to the mainstream, where it remains today.
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