Hip-Hop, also known as rap, is a musical genre that was derived from the hip-hop culture. It originated in the 1970’s in The Bronx, New York. Hip-hop became a famous musical genre because it allowed the urban youth to freely express themselves. The 1990’s were the Golden Age of Hip-Hop in a way, so let’s take a look back at the 90’s and reminisce about this genre’s success during that era.
Hip-hop in the 90’s was all about expressing politically conscious views in a manner that was smooth and effortless and was assisted by soft bass beats and melodic synthesizers.
In the mid-90’s, a rapid change in the hip-hop culture occurred, and some of the purists saw it as degenerating to the hip-hop culture. This rapid change was the transition into “commercial hip-hop”. It was slowly deteriorating what the emcees in the 80’s built – a culture of music, creativity, artistry and dance wherein they expressed themselves and delivered a clear and positive message to the world.
“Commercial hip-hop” can be described as something produced by artists who alienated parts of the hip-hop culture in their music. As best said by Mr. Eon in the single entitled “The Meaning”: “…they tryin’ to turn hip-hop to just plain rappin’…” As compared to tradional hip-hop, commercial hip-hop was all about the money while the culture being disregarded.
Next up, the underground hip-hop scene, a circuit where talented emcees thrive; their objective is to promote the transition of rap back to hip-hop because they are mad at how major labels are treating hip-hop. An emcee, as defined by hip-hop usage, is the one who excites and controls the crowd. The term emcee is derived from the initials “MC” for Master of Ceremonies. A talented emcee is one that has a masterful vocabulary and possesses an intelligence and confidence that allows him to wow a crowd.
There are some differences with commercial hip-hop and underground hip-hop. Others will say that commercialized hip-hop only intends to sells albums, and loses the true hip-hop culture in the process. Underground hip-hop artists tends to stay within the bounds of hip-hop culture and encourage other artists to do so. Still, underground hip-hop artists perform to promote hip-hop and amaze their audiences. One can say that both are hip-hop music and both have the same intent, but traditional hip-hop artists tend to disagree. Whatever their intentions are, as long as the audience enjoys the show, all is well from a fan’s point of view.
Hip-hop in the 90’s had a little more than music, talent and musicians…it had heart, something that is not present in some of the commercial artists’ music. Underground hip-hop artists believe that the hip-hop culture should be retained, but whether they succeed in promoting that line of thought or not, new artists cannot change hip-hop’s history and original form and style.
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