From the Vault: The Beginning of Rap in the 1990’s

From the Vault:  The Beginning of Rap in the 1990s

Michael Fortin

Tupac was one of the most popular rappers in the 90's

Back in the 1990’s rap was in its prime, boasting many memorable songs that are still popular today.  90’s rap produced some of the best rappers of all time, such as Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg and many more.  Rap in the 90’s brought widespread popularity to the genre which make it still one of the most popular genres among young people.

The thing that made 90’s rap memorable is the everlasting feud between east and west coast rappers.  With the east coast having Bad Boy Records and the west coast having Death Row Records, the battle between the two supremacies were headed by West Coast rapper Tupac and East Coast rapper Notorious B.I.G. otherwise known as Biggie Smalls.  The feud between the two heated up when Tupac public accused Notorious B.I.G. of having facilitated him being robbed and shot at in a New York studio.

Notorious B.I.G. responded to these allegations by releasing a single “Who Shot Ya” in which he dissed Tupac for his shooting.  Tupac responded to this by releasing a single of his own “Hit ‘Em Up” which disses numerous east coast rappers, especially Biggie Smalls. Tupac spent the following months making threatening raps towards Bad Boy Records and everyone involved with them.  The feud between the two ended when Tupac was shot and killed in Las Vegas on September 13, 1996. Just six months later, on March 9, 1997, Biggie Smalls was murdered

The feud between East and West Coast rappers was the thing that made 90’s rap special.  The intensity and pure hatred for some rappers during this time made for passionate music that just about all rappers nowadays just do not have.  Rap during this time was very personal for most people and rappers actually rapped to make a point and not just to make money.

Another rapper that defied the end of the 90’s and paved way for rap in the 2000’s was Eminem.  Eminem was discovered by Dr. Dre, a successful producer and respected 90s rapper in his own right, who helped release Em’s first major album, “The Slim Shady LP”, in February of 1999.  Eminem changed the whole game of rapping that was set by Biggie Smalls and Tupac.  Eminem’s rapping style consisted of rapping about his life and mocking other celebrities. This was much different from Tupac and Biggie Smalls, who mainly focused on dissing East and West coast rappers by threating to kill them.  Without Eminem, rap today would not be the same and he has set the bar for many.

Rap in the 90’s helped paved the way for rap nowadays and without it, rap would not be nearly as popular as it is. Along with its rise in popularity, the genre advanced, matured, and modernized to become what it is today. Hip-hop and rap advanced greatly  in the 90s, because of a few influential rappers.