Hip-hop is not just a musical genre – it’s a culture, one that began in the 1970s. Though the Bronx is often credited as the birthplace of it, there are many other places that have contributed to the music throughout the years.
Since the 70s the genre has grown from coast to coast, eventually hitting the South, before its popularity infiltrated the country as a whole.
Bronx, New York
In 1973, DJ Kool Herc’s emceeing over parties at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue makes the Boogie Down Bronx the birthplace of hip hop. This innovative DJ began isolating percussion breaks when using a mixer with two records.
Following Herc was Grandmaster Flash and Kurtis Blow, the latter of which is responsible for hits by Run DMC.
The Bronx also produced Slick Rick, who was inducted into the borough’s walk of fame on the Grand Concourse in 2018.
In the 1990s, Fat Joe and the late Big Pun put the city in the spotlight again, with tracks like “Lean Back” and “I’m Not A Player.”
On the opposite side of the country is Oakland, whose most popular hip-hop star is the late Tupac Shakur. Though he was born in New York and raised in Baltimore, he spent a lot of formative years in the Bay Area. His iconic status changed the rap industry, and he remains influential even after his tragic death in 1996.
MC Hammer, best known for the hits “U Can’t Touch This” and “Too Legit to Quit” was born and raised in Oakland.
In more recent years, rapper and Oakland native G-Eazy has hit the scene and rose to popularity with his hit “Me, Myself, and I.” He is known as the “James Dean of Rap.”
Oakland houses for sale sit among the many influential spots in his city that are on the east side of the San Francisco Bay.
Down south, the hip-hop scene in Atlanta kicked off in the 80s and 90s with a local variant of Miami’s electro-driven bass music. MC Shy-D is credited with bringing the Bronx style of hip-hop to Atlanta.
This hip-hop style is often referred to as Dirty South, which can be credited to the likes of Outkast and Goodie Mob.
Most notably are LaFace Records, formed by L.A. Ried and Babyface in the late 80s, which is home to multi-platinum selling artists such as Toni Braxton, TLC, Ciara. So So Def Recordings is also in Atlanta, founded by Jermaine Duprin in the 90s and representative of Da Brat, Jagged Edge, and Dem Franchize Boyz.
Miami’s hip-hop scene is associated strongly with Southern rap, which was influenced by the regional hip-hop in both New York and California.
It wasn’t until the early 1990s that Miami started to become a force in the hip hop industry. Acts like 2 Live Crew, Luke, Poison Clan, DJ Uncle Al, and DJ Laz kickstarted the movement in the Sunshine State.
These musicians influenced and gave way to modern rappers Trick Daddy, Pitbull, Flo Rida, Trina, and Rick Ross.