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Hip-hop is today's most popular music genre and one of the most influential cultures. It originated in the 1970s among inner-city youth in New York block parties, where DJs looped percussion breaks in popular songs and MC's (mic controllers) rapped over them. 1979 would bring us the first mainstream rap single, “Rappers' Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang. In the '80s, “new school hip-hop” began with early records of Run-DMC and LL Cool J. Then hip-hop's “golden age” lasted between the mid '80s and early '90s, a period of “innovative” hip-hop records made by artists like Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim, and Boogie Down Productions.

The 1990s is often a favorite decade of rap music for many. This can be credited to a few of the most game-changing rap albums of that time, such as Dr. Dre's The Chronic (1992), Wu-Tang Clan's 36 Chambers (1993), Nas's Illmatic (1994), and especially the work of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious BIG, whom many consider two of the genre's greatest artists. Tupac and Biggie were both murdered in 1996 and '97, respectively, amidst an East Coast / West Coast rapper feud.

Although hip-hop was globalized by the mid-2000s, rap record sales declined in 2005, thanks to internet streaming. This made some people question, “Is hip-hop dead?” Today, as respected lyricists like Kendrick Lamar dominate mainstream, and people found a way to support artists amidst the drastic changes of technology, making 2017 the year hip-hop overpowered rock and roll, what do you think?



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