The Most Popular and Influential Names in Hip-Hop:
First, let’s say that there’s this thing that everyone is doing in alleyways and in streets all over the U.S. (and the world), and that it’s becoming more popular with those who are tuned into the underground of their respective location. Then, let’s say certain locations’ nameless artists begin creating a repertoire with their neighborhoods. After that, one can say the root of hip-hop has been planted, and that the tree of a new music genre and its indifference to the mainstream is beginning to grow.
Well, that was hip-hop in the very early 1980’s.
While The Sugar Hill Gang is credited (and has been) time and time again, many contributing and influential artists went unnoticed for far too many years. But as time also always proves, these contributors slowly started surfacing and being recognized by the public. Before Crush Groove, names like Big Daddy Kane and Rakim made their own fortunes in the underground without making a penny at all. Groups like EPMD and Cold Crush were important to the scene as well. Then, there were more flamboyant artists, like Afrika Bambaataa with the large sunglasses. Each one developed their own style that has been interpreted and repeated a million times over to this day.
It wasn’t until the 1990’s that rap music and hip-hop really carved its own space in the market of music, and when I say market, that is just what I mean.
Run D.M.C. should get a lot of credit. They paved the way for the ‘cross-over’ artists to collaborate with groups from the rock and roll world. The Wu-Tang Clan is a must. Bell Biv Devoe and Naughty by Nature, as well as Will Smith and the Fresh Prince showed audiences a new form of club music to listen to in the summertime. Yet still, it wouldn’t stop there.
Hip-hop was becoming even more marketable, and before people had realized it, hip-hop was taking over in the United States.
In the mid-to-late 90’s people like Jay-Z, Nas, Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Puff Daddy, the Notorious B.I.G., and Busta Rhymes were selling more records than most of the billboard artists, and the U.S. was seeing an increase in hip-hop demand. Each one had their own style and skill, and brought something refreshing to the table of hip-hop which others hadn’t.
Today, names like T-Pain, Timberland, and Lil’ Wayne are heard more often than most commercials. There are also more quiet artists like Atmosphere…
Hip-hop’s influential artist list is always on the rise, the market is expanding, and the listener is patiently waiting to see who today’s generation of hip-hop will connect with.
It could be you!