HIP HOP CULTURE: FROM THE STREETS TO THE MAINSTREAM (PART III)

The Modern Time

Two New Stars

The east coast rapper JAY-Z started his legendary road after the rap dispute ended. In fact, JAY-Z released his first solo single "In My Lifetime" as early as 1994 and officially debuted in 1996. He wrote his first album "Reasonable Doubt", but the response was mediocre. It wasn't until 1998 that the album "Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life" was released after the dispute between the east and west coasts settled down. The album sold more than 5 million copies. In 1999, the song "Heartbreaker" feat. Mariah Carey hit No.1 on top 100 Billboard singles chart in the United States. From then on, JAY-Z began to reach its peak and became the East Coast rap commander.

JAY-Z's life path is full of legends, from a drug dealer to a rap superstar. When he was a student, he followed a friend to sell drugs, during which he was shot three times. Gradually, he gained the nickname "jazzy" in the drug trade circle, and then slowly evolved into "JAY-Z". The drug trade brought him a lot of money. At first, JAY-Z wanted to develop music while selling drugs, but in the end he gave up drug dealing and developed a music career. JAY-Z's growth process was full of ups and downs.

On the other side, the west coast, Eminem gradually shines under the care and support of Dr. Dre and the Snop Dog. He debuted in 1997. In February 2000, he won the 42nd Grammy Award Best Rap Singer and Best Rap Album for his album "The Slim Shady LP". Since then Eminem becomes the brightest new star on the west coast. As a white man, Eminem blazed a path of his own in the black hip-hop culture. He was ridiculed and satirized on the road to fame, but eventually succeeded. Of course, Dr. Dre contributed a lot to this. At that time, Dr. Dre was regardless of all opposed opinions to sign Eminem and trained the white rap king in his hands. It proved to the public that white people can actually sing rap, and can also do it the best.

Of course, during this period, there are still many great rappers, this period is an era of all stars shining.

The Third Force---Southern Hip-Hop

When the timeline comes to 2000, the American rap circle, which has always been ruled by the east and west coasts, now it will change. After the boom on the east and west coasts, another force emerged. Southern rap (Southern Hip-Hop), also known as Dirty South, is the general name of Southern Hip-Hop in the United States.

In fact, hip-hop music was popular in the southern cities of the United States as early as 1980, but because of the great influence of New York and Los Angeles at that time, the public eye has always been in these two cities, making southern rap obscured. However, rappers in southern cities always insisted on innovating their own unique styles. Until 2000, the Crunk style (the unique style of southern rap) became popular, and southern rap gradually began to emerge and became the most popular and influential genre. The southern city of Atlanta has become the third hip-hop capital, and there are many outstanding rappers: T.I., Ludacris, Nelly,  Lil Jon, Young Jeezy. Including the current trend--Trap music, is also emerged in southern rap, which has affected the direction of the entire rap field.

From 2002 to 2003, Southern Rap accounted for 50%-60% of the billboard hip-hop music charts in the United States.

In 2004, the percentages of U.S. city radio broadcasting hip-hop music in each region were 43.6% in the south, 29.7% in the Midwest, 24.1% in the East Coast, and 2.5% in the West Coast.

The southern rappers are different from the east and west coast rappers in that most of them come from remote towns rather than big cities. Therefore, most of them expressed their desire to get money in music, surrounded by beautiful women, and spread money in sports cars. This aspect is also criticized by people, who feel that trap music is not nutritious. Despite this, it cannot stop them from moving forward.

After 2010, many popular groups or singers, such as: Young Thug, Future, Travi$ Scott, 2 Chainz, Rae Sremmurd, Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, Rich Homie Quan, Migos, 21 Savage, Lil Yachty, etc., all come from the south. Without exception, today's American rap market is half of the southern rap.

Even some non-Southern rap singers: French Montana, A$AP Rocky, Desiigner, Lil Uzi Vert, etc., admit that their music style is deeply influenced by southern hip hop.

Hip Hop Commercialization

With the expansion of predecessors and the continuous development of hip-hop culture, the typical costumes of early hip-hop styles-pullovers, hoody, baggy trousers, saggering, and sneakers already contain a certain fashion gene, later on hip-hop artists connect with the fashion industry more deep, and the fashion industry has accordingly become the number one gold absorbing industry in the hip-hop. Many hip-hop artists have begun to endorse his own fashion brands. For example, JAY-Z in the rap industry simply withdrew from the rap industry in order to concentrate on its own brand. Run- D.M.C's famous rap "My Adidas" is a portrayal of the mentality of hip-hop teenagers: to be innovative and to pursue fashion brand.

At the same time, popular lifestyle brands such as Heineken Beer, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Gap are all vying to incorporate hip-hop elements into their products, and a large number of products related to hip-hop culture have sprung up. Even traditional artists and fashion designers are looking for artistic inspiration in hip-hop culture. So far, the hip-hop culture has covered up the world, and its influence is still rising. Including music, sports, clothing, film and television, media, food, arts and other life fields, all are infiltrated by hip-hop style and culture.

In the 21st century, this mighty cultural trend has been spread to Europe, Asia and other parts of the world with the wave of globalization and the popularization of the Internet. It has been enthusiastically sought after by young people everywhere, and has become a way for them to express themselves and dialogue with the world. Obviously, Hip-hop culture evolved from the street culture of black youth at the bottom has become to a commercial and worldwide pop culture.

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HIP HOP CULTURE: FROM THE STREETS TO THE MAINSTREAM (PART I)