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But all this focusing on regional scenes got me to think: what are the best regional Hip Hop scenes in the United States? Home to a ton of music and arts, the city has long been plagued by crime and urban decay. New Orleans has been an epicenter of many different types of music, most notably jazz, in the 20 th century. While the city also housed an incredibly strong scene for metal throughout the s and s, around the same time, it emerged as a major player in Hip Hop - and was one of the earlier cities to make noise out of the southern US. New Orleans Hip Hop has a specific bounce and roll to its beats, with a very distinct sound that somehow sets it apart from other southern Hip Hop scenes. Listening to how different and interesting some of the beats were on early New Orleans Hip Hop records make me think something was in the water down there.
Both are retrospectively hailed as some of the most original, yet head-scratching and creepy Hip Hop to ever see the light of day.
The group gained steam in the late s and early s, releasing a smattering of albums that were and still are critically-acclaimed. The group would release multiple platinum albums in the early s, and would win an Oscar for creating a song for a film soundtrack. Three 6 Mafia was known for its large amount of affiliates as well, effectively creating a monopoly over all Memphis rappers not named 8Ball or MJG. Three 6 would release an album full of affiliates, much like Wu-Tang did with the Killa Bees compilations in the late s.
Three 6 Mafia covered just about everything - twisted, eccentric and dark beats, and at times, top-notch lyricism, though a number of their members and affiliates were not so lyrical.
This is the city where southern Hip Hop essentially got its start.
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On That Other Level. The song was released right around the time where DJ Screw passed away prematurely, presumably from his activity in the drank culture codeine was found in his system at the time of his death. UGK is, along with Outkast, perhaps the most influential southern Hip Hop act of all-time, but will only be touched on briefly on this list due to an indirect-at-best association with the Houston scene. Houston has a wide-ranging sound, from the more east-coast-sounding beats on early Geto Boys records, to the distinctly-Houston sounding chopped and screwed scene, to the mainstream, early s southern Hip Hop sound of the newer wave of Houston rappers.
Many of the big rappers in the new wave were not very lyrical, but Geto Boys were always known for their clever lyrics - particularly those of Scarface. It had a respectable local scene at the time, but was about to explode into Hip Hop as a force to be reckoned with.
The catalysts of that explosion were none other than Big Boi and Andretogether forming the seminal duo Outkast. To top it off, they were incredibly lyrical, and were great story-tellers. They were sure to influence somebody along the way with albums of such a high caliber, and they did, as Ludacris stepped onto the scene in When Ludacris exploded in the early s, with the release of his first two albums, the floodgates had been opened - Atlanta was quickly churning out more commercially influential rappers per city than anything other than what happened in New York in the s.
By the middle s, artists like Young Jeezy, T.
America wanted crunk beats, aggressive chanting and generally lackluster rapping - something new, something different from the tried-and-true New York and east coast scenes. While Hip Hop, during its birth, early stages and most fruitful years, had its epicenter in New York City, the modern-day mecca of Hip Hop appears to be Atlanta. While the quality of the music coming out of Atlanta is not what it once was, the quantity remains the same. There are a smattering of artists that are still calling Atlanta home in the s, including mainstream artists such as 2 Chainz and B.
Atlanta Hip Hop ranges far and wide, and Atlanta could have ranked much higher on this list were it not for the lack of quality in some of the recent work coming from the city.
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta stars Rasheeda and Kirk Frost have had their marital ups and downs but through it all, the pair seem to always find their way back to one another. The couple just. The hip hop dating map is a tangled web. The law of six degrees of separation applies to the hip hop dating circuit - a land where fast money, fast women, and horny men collide, resulting often Author: Danny Schwartz. May 30, Top 10 Cities By Hip Hop Scene. No Limit was the crew that first put New Orleans on the Hip Hop map. Three 6 Mafia members and producers DJ Paul and Juicy J were essentially inventing horrorcore, with songs dating back to as early as .
Outkast and Goodie Mob lead the way out of Atlanta as the most creative and influential acts, but other acts have received commercial and critical praise, such as Ludacris, T. For a long time, Chicago has had a burgeoning Hip Hop scene that started in the early s with Commonthen known as Common Sense. The album alone influenced a future generation of rappers, but by the middle s, there were a number of notable acts rising out of Chicago, including Da Brat, Twista, Do or Die, and Crucial Conflict.
This sound would venture far and wide through Hip Hop in the following years, and would influence a whole new generation of rappers and producers that are making their mark today.
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Other rappers that represented Chicago during the s were the lyrically-acclaimed Lupe Fiasco, Rhymefest, and underground rappers Vakill and Typical Cats. Led by a rapper named Chief Keef, this style features atmospheric beats, vigorous high-hats, and barely audible rapping.
Drill rap has taken a lot of heat for being an incredibly watered-down and vapid offshoot of Hip Hop, and it has been seen as a sort of soundtrack to the increased violence in Chicago in recent years. One other major act from Chicago that has no association with the drill rap scene is Chance the Rapper, who has seen a good deal of mainstream attention recently.
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However, Chicago is also responsible for a recent major decline in quality with drill rap, though the city does still produce more thoughtful rappers as well. Droves of rappers - perhaps more than any city not named New York or Los Angeles - have come out of Oakland over the years, with the highest concentration of these artists rising to prominence in the late s and early to middle s.
BySpice-1, E and Hieroglyphics particularly Del were beginning to achieve prominence and respect as well. Recent years have featured older artists releasing more material, though there have been some new acts.
The Bay Area scene is one that peaked in the s much like most other regional Hip Hop scenesand does not have a ton of influence beyond the early s. Bay Area Hip Hop is not necessarily the most lyrical, but features richly-crafted, funk-sampled beats that can range from dusty, dark and almost east-coast sounding to distinctly synth-driven and bouncy.
Detroit has long been a place of urban decay, plight and poverty. Naturally, since Hip Hop is the modern-day art-form of the oppressed, Detroit had no problem becoming a hotbed of quality Hip Hop.
As early asHip Hop was beginning to gain a following in and around Detroit. One of the other early artists out of Detroit was Esham, who is one of the early horrorcore artists - perhaps earlier than either Three 6 Mafia or Gravediggaz.
Esham seemed to influence a more morbid lyrical theme in the growing Detroit scene, and this would become very evident in the early part of the career of Eminem. Eminem, who released his first album inre-shaped Detroit Hip Hop - and Hip Hop as a global scene - forever.
When he first was discovered by Dr. Dre and signed to Aftermath Records, the morbidity that took place in the lyrics of Esham and Insane Clown Posse was quite evident as an influence.
Royce would go on to quietly dominate Detroit Hip Hop while Eminem would spiral out of control, releasing material that sold well, but was critically panned. Royce would become the most consistent force in Detroit Hip Hop in the s. Dilla was an original member of Slum Village, though he left the group after a couple of albums to focus on what would become an unmatched solo career.
Slum Village would celebrate success with and without J Dilla, and would revamp their lineup by the mids to include the very talented Elzhi.
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Dilla would pass away from lupus inand original Slum Village member Baatin would also die in Recent commercial success Big Sean also comes from Detroit. Unlike Chicago, there have not been too many overly-mainstream, annoying rappers that have hurt Hip Hop in recent years.
I struggled with putting Detroit as low as number four, but then I remembered just how long Philly has had dominant, influential Hip Hop acts. As early asrappers were showing up on the local music scene in Philadelphia Lady Bwhich makes Philadelphia the first city other than New York City to have a local scene.
By the s, the second wave of quality Philadelphia Hip Hop began with the emergence of The Roots in the early to middle s. The Roots brought a whole new instrumental ct to Hip Hop, which had never been done the way The Roots did it. There was most definitely live instrumentation in Hip Hop to that point, but The Roots made a point to be a sort of jazz band Hip Hop act, which was one of the most original things - to this day - that has been done in Hip Hop.
The Roots would explode in the middle and late s, and today remain as probably the most recognizable Hip Hop group or band. Around the turn of the century, Philadelphia rapper Eve found herself with DMX and the Ruff Ryders crew, which sold millions of albums.
Eve would have a brief but incredibly successful solo career as well. Sigel would continue his successful solo career through the s despite trouble with the law.
Since the late s, Philadelphia has been home to a formidable underground Hip Hop scene. The scene is headlined by the group Jedi Mind Trickswho are at the forefront of the east coast underground collective Army of the Pharoahswhich has rappers coming from areas extending from Florida to Boston.
Rapper Cassidy saw some success in the middle s with a brief solo career. In recent years, mainstream acts such as Meek Mill have received national and international attention, despite a lower quality in musical output.
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