The soul music back then wasn't quite mainstream enough for MTV or the top 40 radio stations to play and if you didn't have BET or an Urban radio station in your town, you only got to hear about what was happening from friends, clubs or when the artists actually came to play in your town.
Early Rap music focused more on the music and beats and the rhymes then were somewhat light hearted, often about having a good time or boasting about the MC’s prowess and abilities with the mike. It was always about the mike.
Around 1989, “Gangsta rap” was born and artists like NWA and 2 Live Crew took off. Soul artists started to make their music sound more mainstream to appeal to a larger audience. Some artists, like Keith Sweat, Teddy Riley, and his group GUY, created what was known as the New Jack Swing sound to give people an alternative to the new rap scene, but by then, BET and now MTV started to feature more hardcore rap in heavy rotation. Even mainstream radio got in on the action and the new jack artists, while talented and promising, never enjoyed the full glory of the golden age era.
In the new millennium, Rap/Hip Hop became the domina...