The Golden Age of Hip Hop
refers to roughly the mid eighties up to the late nineties when Hip Hop, in this sense the rapping and beatmaking aspect of it, was known and appreciated for its Lyrical content (MCing or Emceeing) its musical depth and its stark differentiation from other musical genres of the day. Influenced by earlier forms of music such as R and B
and The Blues
; Hip Hop during this time matured and touched upon many political and social issues affecting urban America which overwhelmingly focused on the African American experience of ghettos
, gang life, drugs, black identity, poverty and racism. This era is known for the flourishing of different regional styles and a freeing up of the manner in which rap music was written, composed and performed these regional styles contributed to much tension and rivalry as well. This friction was exploited by record companies to boost interest and sales. It is this rivalry along with other factors that led to a decline and eventual end of the Golden Age.
Some of the Most popular artists who helped define the era include: Run DMC, LL Cool J, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, A Tribe Called Quest, Eric B & Rakim, Public Enemy, MC Lyte, KRS-ONE, NWA, Cypress Hill, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G,...