Hip Hop Timeline

  • "Sex Machine" and "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose,"

    JAMES BROWN records ‘classic funk break beat’, which becomes the foundation of early hip-hop. In "Sex Machine" and "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose,"
  • Graffiti tagging becomes popular

    July article makes front-page in the New York Times mentioning tagger TAKI 183, inspires and popularized graffiti tagging and hundreds of local youths then want to become taggers too.
  • 42 gangs sign a peace treaty

    1971 December 42 gangs sign a peace treaty, after gang peacemaker from the GHETTO BROTHERS is killed
  • War On Graffiti

    1972 New York City declares a "war on graffiti," setting the stage for "zero tolerance" politics
  • "merry-go-round" Spinning Invented by DJ Kool Herc

    1973 DJ KOOL HERC invents a form of spinning break beats back-to-back, called "merry-go-round, " and forms the HERCULORDS.
  • ZULU NATION is Formed

    1973 November The ZULU NATION is started by AFRIKA BAMBAATAA and begins actively recruiting Bronx kids under a banner of "Peace, Love, Unity, and Having Fun."
  • GrandMaster Flash perfects mixing

    1975 GRANDMASTER FLASH, perfects mixing and blending break beats using his Clock Theory and Quickmix technique.
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    NYC blackouts

    1977 July. New York City blackout leads to looting. Hip-hop block parties hit a peak as new sound systems appear on streets. First mention of the rap phenomenon appears in Billboard.
  • Rapper's Delight

    1979 October SUGARHIL GANG'S "Rapper's Delight" is a crossover hit. Chorus includes words "hip hop" further popularizing it the new genre.
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    The term "hip-hop” popularized

    1981 AFRIKA BAMBAATAA solidifies popularization term "hip-hop” with Blondie's "Rapture" the first "rap" video which aired on MTV.
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    THE FURIOUS FIVE'S - The Message

    1982 July GRANDMASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS FIVE'S record The Message and it becomes an international hit.
  • Def Jam Records Founded

    1984 Def Jam records is founded by RUSSELL SIMMONS and RICK RUBIN, and record LL COOL J, BEASTIE BOYS, and RUN D.M.C.,the self-titled “RUN D.M.C” debut becomes the first gold rap album
  • ICE T and Schoolly D chronic street violence in music

    1986 July Artists like ICE T and SCHOOLLY D chronicle street violence. After declaration of mandatory minimum sentencing for crack cocaine leads to racially disparate explosion in the prison population.
  • N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton Album released

    1988 August N.W.A.'S Straight Outta Compton includes "Fuck tha Police," a song that chronicles racist LAPD. It was the first media labeled "gangsta rap"; N.W.A. call it "reality rap."
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    1988 The beginning of "war on gangs." California passes Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention (STEP) Act.
  • Fight the Power

    • 1989 Public Enemy is criticized as a "hate group." After song "Fight the Power" anchored SPIKE LEE'S movie DO the Right Thing.
  • SoundScan Invented

    a precise new form of counting record sales, shakes up industry. Country, heavy metal, and
    rap, thought to be marginal genres, prove to be the most popular..
  • N.W.A.- "Efil4zaggin" album debuts at #2

    1991 N.W.A.'S 2nd album Efil4zaggin debuts at #2
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    Los Angeles riots

    1992 Los Angeles riots prompt rap backlash. DR. DRE'S The Chronic, Death Row Records' first album, propels hip-hop into the mainstream and launches West Coast subgenre.
  • Senate hearing on "gangsta rap."

    1994 DELORES TUCKER warns will cause "a crime wave of epidemic proportions." In Senate hearing on "gangsta rap."
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    Hip Hop Becomes popualar music prefered by youth

    1996 Hip-hop becomes prime content for global youth-entertainment complex. Telecommunications Act prompts media consolidation.
  • Tupac Shakur Shot

    1996 September 7th TUPAC SHAKUR, famous rapper and son of a Black Panther, is shot fatally in Las Vega sand dies six days later.
  • Notorious B.I.G. Murdered

    1997 March 9th. THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G., famous rapper Biggie, is murdered in Los Angeles.
  • Slim Shady LP goes triple platinum

    1999 The culture warriors are recharged after EMINEM'S The Slim Shady LP goes triple platinum
  • California expands three-strike laws

    2000 California expands three-strike laws, making it easier to try juveniles as adults and.
  • RUN D.M.C.'S Jam Master Jay is murdered.

    30, 2002 October 30th RUN D.M.C.'S JAM MASTER JAY is murdered.
  • 50 Cent Abum Get Rich or Die Tryin

    2003 50 Cent’s debut sells 900,000 copies in first week, album Get Rich or Die Tryin'. RIAA sues dozens of downloaders.
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    Kanye West and Eminem release anti-Bush videos

    2004 November Kanye West and Eminem release anti-Bush videos. Youths vote in record numbers.
  • The Grey Album becomes intellectual property protest

    2004 February Mixing Beatles and Jay-Z, DANGER MOUSE'S The Grey Album becomes intellectual property protest; 100,000 copies are downloaded for free.
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    Katrina relief efforts are produced by rappers

    2005 September Enormous Katrina relief efforts are produced by rappers and hip-hop activists organize.
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    Don Imus ignites controversy over sexism in rap

    2007April Don Imus ignites controversy over sexism in rap with controversial statements made to women’s basketball players.