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history of the rap game

  • The Start

    The Start
    James Brown releases 'The Big Payback', an early funk gem that emphasizes the groove rather than melody over his aggressively spoken vocals.
  • The classic dj

    The classic dj
    A young immigrant from Kingston, Jamaica named Clive Campbell begins deejaying at local parties. As DJ Kool Herc, he invents a new technique of deejaying that would cut two of the same records and extend the middle instrumental, or 'break,' of the popular funk and disco songs of the day.
  • The Founder of Rap Priciples

    The Founder of Rap Priciples
    former gang member-turned-DJ named Afrika Bambaataa meets a young grafitti artist named Fab 5 Freddy; a regular on the burgeoning hip-hop scene. Soon after, Bambaataa forms the Zulu Nation and catagorizes what he calls the 'Four Elements' of hip-hop: DJing, Breaking, Graf Artists and MCing
  • mixing

    Grandmaster Flash begins working on a new, revolutionary technique of DJing: In addition to extending the break of a song, he begins mixing bits of two different songs together. Using headphones, he's able to get the songs to overlap and connect. His new 'mixing' technique would be adopted by every hip-hop DJ to follow.
  • The first rapper

    The first rapper
    Russell "Rush" Simmons moves the Force to Queens and convinces Kool DJ Kurt to begin rapping. Simmons decides to change Kurt's name to Kurtis Blow and enlists his kid brother, Joey, to be Kurt's DJ. Joey changes his name to 'DJ Run.'
  • Sugarhill

    The Sugarhill Gang releases 'Rapper's Delight.' Built on a sample of Chic's disco hit 'Good Times' and written by Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers, it goes on to become hip-hop's first hit and mainstream America's first exposure to rap music
  • the hit

    the hit
    With "Rapper's Delight" still riding the charts, Kurtis Blow releases his first single, "Christmas Rappin'". Blow's second single, "The Breaks," is a hit; and becomes hip-hop's first gold single. In his shows, Blow now sometimes allows DJ Run to rhyme with him.
  • Def Jam

    Def Jam
    Russell Simmons meets a young college kid named Rick Rubin, an avid fan of rap music. Together, Simmons and Rubin found a small record label and run it out of Rubin's college dormroom at NYU. They name their new label Def Jam.
  • white boys: beasty boys

    white boys: beasty boys
    Hip-hop's first White rap group, the Beastie Boys, release their debut album, "Licensed to Ill," on Def Jam Records. It goes on to become the best-selling rap album of the decade.
  • LL cool j

    LL cool j
    LL Cool J's debut, "Radio," becomes certified platinum as Def Jam Records becomes the premiere label in hip-hop.
  • ice-T

    .A. rapper, Ice-T, releases his debut album, "Rhyme Pays," and becomes one of the first West Coast MCs to garner national attention. His single, 'Six In the Morning," is groundbreaking in it's harsh and explicit depiction of street hustling and the criminal lifestyle.
  • queen latifah

    queen latifah
    Afrika Bambaataa froms the Native Tongues crew and, (after hearing an underground single called 'Wrath of My Madness'); recruits a young female MC from New Jersey named Queen Latifah.
  • Grammys

    The Grammy committee announces that rap will be given it's own official Grammy catagory. The news is bittersweet, however, after it is announced that the presentation will not be televised. As a result, many of the most prominent rappers, (including Salt-N-Pepa, Public Enemy, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Ice-T and more), host a Boycott-The-Grammys Party on MTV the night of the broadcast. DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince go on to win the award.
  • NWA

    After a controversial tour promoting 'Straight Outta Compton' with N.W.A, Ice Cube announces he's leaving the group after a financial dispute with Eazy-E and manager, Jerry Heller.