Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Hip Hop music was developed in New York by artists such as Grandmaster Flash and Run DMC and garnered increasing attention throughout the 1980’s. However towards the end of the decade a new style of Hip Hop was taking form in California. West Coast Hip Hop presented a new form of rhythm to contrast the style of hip hop that was familiar to New York. The west coast hip hop was more gangster rap, accompanied with the Gangster Funk or G-Funk style which is more melodic accompanied with heavy bass lines. As you will notice sonically, west coast hip hop is more laid back with smoother beats and more lyrical emphasis on rhythm. The east coast hip hop scene is more lyrically driven with more complex rhyme patterns with rawer and simpler beats. East coast hip hop involves intricate wordplay, a continuous free-flowing deliverance and complex metaphors. The differences in style are a result of differences in lifestyles and the environment the artists grew up in. For example, California is home to LA and Hollywood and thus the dance party funky style hip hop from the west coast got a lot of attention. Many of the early tensions between the east coast and west coast hip hop artists occurred because of gang related issues. Thematically the music is not so much different between the two coasts a lot of the music is revolved around violence, sex, and drug use. As a result of the new style of hip hop arising in the west, a clash between these two hip hop cultures arose. The east coast artists found west coast artists to be gaining popularity and thus labeled the new style as ‘fake’ and ‘over-commercial’ and the lack of respect developed tensions between artists from the two coasts. Artists from opposite sides of America clashed with respect to which coast they were from and thus the battle for hip hop supremacy took center stage during the 1990’s. This playlist boasts prominent artists during the east coast vs west coast hip hop feud, and the differing lifestyles of these artists will be evident after listening to the different forms of hip hop music at the time. 

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