Pioneers of Hip Hop (pg. 2)
Pioneers of Hip Hop - N.W.A
In the late '80s, a group of rappers known as N.W.A hit the hip hop scene. Their members included, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Easy-E, the Arabian Prince, the D.O.C. and DJ Yella. N.W.A didn't stick around for long, with financial fights causing Ice Cube to leave in 1989, and the rest of the group falling apart by 1992. Before their demise though, the boys managed to surround themselves in controversy and gain a huge fan following. Through the next few years, Dre and Easy made it no secret that they hated each other by dissing one another on their solo albums. Then, in March 1995, Easy-E made an announcement that would shake the rap community. He had contracted HIV. Before his death, Easy made amends with Dre and Ice Cube, but within a month of telling the public of his disease, Easy-E died from AIDS.
Pioneers of Hip Hop - Beastie Boys
While rap groups like Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C. were creating a new genre of music, the Beastie Boys were making a name for themselves in the underground, hardcore punk scene. Made up of three, middle-class Jewish kids from New York, the Beastie Boys soon turned their attention to the world of hip hop. The release of their first rap album, Licensed to Ill, in 1986 didn't get a very good reception from critics, but struck a chord with hip hop fans, selling 750,000 copies in just six weeks. The album contained hits like Fight for Your Right and No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn. For the past two decades the Beastie Boys made a significant contribution to the evolution of hip hop.
Pioneers of Hip Hop - LL Cool J
For years, hip hop didn't get much support from mainstream radio or MTV. It was too rough and too controversial. LL Cool J changed that. He was the first rapper to cross over into the mainstream pop industry with his hip hop beats. This didn't make him the most popular in the hip hop world, but it did open doors for other rappers to become commercially successful and not just an underground success. LL Cool J (which stands for Ladies Love Cool James), started his career in 1984 when he was just 17 years old. He's continued to make waves in the industry with hits like I Can't Live Without My Radio, Doin' It, Mama Said Knock You Out and Headsprung.
Pioneers of Hip Hip - Tupac
Although he was only on the rap scene for a few short years, Tupac Shakur managed to make a name for himself in the industry. In just five years, Tupac put out five albums and starred in five different movies. He also joined other rappers on various albums. Throughout his brief career, 2Pac fought publicly with his rival, east-coast rapper, Notorious B.I.G. Then, in 1996, Tupac was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. Rumors circulated that Notorious B.I.G. had arranged the shooting and just six months after Tupac's death, B.I.G. was also killed in a drive-by. Tupac made a big impact on hip hop and several discs of original Tupac material have been released since his death.
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