The early 90s spawned some of the most classic Hip-Hop albums still relevant to this day.1992-1995 foreshadowed the dynamic recording careers of iconic artists like Pac, Biggie, Snoop, Dr. Dre and more. Sure, Hip-Hop was heavily influenced by gangsta rap earlier in the decade but the fusion of newcomers from the east coast and other regions like Atlanta and Chicago brought forth new sounds that would alter Hip-Hops landscape it forever.Keeping it real, there was no shortage on talent or cunning emcees whod lure you in with just one verse. After years of little recognition female rappers finally seemed to be getting their just due, artists were crossing over effortlessly and naysayers who didnt believe Hip-Hop would last checked themselves at the door. Hip-Hop was here to stay. The more things change the more things stay the same; artists like Nas, Common, Snoop, The Roots, Outkast are still dropping albums over a decade later. The names, slang, and styles have changed but this eras impact on Hip-Hop is an undeniable truth; heres a few highlights from back in the day.1992 January 1992 After taking offense to comments made by him in Details Magazine, KRS-One bumrushes PM Dawn off the stage at NYC’s Sound Factory. Pay for a PM Dawn Show get a BDP one instead, January 17, 1992 Epic urban drama, Juice, starring Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps hits theaters igniting the former’s acting career and can be considered the precursor to his thug persona. February 25, 1992 Sex and Violence, the sixth and last album by Boogie Down Productions is released. March 1992 – Ice-Ts anti-police song, Cop Killer stirs national controversy due to excessive violent lyrics; the song is later pulled from his hardcore punk album Body Count. April 15, 1992 – The Bill Duke directed Deep Cover, starring Larry Fishburne (he wasn’t going by Laurence yet) hits theaters. The soundtrack features Dr. Dre’s “Deep Cover,” the debut of one Snoop Doggy Dogg. April 30, 1992 After eight seasons the last episode of The Cosby Show airs. Pre-teen rap outfit Da Youngstas drop Something 4 Da Youngstas DJ Premier would scratch a line from the song Pass Da Mic on the chorus for Gang Starrs Mass Appeal. Theres your answer. A group known as A.T.B.A.N. Klann released an album on Ruthless
Records… two of the members of the group were Will 1X and apl.de.ap. In 1995, the Black Eyed
Peas, now including Taboo, were born (as was Will.I.Am) when Atban Klann was dropped from the
label after Eazy E’s death. Marion Suge Knight and Dr. Dre establish Death Row Records which would become a powerhouse label in the early and mid 90s. Eric Eazy E Wright sues Suge Knight citing he used threats of violence to force Eazy E to release former N.W.A member, Dr. Dre out of his contract. The video to Sir-Mix-A-Lots chart topping crossover hit “Baby Got Back” is temporarily banned from MTV due to the songs candid and sexual lyrics. Sir-Mix-A Lot later won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance for the single in 93. May 5, 1992 Gang Starrs Daily Operation is released. June 9, 1992 Pete Rock & CL Smooth drop Mecca And The Soul Brother. June 23, 1992 – After the success of the acclaimed, Dont Sweat the Technique, Eric B. and Rakim split up after reported problems over contracts to pursue solo ventures. July 1, 1992 The film Boomerang is released and stars Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence and numerous other top black actors of the day. The soundtrack features ATCQs Hot Sex. July 28, 1992 The future of Queen of Hip-Hop/R&B Mary J. Blige drops her debut album Whats the 411? July28, 1992 EPMDs Business Never Personal drops; features Crossover a leading hit single for the duo which diligently warns against selling out. August 27, 1992 Martin Lawrence’s hilarious sitcom, Martin debuts on the FOX Network. September 22, 1992 – Redmans introduction as a comical but lyrically on-point rapper begins with his debut Whut? Thee Album generating a following of fans. September 22, 1992 Diamond D drops Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop. October 20, 1992 Grand Puba has dipped from Brand Nubian and drops his debut Reel to Reel. Brand Nubian moves on and doesnt skip a beat with their own hit Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down. November 10, 1992 – UGK drops their sophomore effort Too Hard To Swallow. November 17, 1992 The same year he converts to Islam, Ice Cubes most successful album The Predator brings hit singles like, Check Yo Self, and Today Was a Good Day. November 24, 1992 – The Pharcyde releases their seminal debut Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde. December 15, 1992 – Death Row Records releases it first album, Dr. Dres landmark The Chronic which goes on to sell three million units, but only gets 4 ½ mics in The Source (later corrected to five).1993 Original Flavor drops their second album Beyond Flavor, the single Can I Get Open? features a then relatively unknown Jay-Z. KMDs DJ Subroc (MF DOOMs brother) is tragically killed after being struck by a car. The Roots record Organix and sell the album at their shows throughout Europe. ?uestlove, then BROther ?, can be heard rhyming on Pass the Popcorn. February 1993 – Georgia-based group, Arrested Development becomes the first rap act to win a Grammy for the Best New Artist Award. We dont know where they are now. February 23, 1993 The energetic New Jersey rap group with flows for days, Naughty by Nature releases their second album, Nineteen Naughty III known for the classic feel good jam Hip Hop Hooray. March 12, 1993 CB4 (starring Chris Rock, produced by Nelson George) hits theaters with the film being a caricature of a gangsta rap. The film spawns the underappreciated classic “Sweat From My Balls.” March 28, 1993 The Hughes Brother directed film Menace II Society hits theaters. April 23, 1993 – Dr. Dre and Ed Lover star in, Whos The Man, a film heavily inspired by Hip-Hop with appearances from Fab 5 Freddy, Queen Latifah, House of Pain, Run-DMC, Eric B, Ice-T, Flavor Fav and Kool G Rap. May 4, 1993 – Run-DMC starves off rumors of a creative slump with Down With the King, an album which outsells their previous release. The title track is produced by Pete Rock. Quincy Jones founds the innovative Hip-Hop & R&B entertainment magazine, VIBE; the test issue featured Treach from Naughty By Nature, the first proper issues cover was Snoop Dogg. July 6, 1993 – 8Ball & MJG release their debut Comin Out Hard. July 9, 1993 The last episode of A Different World airs on NBC after a six season run. July 27, 1993 Fat Joe Da Gangsta drops his debut album Represent. September 6, 1993 Souls of Mischief releases their debut 93 ’til Infinity, sparking greater interest in their Heiroglyphics crew founded by Del the Funkee Homosapien. September 28, 1993 KRS-One releases his solo debut, Return of the Boom Bap, with most of the production handled by DJ Premier. October 6, 1993 Michael Jordan announces his retirement from the NBA (yeah, right.). October 12, 1993 – The success of Salt-N-Pepas Very Necessary with top singles, such as Shoop, Whatta Man, eventually leads the group into becoming the first female rap act to go multi-platinum. October 13, 1993 – Brooklyn dwellers Black Moon drop their outstanding debut, Enta Da Stage. Lazy journalists everywhere soon start calling underground Hip-Hop music “backpack rap” ad nauseum. October 26, 1993 Shaquille ONeal drops his debut album Shaq Diesel it goes platinum. November 9, 1993 – Wu-Tang Clans debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers locks the young Staten Island natives in as one of the most prolific rap groups, ever. The nine rappers (RZA, GZA, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Ol Dirty Bastard, U-God, Raekwon and Inspectah Deck) offer their individual rhyming agility to the album. November 9, 1993 – A Tribe Called Quests third album Midnight Marauders drops featuring a Whos Who of Hip-Hop as the albums multiple covers. November 23, 1993 – Snoop Dogg (known as Snoop Doggy Dog at the time) releases Doggystyle which receives rave reviews from critics and became the first debut rap album ever to appear as #1 November 13, 1993 – Queen Latifahs Black Reign album is released and eventually becomes the first female rap solo artist to reach gold status. Future music/business mogul, Sean Combs starts Bad Boy Entertainment (Bad Boy Records) after being fired from Uptown Records and focuses on the future careers of Craig Mack and The Notorious B.I.G. MC Lytes love for thugs in Ruffneck makes her the first solo female rap artist to ever have a gold single. After four albums together, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith of EPMD split up over tension and personal conflicts.1994 Joe Clair and Big L## begin hosting BET Rap City (peace to Chris Thomas.). March 8, 1994 Gang Starr releases Hard to Earn. After Dave Mays slips in a feature story on the Almighty RSO into The Source Magazine, staff members walk out in protest. February 1, 1994 The Fugees drop their debut Blunted On Reality. The album is suspect but is saved by Salaam Remis remix to Nappy Heads. Sacha Jenkins and Elliott Wilson co-found ego trip Magazine. April 19, 1994 – Nas drops Illmatic, earning the Queens rapper instant recognition and a slot as an influential MC. April 26, 1994 – OutKast emerges from Atlanta with the highly acclaimed Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik making the way for an underrepresented Southern influence in Hip-Hop. E-40 & Click drop their second album The Mail Man, which features the hit Captain Save-A-Hoe. A remix of Capleton’s “Tour” is burning up dancefloors with its Slick Rick flavored drums…the producer is one Lil Jon, yes, that Lil Jon. Craig Macks Flava in Ya Ear draws attention to the newly formed, Bad Boy Entertainment. The heat is really on when they drop the remix featuring LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and the Notorious B.I.G. September 13, 1994 Notorious B.I.Gs first album, Ready to Die is released hosting future hits like One More Chance, Big Poppa and “Juicy.” Bad Boy never looks back. June 28, 1994 Da Brats debut album, Funkdafied, reaches number #1 and makes her the first female rapper ever to go platinum. After ditching the dance music format, New Yorks Hot 97 becomes NYCs first all Hip-Hop formatted radio station. The B Boy Summit is created to bring together Hip-Hoppers all over the globe for an event that hosts events, discussions, all pertaining to the Hip-Hop/b-boying culture. October 18, 1994 Receiving five mics from The Source at the time, Scarfaces The Diary earns the Houston rapper platinum status and another critically acclaimed album. October 1994 – Common (formerly Common Sense) releases Resurrection which features one of the best Hip-Hop songs on the 90s, I Used to Love H.E.R, a song about the changing scene and impact of Hip-Hop music where Common unleashes his disappointment. During a senate hearing rap music comes under fire as C. Delores Tucker, Dionne Warwick and other community leaders speak out against gangsta rap and violent, explicit and misogynistic lyrics. November 8, 1994 – Keith Murray drops his verbose but fresh debut The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World. November 15, 1994 – Method Man becomes the first Wu-Tang Clan member to release a solo LP with his hugely successful Tical. November 30, 1994 Tupac Shakur is robbed and shot five times outside a recording studio in New York City. December 1, 1994 Following his shooting, Tupac is convicted of a sexual assault accusation from 1993. Warren G., the step brother of Dr. Dre, releases Regulate .G Funk Era which demonstrates a more laid back sound to West Coast rap.1995 January 11, 1995 Higher Learning, the coming of age film involving racism, politics, and sexuality on a college campus, starring Omar Epps and rappers Ice Cube and Busta Rhymes comes to the big screen. February 1995 – Queen Latifah wins Rap Solo Grammy for female empowerment anthem, U.N.I.T.Y. February 1995 – Salt-N-Pepa become the first female rap group to win the Best Rap Performance Award with None of Your Business. March 25, 1995 – At the age of 31, influential West Coast rapper and record executive, Eazy E dies of AIDS complications at the Cedar-Senai Medical Center in Los Angeles. March 28, 1995 Ol Dirty Bastard drops his solo debut Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version. August 29, 1995 Junior M.A.F.I.A. drops Conspiracy, which features The Notorious B.I.G. and Lil Kim. April 25, 1995 – Mobb Deep drops The Infamous, the follow up to their 93 debut, earning the rappers much more credit for their gritty and street smart rhymes, especially on the classic track with the sinister beat, Shook Ones Part II. May 1, 1995 Friday, the ultimate comedy of 95 with rapper Ice Cube and comedian Chris Tucker was released; the Friday soundtrack showcased a variety of songs from several Hip-Hop performers including Dr. Dres party anthem, Keep Their Heads Ringin. July 25, 1995 After the moderate success of their first album, the tongue twisting, rapidly rhyming Bone Thugs-N-Harmony release E. Eternal 1999, a bigger hit for the Cleveland group. August 1, 1995 Wu-Tang Clans Raekwon the Chef drops the purple tape, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Ghostface gets his props and every wannabe rapper suddenly wants to be a coke dealer. August 25, 1995 The Show, a documentary examining the Hip-Hop culture with interviews with several of Hip-Hops legends and newcomers comes out; The Show Soundtrack which is more like a Hip-Hop carnival with a list of big names in Rap and R&B peaks at #1 on R&B/Hip Hop charts. October 1995 – Suge Knight posts Tupacs bail of $1.4 million dollars and the West Coast rapper joins Death Row Records where hed remain until his untimely death. October 31, 1995 – Tha Dogg Pound (Dat N***a Daz & Kurupt) releases Dogg Food, which eventually goes double platinum. November 7, 1995 – Recovering from disappointing sales of his 93 album (14 Shots to the Dome), LL Cool J tweaks his former formula and releases Mr. Smith well-known for the female friendly hits, Hey Lover, Loungin, and Doin It November 21, 1995 – Goodie Mob, a Atlanta-based quartet often attributed with popularizing the term dirty south releases their first album, Soul Food. November 30, 1995 – At the peak of his stardom as a rap artist, Snoop (Snoop Doggy Dog) stands murder trial for the death of a California man (He is later acquitted in 96). Common finds himself in beef as members of Westside Connection retaliate against I Used to Love H.E.R with Westside Slaughterhouse in response to lyrics they believe are accusing West Coast rap for a shift in Hip-Hops direction and authenticity; Common responds with the blistering The B***h in Yoo. March 14, 1995 Tupacs Me Against the World becomes the first album by an imprisoned artist to debut at #1. August 2005 – Yo! MTV Raps, the first Hip-Hop oriented show on MTV that helped spread Hip Hops popularity ends after seven years. Tensions rise between Death Row Records and Bad Boy Entertainment; reports of a East Coast/West Coast rap beef are sensationalized as the rift between the prominent rappers, Tupac and Notorious B.I.G worsens. November 7, 1995 Wu-Tang Clans the Genius/GZA drops his sophomore triumph Liquid Swords.
Black (Hip-Hop) Music Month Timeline I: ’88 – ’91 (click here)