Black (Hip-Hop) Music Month Timeline II: ’92 – ’95

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 […]

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-Hop’s landscape it forever.Keeping it real, there was no shortage on talent or cunning emcees who’d 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 didn’t 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 era’s impact on Hip-Hop is an undeniable truth; here’s 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-T’s 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 Youngsta’s drop Something 4 Da Youngsta’s…DJ Premier would scratch a line from the song “Pass Da Mic” on the chorus for Gang Starr’s “Mass Appeal.”  There’s 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 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-Lot’s chart topping crossover hit “Baby Got Back” is temporarily banned from MTV due to the song’s 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 Starr’s 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, Don’t 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 ATCQ’s “Hot Sex.”•    July 28, 1992 – The future of Queen of Hip-Hop/R&B Mary J. Blige drops her debut album What’s the 411?•    July28, 1992 – EPMD’s 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 – Redman’s 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 doesn’t 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 Cube’s 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. Dre’s 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.•    KMD’s DJ Subroc (MF DOOM’s 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 don’t 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, Who’s 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 issue’s 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-Pepa’s 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 O’Neal drops his debut album Shaq Diesel…it goes platinum. •    November 9, 1993 – Wu-Tang Clan’s 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 Quest’s third album Midnight Marauders drops featuring a Who’s Who of Hip-Hop as the album’s 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 Latifah’s 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 Lyte’s 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 Lez 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 Remi’s 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 Mack’s “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.G’s 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 Brat’s debut album, Funkdafied, reaches number #1 and makes her the first female rapper ever to go platinum.•    After ditching the dance music format, New York’s Hot 97 becomes NYC’s 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, Scarface’s 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. Dre’s 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 Clan’s 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-Hop’s 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 Tupac’s bail of $1.4 million dollars and the West Coast rapper joins Death Row Records where he’d 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-Hop’s direction and authenticity; Common responds with the blistering “The B***h in Yoo.”•    March 14, 1995 – Tupac’s 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 Hop’s 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 Clan’s the Genius/GZA drops his sophomore triumph Liquid Swords.

Black (Hip-Hop) Music Month Timeline I: ’88 – ’91 (click here)