The Influence of Late 90's Hip Hop
The 80s period of hip-hop was known for being a period of innovation and reinvention of the genre. The innovation of rappers such as Run DMC and LL Cool J advanced the genre through elements such as faster rhythm and heavier use of drum beats. However, the 90s ushered in a commercial period of hip-hop, with artists such as Lauryn Hill, Nas, and Jay-Z at the forefront, leading hip-hop to its peak as a top-selling genre.
Artist Jay Z aimed through his music to highlight societal disadvantages faced by African American people. Through his lyrics of songs like ‘The Story of O.J’ , ‘Can I Live, and ‘The Hard Knock Life’, he focused on the reality of being black in America. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he had front row seats of racial injustice in the form of many things including police brutality, drug violence, and gang violence. Though he is notable for his raps, his style is different from gangsta style rappers like Jay Z and Biggie. His inclusion of vocals and repeated chorus put a more R&B type of tone into his music. Even so, his music has still remained a staple in late 90’s hip hop.