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Post subject: hip hop time line  PostPosted: Aug 11, 2011 - 12:07 AM
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• Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.
• Actress Diahann Carroll stars in weekly NBC series Julia.
• October 16—Tommie C. Smith, winner of the 1968 Olympic gold metal for the 200-
meter run, and John Wesley Carlos, winner of the 1968 Olympic bronze metal for the
200-meter run, are expelled from the Olympic games for lowering their heads and
raising their fists (reflecting the Black Power movement of the time) during the singing
of the national anthem at the Olympic games in Mexico City.


• Actress Della Reese is the first Black woman to host a television variety show, The
Della Reese Show.


Don Campbell had become a well-known street dancer in Los Angeles and invented a dance called "Campbellock".


• Maya Angelou publishes her autobiography entitled: I know why the caged bird sings.
• Comedian Flip Wilson is the first Black man to have a weekly primetime television
show in his own name.

• Double Dutch—the urban jump-rope game—is popular.
• Graffiti Art is popular.
• The Dozens—a friendly exchange of insults between street kids is popular. Usually
two or more people would make derogatory jokes about members of each others’
family. The Dozens would later be incorporated into the techniques of Emcee battling.
• The Civil Rights Movement continues. Stockley Carmichael (Kwame Toure) and the
Black Power Movement is popular.
• Four students are killed by the National Guard at Kent State University after
protesting against the Vietnam War. In 1975, a Federal jury in Cleveland, Ohio,
would exonerate Governor James A. Rhodes, 27 Ohio National guardsmen, and
former President of Kent State of any responsibility in the shootings.


Hip Hop "Grandfather" Afrika Bambaataa (Godfather of Hip-Hop culture, Father of the Electro Funk sound, founder of the Universal Zulu Nation, visionary, historian, and the Master of Records) starts to DJ.
1970 - The Last Poets, pioneers of hip-hop, record their self-named LP on Douglas Records, using a mixture of spoken word and jazz drumming and instrumentations.
The origin of tagging, began in New York City in the early 70s by Vic, a mail courier who rode the local subways and buses to deliver his packages. He set a goal for himself to visit every subway and ride every bus in NY. (aka "All City") He began to write his name (Vic) and his courier ID number (156) on every subway and bus he rode on.
Phase 2 (bubble styles), Case 2, Tracy 168, Sly II, Chain 3, Lee 163d, Julio 204, Frank 207 and Joe 136 were many early NYC tag names as well as originators of various styles of piecing such as: bubble, wildstyle and computer style.
No one knows who started graffiti during this era but we do know who made it famous. It was TAKI 183, a Greek teenager from Washington Heights named Demetrius.
One of the most revered graffiti crew and earliest group to form was the Ex-Vandals.
"Independent Writers" indicated their crew affiliation by writing "INDS" after their tags.
Graffiti group "Wanted" was founded by TRACY 168 in 1972. Tracy was a white kid who was so tough that he was allowed to hang out with the Black Spades (At its peak in the seventies "Wanted" had over seventy members.)
The Graffiti bombing movement began in the mid to late '60s in Philly, PA by writers CORNBREAD and COOL EARL.


• Richard Roundtree stars in the movie Shaft.
• James Brown, The Last Poets, Sly and the Family Stone, the Jimmy Castor Bunch,
Gill Scott Heron, and others of similar style are popular in the inner city.
• Mr. Rock, the Ni**a Twins, Peewee Dance, Sister Boo, and others are at the Factory
West perfecting the Freestyle Dance maneuvers that would later be known as Breakin
Poppin, and Lockin.
• The Five Percenters, founded by Clarence 13X--Father, is popular.


• Kool DJ Herc, a well known Deejay in the Bronx, takes the advice of his sister, Cindy,
and begins to regularly play his collection of Soul and Funk music for the youth of the
1600 and 1520 Sedgwick Avenue Community Centers, in the Bronx.
• Jimmy Lee, Jimmy Dee, and JoJo form the Rock Steady Crew.
• Mahalia Jackson, famous gospel singer dies at age sixty.
• Angela Davis is acquitted of murder conspiracy charges.
• Started locally in Chicago, Soul Train (a Black music and dance television show) airs
with the support of Johnson products, Inc.


• Boy Yong Yong hats are in style.
• The movie, The Godfather, wins three Academy Awards, one for Best Picture.
• Bernice Johnson Reagon forms the socially conscious acapella singing group Sweet
Honey in the Rock.
• Afrika Bambaataa establishes The Mighty Zulu Nation; formerly The Organization.


• Grandmaster Flash introduces the idea for the Deejay mixer and begins cutting and mixing
the musical breaks of phonograph records.
• Hip hop heads are meeting at the Sparkles Night Club, Club Plaza, and The Sand Box in
the Bronx.
• Wanda Dee, believed to be the first female DeeJay, is popular in the Bronx along with
Cool DeeJay Dee and Disco B.


• DeeJay Flash and Cowboy popularized the call and response routine Say Ho--oo and
Throw ya hands in the air….
• Television show The Jeffersons starring Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley and Marla
Gibbs is popular.
• Disco King Mario is popular.


• Grand Wizard Theodore, an apprentice to Grandmaster Flash, discovers Scratchin.
• DeeJay Jazzy Jay, (of Zulu Nation) and D.ST. (Delancey Street) are B-Boys.
• Crazy Leggs, Ken Swift, Kippy Dee, Buc 4, Cooliyaki, Mr. Freeze, Take One, and
others join Rock Steady Crew.
• M.C. Cassanova Fly (Grandmaster Caz) is popular.
• DeeJay Eddie Cheba is popular.


• New York experiences a Black Out after an explosion at one of its main power plants.
Massive looting and violence occurred all night into the morning.
• For eight consecutive nights, ABC Television broadcast Alex Hailey’s Roots.
• DeeJays and Emcees are making cassette tape recordings of their live performances
and selling them on the street.
• Graffiti Art has exploded. Some feel this era of Graffiti Art remains to be it’s most
creative time.
• Kool Moe Dee begins his Emcee career.


Hip Hop shifted more attention to the MCs while DJs Bam, Disco King Mario, Breakout, Casanova Fly, Disco Wiz, and Grandmaster Flash continued to perform around town.
DJ Disco Wiz credited for being the first Latino DJ.
Rock Steady Crew established by Bronx b-boys Jimmy D and JoJo.
What "Uprock" was to New York B-Boys, "Locking" had become to the Electro-Boogie LA youth. It was started by Lockatron Jon and Shabba-Doo. Shabba was also responsible for introducing "Popping" to New York, which many claim to be the first, real hip-hop dance. (They even go as far as to say they were performing it in 1969.)
German band Kraftwerk releases "Trans-Europe Express," a trancelike synth anthem that becomes the primary source for Electro-Funk artists like Bamabaataa, Planet Patrol, Jonzun Crew, and Newcleus.
The NYC Transit Authority established a giant subway car wash at its Coney Island train yard at annual cost of $400,000. (sprayed with petroleum hydroxide.)
Graffiti "style revival" with a new wave of creativity in late 1977 from crews TDS, TMT, UA, MAFIA, TS5, CIA, RTW, TMB, TFP, TC5 and TF5.
The rise of Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five, and Bambaataa's various crews and MCS placed Herc at a disadvantage. One night Herc was stabbed three times at his own party and his career never fully recovered.


• Hiphop branches out to other parts of New York as a standard inner-city expression
and code of communication.
• Disco Fever is where all of the Hiphop community would meet. It was this year that
early Hiphop began to recognize the uniqueness of its expressions. MC Busy Bee is


Bambaataa and Grandmaster Caz (aka Casanova Fly, Cold Crush Brothers) battle at the P.A.L. (Police Athletic League).
Music industry coined 'rap music'.
In New York local dance crews added waves and smoother movements to the "Popping".
Charlie Robot who used to appear on "Soul Train" introduced the "The Robot" to the mainstream media.
Noted B-Boy crews included Breakmachine, Uprock and the Motor City Crew, Dynamic Rockers, Rock Steady Crew, Floormasters Incredible Breakers and Magnificent Force.
Lee Quinones abandoned painting his murals on the subway trains and started painting his murals on handball courts. (Handball court painting originated with TRACY 168.)
In 1978, Kurtis Blow needed a DJ. Russell Simmons was Kurtis' manager at the time and his brother Joseph (aka as Run of Run DMC) got the job. He got his name "Run" because he could cut between two turntables so quickly.


• July--Good Times by Chic (Atlantic) hits No.1 on the pop chart, becomes a roller-rink
favorite, and provides the bass line for Rapper’s Delight.
• The Fatback Band’s album Fatback XII, including the proto-rap track King Tim III
(Personality Jock), hits the pop chart.
• The Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight is the first Rap single released on the Sugar
Hill label, formed in New Jersey earlier in the year by former R&B singer Sylvia
Robinson. It’s the first Rap single to hit Top 40.
• Tanya Sweet Tee Winley releases Vicious Rap, the first known Hiphop recording by a
female vocalist, on her dad’s label, Paul Winley Records.
• Studio 54, a nightclub in the New York Times Square area is popular.


Bam jointly promotes shows with Kool Herc under the name Nubian Productions.
The Sugarhill Gang (a pre-fab group assembled by record mogul Sylvia Roberts) records "Rapper's Delight," the first commercial rap record on Sugar Hill records.
The Fatback Band hires radio DJ King Tim III to provide a rap for one of their B-sides (controversy continues over which is the "first" rap on a record).
Kurtis Blow releases "Christmas Rappin" on Mercury Records, first rapper on a major label.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five puts out an obscure singles "Superrappin" on Enjoy.
Mr. Magic's Rap attack radio show on NJ radio station WHBI from 2 to 5 a.m. Saturday nights.
Cold Crush brothers begin performing live shows - (Members: JDL, Charlie Chase, DJ Tony Tone, Grandmaster Caz, Almighty KayGee, and EZ AD.
Spoonie Gee's "Spoonin' Rap" is released on Enjoy records.
Funky Four Plus One, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Grand Wizard Theodore and the Fantastic Romantic Five were well established in the scene.
RSC brings in Crazy Legs and Lenny Len into the Rock Steady Chapter.
Jimmy Spicer releases "Adventures of Super Rhymes" on Dazz Records. 13 Minute imaginative storytelling song.
The cult-classic movie "Warriors" is released which details street gangs all throughout NYCs 5 borroughs and shows heavy signs of subway graffiti.


• January 25--Black Entertainment Television, founded and owned by Robert L.
Johnson premieres.
• May--Kurtis Blow’s The Breaks is released and becomes the first Rap 12-inch single
to be certified gold and only the second 12-in single ever to do so. His Christmas
Rappin, released in late ’79, becomes the third 12-inch to be certified gold. Later this
year, Blow releases the first Rap album on a major label. (Mercury Records).
• September--Kurtis Blow plays Madison Square Garden on a bill featuring Bob Marley
and the Commodores.
• How We Gonna Make the Black Nation Rise• (Clappers) by Brother D with
Collective Effort - the first Hiphop recording to openly question the status of Black
people, preceding Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s The Message by two years
- dated on its sleeve as being released this year. According to Brother D himself, it
was actually released in 1981.
• The Funky Four + 1More perform at the Mudd Club. Though not widely noted or
remembered, this and other shows expose much of New York’s hip, White, downtown
audience to Hiphop, accelerating the co-opting of the form by the mainstream.


Year of the record label battles. Enjoy and Disco Fever records pop on the scene.
Kurtis Blow releases "The Breaks" on Mercury records (went on to sell more than a million copies).
Kurtis Blow is the first hip hop artist to appear on national television. He peforms "The Breaks" on Soul Train on October.
Sequence - All female crew off of Sugar Hill records hits the charts with the release of the single “Funk You Up” .
Members of the High Times Crew are arrested for breakdancing at a Washington Heights subway -- photos of the incident in the New York Post .
Afrika Bambaata and his crew the Zulu Nation release their first 12" on Paul Winley Records called "Zulu Nation Throwdown Pt. 1".
Blonde releases "Rapture"after meeting Fab 5 Freddy and others during the Mudd Club era. Lead singer Debbie Harry raps.


• February--The Funky Four +1More are the first Hiphop musical guests on Saturday
Night Live.
• April--The first major news article on B-Boyin (a.k.a. Break Dancing), To the Beat
Y’all: Breaking is Hard to Do by Sally Banes, is published in the Village Voice.
• July--ABC’s 20/20 airs Rappin’ to the Beat, television’s first national news story on
• December--New York City mayor Ed Koch escalates his war on graffiti by allocating
$22.4 million to build double fences with razor-edged metal coils around 18 subway
yards, in addition to the dogs that were already patrolling. These new efforts do not
stop graffiti writers.
• Tom Silverman founds Tommy Boy Records in New York City. It becomes one of
Hiphop’s most influential labels featuring Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force,
De La Soul, Queen Latifah and others.


On February 14th, The Funky 4 plus One More performed their classic hit,"That's The Joint" on NBC's Saturday Night Live becoming the first hip hop Group to appear on national television.
Dynamic Rockers and Rock Steady Crew battle at the Lincoln Center.
Grandmaster Flash's "Adventures on the Wheels of Steel" is the 1st rap record to bring the real sounds of live DJ scratching on wax.
Disco Daddy and Captain Rapp's "Gigolo Rap" (Rappers Rapp #1989) is the first west-coast rap on vinyl.
ABC's 20/20 shows the first national television coverage of the "Rap Phenomenon".
Beastie Boys are formed: Adam Horovitz aka King Ad-Rock (b. October 31, 1966) ~ Adam Yauch aka MCA (b. August 5, 1964) ~ Michael Diamon aka Mike D (b. November 20, 1965).


• April--Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force (Tommy Boy) is
released; it is certified gold four months later. Advanced for its time, it also deeply
influences what will later become the bass music style of Rap from the Southeast.
• July--Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message” (Sugar Hill) explodes.
It’s widely hailed by many for demonstrating that Hiphop music can provide insightful
social commentary.
• October--Wild Style, directed by Charlie Ahearn, premieres. The first feature film
about Hiphop culture and its elements. Officially opens in 1983.
• December--The New York City Rap tour-featuring Emcees, DeeJays, Breakers,
Poppers, Lockers, and Graffiti Artists-travels to London and Paris. This is the first
international tour to feature all of Hiphop’s elements.
• Kool Moe Dee battles Busy Bee.


Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force releases "Planet Rock" on Tommy Boy records in May, the first big techno-funk hit with the Kraftwerk's "Trans Euro Express" beat. (selling 620,000 copies in the US alone)
Soul Sonic Force members: Bam, Jazzy Jay, Mr. Biggs (Ellis Williams), G.L.O.B.E. (John Miller), Whiz Kid and Pow Wow (Robert Darrell Allen).
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five release "The Message" in June on Sugar Hill Records which peaked at #4 on the music charts.
Roller Skating Jams - Sat. Feb 27th, 1982 at the Bronx Skating Rink by Nubian Productions.
The Cold Crush Brothers appeared in the legendary South Bronx hip hop film Wild Style.
Popular graffiti artist Futura 2000 puts out a record with himself rhyming called "Futura 2000 and His Escapades" with music done by the Clash, signifying the beginning of the rock/rap fusion.
First international hip hop tour in Europe with Bambaataa, Fab 5, Rammellzee, GrandMixer DXT (formerly D.ST.) & The Infinity Rappers, Rock Steady Crew, the Double Dutch Girls, and Graffiti Artists Phase 2, Futura, and Dondi. At this point parts of Europe and Asia became exposed to the culture, which resulted in its fast growing popularity worldwide.
George Clinton releases the legendary funk track "Atomic Dog".
Wild Style, co-created by Fab 5 Freddy and directed by Charlie Ahearn, is released featuring the first full-length account of all four elements in hip hop culture: Graffiti, DJ-ing, MCing, and B-boying. The actors are played by the real members of New York's hip hop scene including graffiti legends Lee, Zephyr, Fab 5 Freddy, Lady Pink, Crash, Daze, Dondi and showcases performances from Grandmaster Flash, Grandwizard Theodore, DJ AJ, Grandmixer D.S.T and Rock Steady Crew members: Crazy Legs and Frosty Freeze. The soundtrack was produced by Fab 5 Freddy and Chris Stein with performances by Double Trouble, Cold Crush Brothers, Fantastic Freaks, Chief Rocker Busy Bee, Rammellzee and Shockdell.


• Michael Jackson releases Thriller.
• September 15th--Michael Stewart, 25, is arrested for writing graffiti on a New York
subway wall. Thirteen days later, he dies in the hospital; the New York Times reports,
“An autopsy found that Stewart’s fatal coma was caused by a spinal injury inflicted
while he was being subdued.” Stewart’s controversial death precedes a host of police
brutality cases that will mar the coming decade.
• October--Kool DJ Red Alert’s show debuts on WRKS New York 98.7 FM, creating a
prime-time, commercial radio showcase for new and established Rap music artists. In
’88, influenced by Boogie Down Productions, Red Alert begins playing dance hall
music as well.
• Run DMC releases the 12 inch single It’s like that (A side) and Sucker M.C.s (B side)
and takes Hiphop fashion, language, political views and music into the American
• The Fearless Four, after releasing several well-received singles on the Harlem-based
Enjoy label, becomes the first Emcee crew (Rap group) to sign with a major label,
Elektra Records.
• Grandmaster Flash, a.k.a. Joseph Saddler, leaves the group Grandmaster Flash & the
Furious Five and begins a lengthy $5 million lawsuit against Sugar Hill Records to
regain control of the group’s full name. The group reunites in the late ‘80s.
• Technics introduces the SL-1200MKII turntable, which will become a DeeJay
• Crazy Legs of the Rock Steady Crew’s brief but powerful appearance in Flashdance
catalyzes a worldwide break-dancing craze, though there is no Rap music on the
movie’s million selling soundtrack.


Herbie Hancock and Grandmaster D.ST. cut "Rockit," the first hip-hop/jazz cross-over.
Afrika Bambaataa records "Looking for the Perfect Beat" (Tommy Boy single #831), which features the first recorded use of digital sampling on Tommy Boy.
Three punker white kids from Manhattan named the Beastie Boys put out a single called "Cooky Puss", which is a crank call to a Carvel Ice Cream store laid over a funky beat (later to be signed to Def Jam).
A Documentary of subway graffiti in New York "Style Wars", filmed by photographer Henry Chalfant and directed by Tony Silver, is aired on PBS featuring several interviews with popular graffiti writers of the time including Crash, Daze, Dondi, Zephyr, Revolt, Kase2, Skeme, Haze and Seen as well as interviews with the Metropolitan Transit Authority and NYC Mayor Ed Koch. More raw footage of hip hop's other elements in Rock Steady Crew, Busy Bee and Grandmaster Flash.
Ice T puts out his first singles, "Cold Winter Madness" and "Body Rock/Killers" which are considered some of the first West Coast gangster raps.
Malcolm McClaren, the Sex Pistol's managerial mastermind, organizes a group called the World Famous Supreme Team and puts out a song co-produced by synthpop veteran Trevor Horn called "Buffalo Gals". McClaren was influenced to get into hip hop by meeting Bam and the Zulu Nation during the previous year.
The Rock Steady Crew appeared in "Flashdance" the movie. They visited the UK and impressed a bunch of kids in Manchester who later form the Kaliphz crew.
Grandmaster Flash sued Sugar Hill Records for $5 million in royalties. The lawsuit resulted in the group splitting up.
Run DMC releases "It's Like That b/w Sucker MC's" which put a symbolic end to old school rap styles even though they continued for a few more years.
Originally known as the Disco 3, Brooklynites Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales, Damon "Kool Rockski" Wimbley, and Darren "Buff the Human Beat Box" Robinson won a talent contest at Radio City Music Hall in 1983, thanks in part to Robinson's talent for using his mouth to improvise hip-hop rhythms and a variety of sound effects aka "Beatboxin".
Grand Master Flash and Melle Mel's anti-cocaine single "White Lines (don't do it)" became a classic rap anthem and international hit.
Michael Jackson first performs the moonwalk on Motown 25 TV Special.
Schoolly D (aka Jesse B Weaver Jr. from Baltimore, MD) records his first singles ‘Gangster Boogie’ and ‘Maniac’ with his DJ Code Money.
Afrika Islams "Zulu Beats" airs on WHBI; Red Alert first appears on 98.7 KISS FM.
The NYC Breakers were formed by Michael Holman (Manager) in late 1983 adding members like "Flip Rock","Icey Ice","Powerful Pexter" to the existing "Floormasters" crew. The "Floormasters" crew did many shows like "That's Incredible", Merv Griffin and others. The NYC breakers traveled the world performing and even performed for President Reagan as well as appearing in the movie Beat Streat.
Breakin' and Enterin', a documentary about California poppin' and lockin' filmed in Los Angeles airs on cable TV, featuring Shabba Doo, Boogaloo shrimp, Pop 'n' Taco, Blue City Strutters (aka Boo Ya Tribe), and Ice-T, Egyptian Lover, Chris "The Glove" Taylor.
Ice T releases his first singles, "Cold Winter Madness" and "Body Rock/Killers", some of the first West Coast gangster raps.


Rapper Sweet Tee releases One for the Treble (Tuff City) with Davey DMX.
• RUN DMC release their debut album RUN DMC (Profile).
• January 18--Henry Chalfant and Tony Silver’s Style Wars, the first documentary about
Hiphop culture with a focus upon Graffiti Art subculture, is broadcast on PBS.
• April--Video Music Box, the first music video TV show devoted to Hiphop, is
founded by Ralph McDaniels and Lionel Vid Kid Martin, on WNYC New York.
• Before becoming Public Enemy, Chuck D and others released a song this year entitled
Lies under the name of Spectrum City.
• June 29--The short-lived program Graffiti Rock premieres on WPIX-TV New York.
It features performances by popular Rap groups like Run DMC and the Treacherous
• September--The 1984 Swatch Watch New York City Fresh Fest, Hiphop’s first
national tour, debuts Labor Day weekend in Greensboro, NC. Including 27 dates
through Christmas, the tour featuring Run D.M.C., Kurtis Blow, Whodini, the Fat
Boys, Newcleus, and New York’s Dynamic Breakers grosses $3.5 million. Later, the
Fat Boys sign an endorsement deal with Swatch.
• November--Def Jam Recordings, an independent Hiphop label in New York City co-
owned by manager/promoter Russell Simmons and producer Rick Rubin, is founded in
Rubin’s New York University dorm room with an initial investment of $8,000. The
12-inch single “I Need a Beat” by 16-year-old L.L. Cool J is the first record for both
the artist and the label. Recorded for just $700, it sells more than 100,000 copies.
• The Five Percenters celebrate their 20th anniversary. The tenets of this Islamic
organization are associated with many prominent artists including Rakim Allah, King
Sun, Poor Righteous Teachers and others.


"It's Yours" (Cat. PT-104, 101 BPM) by T La Rock & Jazzy Jay is first record on Def Jam, on the vanity PARTY TIME label (Arthur Baker's Streetwise subs.). This was written by Kevin Keaton & Rick Rubin and recorded at Power Play studios. It was followed up by LL's "I Need a Beat" and the rare "Beastie Groove" by the Beastie Boys.

The rap group UFTO records "Roxanne, Roxanne," a diss on a fictional woman named "Roxanne." Over 100 "response" records are made, including "Roxanne" Shante's (14-years old) single called "Roxanne's Revenge", originally recorded in Marley Marl's living room which sold over 250,000 copies in the New York area alone.
While touring in Oakland, UTFO asks a young local MC named Too Short to open up for them.
The Fresh Fest concert tour, featuring Run-D.M.C., Kurtis Blow, Whodini, Fat Boys, and Newcleus, is hip-hop's first big money making tour ($3.5 million for 27 dates).
Los Angeles's KDAY becomes the first rap-only radio station in the US
Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons form Def Jam records.
Michael Jackson does the moonwalk on the Grammy's and the whole world thinks he's a breaker. He actually learned it from some LA poppers.
Breakdancing (as the media calls it) goes global via Lionel Richie's performance at the Closing Ceremony of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Kool Herc played his last Old School party in 1984.
Doug E. Fresh, known as "The Entertainer" releases "The Original Human Beatbox" (Vindertainment, 1984 )
Michael Holman (manager of The NYC Breakers) creates hip hop's first TV dance show, "Graffiti Rock" with special guests - Run DMC, Shannon, The NYC Breakers, Kool Moe Dee and Special K of The Treacherous Three (who also battled Run DMC on the show). It is cancelled after only one show. Now an Actress, Debi Mazar (B-Girl from Queens) has her first TV appearance.
Schoolly D releases ‘Gangster Boogie’ while he is still working in a shoe shop.
The movie "Beat Street" by Harry Belafonte is released which features Kool Herc, Doug E. Fresh, Kool Moe Dee. Legendary B-Boy battle at the Roxy with Rock Steady Crew and NYC Breakers is the highlight of the film.


• LL Cool J releases his debut album Radio (Def Jam).
• Before becoming Boogie Down Productions, Scott LaRock and the Celebrity Three
(KRS-ONE, MC Quality, Levi 167) release a song entitled Advance (Zakia)
• Michael Schultz’s Krush Groove, featuring performances by Run D.M.C., the Fat
Boys, L.L. Cool J, Kurtis Blow, and the Beastie Boys made on a $3 million budget,
opens in 515 theaters nationwide and is cited as the No. 1 movie in America by
Variety the following week. When a 17-year-old is thrown through a window after one
New York screening, Krush Groove becomes the first to fall victim to the rap-movies-
cause-violence paranoia that will grip the genre for the next decade.

• Run DMC, Kurtis Blow, The Fat Boys, Melle Mel and Whodini appear on the song
King Holiday to promote a national observance for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s
birthday (Polygram).

• Roxanne Shante battles U.T. F.O.
• Def Jam Recordings’ co-owners, Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, sign a distribution
agreement for $600,000 with Columbia Records, the largest major label deal for a
Hiphop record company at the time. The first release under the agreement is the album
Radio by L.L. Cool J.
• King of Rock by Run D.M.C. (Profile) becomes the first Rap album available on CD.
• Run DMC, Melle Mel, Scorpio, Duke Bootee, The Fat Boys and Afrika Bambaataa
appear on the song Sun City to rap against Apartheid in South Africa.
• Scott Sterling (Scott LaRock) and Krist Parker (KRS-ONE) form Boogie Down
Productions, with the intention of making intelligence and knowledge a new trend in
Hiphop. KRSONE is an acronym for Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly
• The Show b/w La-Di-Da-Di by Doug E. Fresh and MC Ricky D. (a.k.a. Slick Rick)
hits. Soon after, the two break up and pursue solo careers.
• Grandmaster Flash signs a solo contract with Elektra, followed by Grandmaster Melle
Mel and other group members. After their lack of success, the group reunites in 1987
as Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & the Furious five for a charity concert at Madison
Square Garden, hosted by Paul Simon.
• Supernature (Salt n’ Pepa) battles Doug E Fresh with their debut 12 inch single The
Showstopper (Reality).


Salt 'n' Pepa makes its first appearance on wax on Super Nature's "The Show Stopper".
"The Show" by Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew changes the sound of hip hop. Ricky D's laid back style was unheard of at that point.
Sugar Hill Records is forced into bankruptcy and ceases to be active in the record industry.


• January--Kurtis Blow appears on the cover of England’s Blues & Soul magazine,
demonstrating the international appeal of Hiphop’s first major Rap star.
• June--Run D.M.C., performing on the Raising Hell tour at the Spectrum in
Philadelphia, exhort fans to hold up their Adidas. Five thousand pairs of Adidas
immediately go up in the air, as the crowd of 20,000 watches the trio rip into their hit
single, “My Adidas.” Their manager video tapes the moment and sends a copy to the
company. The gesture earns the crew an endorsement deal with the German footwear
manufacturer. The company manufactures four Run D.M.C. styles: The Eldorado, the
Brougham, and the Fleetwood (named after the group’s three favorite Cadillac
models), and the Ultra Star.
• Beastie Boys release their debut album Licensed to Ill (Def Jam).
• Boogie Down Productions release South Bronx, a song that was to start an Emcee
battle between Boogie Down Productions (B.D.P.) and the Juice Crew (M.C. Shan,
Mr. Magic Marley Marl and others). It was called, “The Bridge Wars.”
• August 17--Fighting breaks out between gang members attending the Long Beach
Arena date of Run D.M.C.’s Raising Hell tour. Police, summoned by promoters when
the melee erupts at 7:35 P.M., don’t arrive until 11. Forty-two people are injured in
what is, up to that time, Hiphop’s most notoriously violent event. The California arena
had already established a 16-year history of violence at concerts. Some of the previous
incidents: In 1970, 46 were arrested at a Jethro Tull show, in 1971, 21 were arrested
after battling with police at a Ten Year’s After Show; in 1972, 31 were arrested on
drug charges at a Led Zeppelin performance; in 1985, a young concert goer was
injured when he fell from a balcony onto his head at a Deep Purple show.
• December 4--Run D.M.C. are the first Rap group to appear on the cover of Rolling
Stone, an honor they earn as a result of "Raising Hell" (Profile) becoming Hiphop’s
first multiplatinum Rap album.


"Eric B. is President" drops and again changes the sound of hip hop forever; it forces Emcee's to step up their skills.
Run-D.M.C. releases a hip-hop version of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," and hip-hop breaks into the pop charts, MTV, and mass media all at once.
The Juice Crew's "The Bridge" and Boogie Down Productions' "The Bridge is Over" start one of the longest-running payback battles in hip-hop history.
Schoolly D releases ‘PSK-What does it mean’ independently. The acronym stands for Park Side Killers, a Philly Gang D was affiliated with. Unwittingly Schoolly D invents ‘Gangsta Rap" or "Reality Rap".
Houston, Texas native James Smith brings together "The Geto Boys". The original lineup consisted of MCs Raheim, Jukebox, DJ Ready Red, and Sir Rap-A-Lot. The group also featured Little Billy, a dancing dwarf who later joined full-time as Bushwick Bill. Following a short break-up in 1988, Smith called on local rhymers Willie D and multi-instrumentalist Akshun (later known as Scarface) to join the lineup.
The Beastie Boys -- Adam ‘King Ad-Rock’ Horowitz (vocals/guitar), Michael ‘Mike-D’ Diamond (vocals/drums) and Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch (vocals/bass), release their debut album, LICENSED TO ILL (1986; Def Jam; Producer: Rick Rubin), moving from hardcore to rap.


• The Juice Crew release Evolution, which featured Debbie D, Kool G Rap, Glamorous,
MC Shan and TJ Swan for Black History Month.
• Boogie Down Productions release its debut album Criminal Minded (B Boy).
• Eric B & Rakim release their debut album Paid in Full (Broadway/Island).
• KRS-ONE battles Melle Mel live at the Latin-Quarter Night Club.
• February 24--At the 29th Grammy ceremony a trio of young, White New York
Rappers called the Beastie Boys present the Best Male Rock Vocalist award to Robert
Palmer for Addicted to Love. But before announcing the winner, they interrupt the
proceedings to play a taped portion of Public Enemy’s unreleased Timebomb.
• March 7--Licensed to Ill by the Beastie Boys (Def Jam) becomes the first Rap album
to hit No. 1 on the pop album chart, after first charting in November 1986.
• August 27th--, Twenty-five-year old Scott Monroe Sterling, a.k.a. D.J. Scott LaRock
of Boogie Down Productions, dies at 1:25 A.M. from gunshot wounds to the head.
Along with Blastmaster KRS-ONE and Ced G of Ultramagnetic MC’s, LaRock had
just produced Criminal Minded (B-Boy), now considered one of the landmarks in
recorded Rap music. LaRock is later memorialized at Madison Square Garden by
KRS-ONE in a show that also features Public Enemy.
• New Music Seminar holds it's first event.
• Eric B. and Rakim Releases Paid in Full (4th and Broadway).
• Street Frogs, the first Rap-music oriented Saturday morning cartoon, makes its T.V.
debut. It is cancelled, only to be followed by the Kid ‘n Play cartoon (1990), and then
Hammerman (1991).
• Just Ice, who once appeared on America’s Most Wanted, dubs himself the original
Hiphop gangsta on his album Back to the Old School (Sleeping Bag/Fresh). KRS-
ONE would produce Just Ice’s next two albums Kool and Deadly (1987) and the
Desolate One (1988).
• Afrika Bambaataa holds a cipher discussion on the need for a Hiphop Union. This
meeting took place at the Latin Quarters nightclub in Manhattan, New York. It was
attended by Stetsasonic, Heavy D, the Audio Two, KRS-ONE, MC Lyte and others


Boogie Down Productions' "Criminal Minded" LP is released.
DJ Scott LaRock killed in the South Bronx. (I think from an argument over a female.)
"The Wop", "California Prep", "FILA", "Smurf", "Troop", "Hammer" and "2-Hype" freestyle dances became part of the scene.
Scott La Rock was killed intervening in a beef D-Nice had with some kid at 164th and University in the Bronx. He went to go negotiate with the kid and was shot from a tenement window as he sat in his jeep.
First Technics World DJ Champion - Chad Jackson from the UK. View Archive of Past Winners


• Public Enemy release It takes a nation of millions to hold us back (Def Jam).
• EPMD releases their debut album Strictly Business (Priority).
• Big Daddy Kane releases his debut album Long live the Kane (Cold Chillin).
• Slick Rick releases his debut album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (Def Jam).
• NWA (Ni**as With Attitude) releases Straight Outta Compton (Ruthless/Priority).
• Latin Quarter nightclub on 48th Street and Broadway in New York’s Times Square
closes down.
• January--Boogie Down Productions release By All Means Necessary (Jive) which
features the single Stop The Violence.
• September--A fan is stabbed to death at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
during a date on the Dope Jam tour, after a patron brings a knife into the arena. Jive
Records’ A&R Executive Ann Carli would eventually talk to KRS-ONE and Nelson
George about the formation of the Stop the Violence Movement.
• The single Self Destruction, by the all star Rap group The Stop the Violence
Movement (Jive), is released to counter the rising tide of violence associated with Rap
music. It features KRS-ONE, Stetsasonic, Kool Moe Dee, MC Lyte, D Nice, Ms.
Melodie, Doug E Fresh, Just-Ice, Heavy D, Public Enemy, and others.
• February--The first Grammy is awarded in the Best Rap Performance category to D.J.
Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince for Parents Just Don’t Understand. This year they
release He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper (Jive), their second album and one of Rap music’s
first double albums, which becomes certified double platinum. However, they do not
show because the presentation of their award will not be aired.
• July--Heavyweight champ Mike Tyson, fractures his right hand in a street fight with
boxer Mitch Blood Green in front of Hiphop clothier Dapper Dan’s Boutique in
• Dana Owens, a.k.a. Queen Latifah, debuts with the single Wrath of My Madness
(Tommy Boy).
• August--Co-founded by Harvard students, David Mays and Jon Schecter as a
newsletter for the Street Beat radio program, the Source magazine publishes its first
issue. Slick Rick and KRS-ONE would be among their first cover stories. Hip Hop Connection magazine in the UK precedes The Source by about 4-6 months.
• September--YO! MTV Raps (created by Ted Demme) premieres on MTV, with
former Graffiti Artist and occasional Emcee Fab 5 Freddy as host.
• November--Tone-Loc’s Wild Thing video debuts on MTV, and the record soon sells
more than 2.5 million copies. Wild Thing is later blamed in some circles for inspiring
the vaguely defined phenomenon known as wilding and for inciting the rape of a
jogger in New York’s Central Park in April 1989.


Def Jam founders Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin split up; Simmons opts for distribution through CBS/Columbia Records, while Rubin goes on to found Def American.
Yo! MTV Raps first airs, bringing hip-hop to a wider main stream audience.
N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton goes Gold, popularizing the 'gangsta' school of rap.
Brooklyn Born "Big Daddy Kane" (aka Antonio Hardy) releases 'Ain't No Half Steppin' from his album 'Long Live The Kane'.
Marly Marl brought Big Daddy Kane out, who started as a ghostwriter for several rappers. BDK ran with the Juice Crew (DJ Mister Cee, Scoob & Scrab Lover). Big Daddy Kane emerged as hip-hop's first sex symbol.


• January 3--The Arsenio Hall Show airs its first episode. The program becomes the
only late night talk show to regularly feature Rap artists as musical guests until its
cancellation in 1994, which ended with an all-star freestyle rap session featuring Yo-
Yo, Wu Tang Clan, MC Lyte, Das Efx, KRS-ONE, Mad Lion, CL Smooth, Pete Rock
and others.
• Wreckx-n-Effect battles Stetsasonic.
• X Clan battles 3rd Bass.
• Inspired by DJ Brucie B of the legendary Roof Top Roller Rink/club, DJ Kid Capri
releases a landmark mix tape entitled 10/9/89 which changes Rap music marketing
• May 22--In an interview in the Washington Times, Professor Griff of Public Enemy is
quoted as saying that Jews are responsible for the majority of wickedness that goes on
across the globe. The comment goes largely unnoticed until the story hits the Village
Voice fours weeks later, when the incident promptly goes nuclear. Griff later leaves
the group due to the fallout from the controversy, and his own group, the Last Asiatic
Disciples, is signed to Luke Records.
• August--An FBI representative sends a letter to Priority Records, regarding N.W.A.’s
song f*** tha Police on the platinum selling Straight Outta Compton. The letter
suggests that the group is inciting violence against and disrespect for the law
enforcement officer.
• After not performing f*** tha Police throughout their first national tour, N.W.A. are
chased from the stage by police as they start the song during the tour’s final date at
Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.
• September 8--Twenty-eight-year-old Keith Wiggins, a.k.a. Cowboy of Grandmaster
Flash & the Furious Five, dies in Queens after waking up two days earlier paralyzed
from the waist down. He was perhaps one of the most distinctive vocalists and
innovative stylists in early recorded and pre-recorded Rap music.
• October 13—Rap group Salt-N-Pepa sell one million records for Rap label Next
Plateau as Push It becomes certified platinum.
• The cable channel Video Jukebox Network (the Box) starts airing nationally and will
succeed in breaking many artists after the decline of YO! MTV Raps’ video
• Slick Rick releases his first solo album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (Def Jam).
• Kool Moe Dee battles L.L. Cool J.


Controversy over Public Enemy member Professor Griff's anti-Semitic remarks causes a media madness. Griff eventually leaves the group and forms the Last Asiatic Disciples.
On May 12, 1989 the MTA declared a victory over graffiti, removing all marked subway cars from line service.
"Cowboy" of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five died after spending nearly two years hooked on crack. He was 28 years old. (RIP)
Tribe Called Quest releases "Description of A Fool" in August 1989. Tribe consisted of Q-Tip (b. Jonathan Davis, 20 November 1970, New York), DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammed (b. 11 August 1970, Brooklyn, NYC), Jarobi and Phife Dog (b. Malik Taylor, 10 April 1970, Brooklyn, NYC).
ATCQ formed at school in Manhattan, NYC, where they started out as part of the Native Tongues Posse, with Queen Latifah and the Jungle Brothers, and were given their name by Afrika Baby Bambaataa of the Jungle Brothers.
As members of the Native Tongues Posse ATQC were promoters of the Afrocentricity movement, which set out to make African Americans aware of their heritage.
Dallas rapper "The D.O.C." releases "No One Can Do It Better" produced by Dr. Dre. This album was still burning up the charts when a car crash almost killed the D.O.C., greatly hindering his rapping abilities.


• Influenced by the Stop the Violence Movement, West Coast entreprenuer Mike
Concepcion organizes an all-star recording entitled We’re all in the same gang, to
condemn gang violence. It featured King Tee, Body & Soul, Michel’le, Tone Loc,
Above the Law, Ice T, MC Ren, Dr. Dre, JJ Fad, Young MC, Shock G, Oaktown’s 3-
5-7, MC Hammer, and Eazy E (Warner Bros.).
• A commemorative book Stop the Violence: Overcoming Self-Destruction, by Nelson
George, published by the National Urban League, will be released in 1990. The STV
project will go on to generate at least $400,000 for the National Urban League's
empowerment programs in the inner cities. Stop The Violence would become a
popular slogan amongst community-based organizations, corporations and politicians.
• June 6--Voting activist organization Rock the Vote is born when a federal district court
judge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida rules that 2Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna Be
is obscene.
• Hiphop Artists Against Apartheid featuring X Clan, Lakim Shabazz, Jungle Brothers,
UTFO, Ultimate Force, Grand Puba, Kings of Swing, Queen Latifah, Revolucion,
Solo, Linque, and Author X release a song entitled Ndodemnyama--Free South Africa
• July 3--Slick Rick shoots Eilbert Henry and Mark Plummer with a .38 caliber
automatic in the Bronx for allegedly shooting up his car and attempting to rob him
outside a local club three months earlier. Police chase Rick’s car for more than two
miles until Rick slams it into a tree and is surrounded by cops. Breaking his leg in the
crash, Rick gets out of the car with his then six months pregnant girlfriend, Lids
Santiago. The police search the car and find six fully loaded weapons: two Tec 9
machine pistols; two .25-caliber handguns; a .38 caliber pistol, and a shotgun reported
stolen from the Richmond, VA Police Department. Rick is later arrested for and
convicted of attempted murder. The incident eerily echoes the lyrics of Children’s
Story from The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, which warns against a life of violence.
• Luke Skywalker (2Live Crew) battles Vanilla Ice.
• July 15--Twenty-two-year-old Troy Dixon, a.k.a. Trouble T-Roy, dancer for Heavy D
& the Boyz, dies in Indianapolis from injuries sustained in a fall from a 20-foot high
platform while the group is on tour. T-Roy’s life will later be commemorated in Pete
Rock & C.L. Smooth’s 1992 hit They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) (Elektra).
• August--Signed to Def American Records, which is distributed by Geffen Records,
Houston’s Geto Boys are dropped when CEO David Geffen objects to the group’s
violent and sexually explicit lyrics, especially in the song Mind of a Lunatic. Rick
Rubin, head of Def American, decides to end his distribution deal over the incident.
• September--The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air debuts on NBC, marking the first sitcom
starring a Rapper.
• The first episode of In Living Color, a comedy ensemble show, airs on Fox. In
addition to live performances by prominent Hiphop artists, the show highlights the
street-dancing style of the Fly Girls, choreographed by Rosie Perez. The show comes
to be seen as a watermark, validating the influence of Hiphop on mainstream culture.
• Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em (Capitol), M.C. Hammer’s second record, is
released. It goes on to take the all time Rap album sales record with 10 million in
certified sales, passing the Beastie Boys’ previous record of 4 million of Licensed to


Return of the B-Boy in the UK. B-Boys are back. There is massive interest in the dance form within British Hip-Hop culture. The revival here is led by crews such as Born To Rock, UK Rock Steady Crew and Second To None.
DJ Stretch Armstong and Bobbito" show launches from 1990 -'98 on WKCR 89.9FM in New York.
Controversy over 2 Live Crew's 'As Nasty as they Wanna Be' gets a Florida record store owner and Luther Campbell arrested (both trials eventually end with acquittals).
2Pac joins Digital Underground as a roadie and dancer.
Schoolly D appears on the Phil Donahue Show to talk about ‘Money & Rap music’.


• Marley Marl, Tragedy, King Tee, Grand Puba, Def Jef, and Chubb Rock release a
song entitled, Keep Control (Cold Chillin), raising the awareness of Hiphop’s social
• Chubb Rock and 3rd Bass, with others, release a song entitled Bring ‘em Home Safely
(Select), encouraging Hiphop fans to consider the sacrifices of those that served in
Desert Storm.
• Rapper/actor Ice Cube, actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Lawrence Fishburne and Morris
Chesnut star in the film Boyz N the Hood. Directed by John Singleton.
• 3rd Bass battles Vanilla Ice and Marky Mark.
• NWA battles Ice Cube.
• Tim Dog battles Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and DJ Quik.
• Lyricist Lounge in NYC starts their open mic sessions.
• Sway, King Tech and DJ Joe Quixx broadcast the Wake Up Show in the Bay area on
• Big Daddy Kane appears in Playgirl Magazine.
• Main Source releases Live at the BBQ and Nas is introduced to the world.
• LL Cool J, MC Lyte, and De La Soul become the first Rappers on MTV Unplugged.
• January 27--Dr. Dre violently assaults Dee Barnes, host of the TV show Pump It Up
Barnes sues Dre, and as part of his agreement with the court, Dre records a little seen
PSA about domestic violence.
• March 4--The videotape of L.A. motorist Rodney King being beaten by police officers
on March 3 is broadcast nationally.
• March 18--Rapper Eazy-E attends a Republican Party fundraiser in Washington, D.C.
He donates $1,230 to the party and is later criticized by many for being hypocritical.
• May--Main Source release their debut album Breaking Atoms (Wild Pitch).
• June 15--Efil4zaggin by N.W.A. (Ruthless/Priority) enters the pop chart at No. 2
before going to No.1, the highest album debut since Michael Jackson’s Bad. It sells 1
million copies in two weeks, making it the fastest selling Rap record at the time.
• August 27--Public Enemy’s Chuck D files suit against McKenzie River Corp., which
markets St. Ides malt liquor, for sampling his voice in a radio commercial produced by
DJ Pooh. The parties eventually settle out of court for an undisclosed amount.
• October 11--Soon Ja Du, a Korean grocer in L.A. is convicted of voluntary
manslaughter of shooting black teenager, Latasha Harlins, in the head after a fight over
Harlins’s alleged attempt to steal a container of orange juice.
• November 16--Ice Cube’s Death Certificate (Priority) debuts at No. 2 on the pop
album chart, selling more than 193,000 copies in its first week. The album, which
ultimately is certified platinum, sets off protests against what are perceived as anti-
Korean, anti-Jewish, and anti-gay lyrics in songs like Black Korea and No Vaseline.
• December--U.S. District Judge, Kevin Duffy, finds Biz Markie and six other
defendants, including Warner Bros. Records, guilty of illegally sampling Gilbert
O’Sullivan’s 1972 hit Alone Again (Naturally) on Biz’s I Need a Haircut album. The
incident has a massive chilling effect on the use of sampling in Rap music production.
The Biz’s next album in 1993 will be titled All Samples Cleared.
• While attending a Hiphop celebrity basketball game promoted by Sean Puffy Combs
and Heavy D at the City College of New York, nine people are crushed to death when
a breakdown in security causes a stampede. People are quick to blame the tragedy on
Hiphop, but a City University of New York investigation concludes that the security
problems were not “isolated or unique” for events at the college.
• Professor Z and KRS-ONE form Human Education Against Lies (H.E.A.L.) and
releases an album entitled Civilization vs. Technology. The all-star 12 inch single
featured Harmony, Big Daddy Kane, Freddy Foxxx, LL Cool J, MC Lyte, Queen
Latifah, KRS-ONE, DMC, Jam Master Jay and Ms. Melodie. The album featured
Michael Stipe, Billy Bragg, Sister Carol, and Ziggy Marley. (Elektra/Edutainer).
• KDAY L.A., the country's only all Rap station, goes off the air, ending a seven year


Busta Rhymes appears on A Tribe Called Quest's classic "Scenario", his style and voice is so outrageous and wild, making a new eccentric delivery in lyricism.
KDAY is sold, and its All-Rap format ends.
DJ David (Germany) wins the DMC World DJ Championship two years in a row ('90 and '91).
N.W.A's follow-up record, 1991's "Ni**az4Life," sold 954,000 copies in its first weeks of release to become the first hardcore rap album to hit No. 1 on the charts, despite being banned by some record stores and seized by English authorities as obscene.
Cypress Hill released its self-titled debut ‘Cypress Hill’. The members B-Real, DJ Muggs and Sen Dog became supporters of hemp legalization and official musical spokesmen for the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws.


• X Clan battles KRS-ONE.
• House of Pain battles DJ Quik.
• Luke Skywalker (2Live Crew) battles Kid N’ Play.
• King Tee, Yo-Yo, MC Eiht, B Real, Da Lench Mob, Kam, Threat, and Ice Cube
release a song entitled Get the Fist, in an attempt to create a Black United Front
• The Poetess, Def Jef, Almigh-T, and Kool G Rap release a song entitled Love Hurts,
condemning domestic violence (Innerscope).
• FUBU Clothing is launched.
• The Guinness Book Of World Records features Tongue Twista as the world’s fastest
Rapper, spittin’ 598 syllables in one minute.
• January--Ice Cube release his album Death Certificate.
• January 23--Rolling Stone magazine pushes Public Enemy off its cover in favor of a
story on Clarence Thomas by Hunter S. Thompson. Earlier this month, PE released
the video By the Time I Get to Arizona, whose explosive imagery attacks that state for
not legislating a Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. The song draws firm criticism from
state officials and lands Chuck D on Nightline.
• Prince Be of P.M. Dawn is pushed off the stage during Money B’s album release party
by KRS-ONE and the BDP crew for allegedly dissing KRS-ONE in an interview that
appeared in Details magazine. While the streets would hail KRS-ONE as a hero,
others would criticize KRS-ONE as being contradictory. KRS-ONE later apologizes
for the incident.
• February--Karl Kani begins production of his distinctively logoed, loose-fitting, street-
chic sportswear. Within two years, aided by ads that feature artists like Snoop Doggy
Dogg and Tupac Shakur, the company will earn between $30 million and $40 million.
• March 26--Former heavyweight champ and Hiphop hero, Mike Tyson is sentenced to
six years in prison for a July 1991 sexual assault on Desiree Washington.
• April 18--Totally Krossed Out by Kris Kross (Ruffhouse/Columbia) hits the charts,
propelled by the first single, Jump, and the duo’s backward and baggy clothes.
• April 29-- Los Angeles bursts into flames after the four police officers charged with
brutalizing Rodney King are acquitted. The L.A. rebellion eventually tally 58 dead and
damage approaching $1 billion. Rap artists like Ice-T and Ice Cube are cited in the
media as having predicted such a cataclysm in their lyrics. KRS-ONE appears on the
Arsenio Hall show to discuss the incident.
• After an eight-year run as one of the most successful sitcoms of the ‘80s, The Cosby
Show airs its final episode.
• May 18--I’ve never heard of them, President George Bush Sr. says of Ice Cube in
Newsweek. But I know that Rap is the music where it rhymes.
• June 29--In its cover story titled Rap and Race: Beyond Sister Souljah - The New
Politics of Pop Music, Newsweek reports that while addressing Jesse Jackson’s
Rainbow Coalition Leadership Summit, presidential candidate Bill Clinton quotes
Souljah’s comments from a Washington Post interview, but takes her words out of
• Police groups nationwide call for a boycott of Time Warner products unless Warner
Bros. Records withdraws the song Cop Killer from the self-titled album of Ice-T’s
heavy metal group, Body Count. On July 30th President Bush Sr. calls the song sick.
A month later, Ice-T pulls it from the album.
• July--Tommy Boy Records drops artist Paris amid controversy, after an employee
leaks word of his song Bush Killa and his album artwork for Sleeping With the Enemy
(an assassination fantasy starring President Bush and Paris).
• December--Russell Simmons appears on the cover of Black Enterprise magazine. By
this time, his company, Rush Communications, is the second largest black owned
entertainment firm in the U.S. that feature artists like L.L. Cool J and the Beastie
Boys, the company will earn between $30 million and $40 million.


The Disposable Heroes of Hip-Hoprisy record "Language of Violence," the first anti-gay-bashing rap.
Rock Steady DJs (DJ Qbert, DJ Apollo and Mix Master Mike (USA) take DMC World. (Apollo credited for inventing team battling)


• X Clan, Poor Righteous Teachers, Big Daddy Kane, Digital Underground, Ex-
girlfriend, Public Enemy, Sista Souljah, Freedom Williams, YZ, College Boyz, and
Two Kings in a Cipher release a song entitled Close the Crackhouse, speaking out
against the crack cocaine epidemic of the time (Polygram).
• Subroc, former DJ for KMD dies after being hit by a car.
• The Beastie Boys found Grand Royal Records.
• January 28--In a controversy over artwork and lyrics for his upcoming album Home
Invasion, Ice-T leaves Warner Bros. Records. He is quickly signed by Priority.
• February--Dr. Dre releases his debut solo album The Chronic (Death
• April--EPMD breaks up.
• May 23--Hiphop Unity Rally is held at the Nation of Islam’s Muhammad Mosque #7
in Harlem.
• June 6--The Rev. Calvin Butts steamrolls offensive Rap music at a protest rally in New
York City. He encourages the crowd to trample the CDs and cassettes.
• July 14--Ronald Ray Howard, 19, is sentenced to death for murdering a Texas state
trooper the previous April. Howard claimed that Tupac Shakur’s song Souljah’s Story
made him do it, marking the first time that a specific song and artist are used as an alibi
for murder.
• Cypress Hill’s Black Sunday (Ruffhouse/Columbia) debuts at No. 1 on the pop chart,
and sells more than 260,000 copies in the first week.
• August 22--The sitcom Living Single, starring Queen Latifah, debuts on Fox, showing
that Latifah - who also founded her own label and management company, Flavor Unit
- can do more than just rock a rhyme.
• Forty-eight years after the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima (August 6) and
Nagasaki (August 9), Kris Kross are required to change the cover artwork for the
Japanese editions of their second album, Da Bomb (Ruffhouse/Columbia), when its
photo of a nuclear explosion and the title cut’s references to Hiroshima are deemed
offensive by executives within Columbia’s Japan based parent company, Sony.
• VIBE magazine is launched with Snoop Doggy Dogg on the cover. Snoop
subsequently appears on the September 30th Rolling Stone cover (with Dr. Dre), even
though his highly anticipated Doggy style debut hasn’t come out yet.
• November 7--Timberland executive vice president, Jeffrey Swartz says in a New York
Times story that while the company enjoyed a 46 percent sales increase from the
previous year, the urban market consisted of a negligible 5 percent of sales. This
blatant dis of the Hiphop nation’s support of the Hampton, N.H. based company’s
products incites an informal boycott of Timbos and spawns bootleg T-shirts
emblazoned f*** TIMBERLAND.
• Around the time WBLS announces a ban on certain Rap records, New York radio
station WQHT (Hot 97) changes its format from dance to Rap and initiates the slogan
Where Hiphop lives, making it the only Rap based station in New York City.
• Eric B. & Rakim, the creators of such hits as My Melody, Eric B Is President, and
Paid in Full, split up and pursue their own solo careers.
• Hiphop Reggae artist Mad Lion debuts with his 12 inch single Shoot to Kill (Weeded).


Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" goes multi-platinum and starts a gangsta bandwagon.
Wu Tang Clan drops the platinum debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Staten Island's Wu-warriors: Prince (The RZA) Rakeem, Raekwon, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Ghost Face Killah, Genius (GZA), U-God, Master Killa and Inspectah Deck.
The Dream Team (DJ Qbert and MixMaster Mike aka Invisible Skratch Piklz) win World DJ Championship.
HOT 97 switches from a dance format to become "Where Hip Hop Lives", heralding the coming of DJ Funkmaster Flex.
Cypress Hill released its second album, Black Sunday, which debuts at #1 in Billboard.
Mobb Deep members Prodigy and Havoc (Queens, NYC) released their debut album, Juvenile Hell, on the 4th & Broadway label


• Sean Puffy Combs establishes Bad Boy Records. The notorious B.I.G. releases Ready
to Die (Bad Boy).
• New York City’s Hot 97 begins to include Undaground Rap in it’s regular format
with well-known street Deejays mixing at prime times of the day.
• January--Harry Allen (The Media Assassin) forms Rhythm Cultural Institute (R.C.I.)
to begin documenting and awarding elements of Hiphop Kulture. To commemorate
this announcement, KRS-ONE organizes a massive conference at the Alphonse
Schomberg Center in Harlem, featuring Afrika Bambaataa and Zulu Nation, Kool DJ
Herc, Crazy Legs, Grand Wizard Theodore and others to discuss Hiphop’s proper
documentation, preservation and further development.
• February--Wu Tang Clan releases their debut album Enter the Wu Tang (36
Chambers), (Loud/RCA).
• Snoop Dogg releases his debut album Doggy Style (Death Row/Interscope).
• February 23--Representative Cardiss Collins (D-Ill) and Senator Carol Mosely-Braun
(D-Ill) hold hearings on Capitol Hill regarding explicit lyrics in pop music. The event
becomes known as the gangsta rap hearings.
• Whoomp! (There It is) by Tag Team, on the black owned label Bellmark, reaches
certified sales of 4 million copies, making it one of Rap’s biggest selling singles. The
song starts a catch phrase heard round the world.
• March 7--2 Live Crew win a copyright infringement suit brought by Acuff-Rose
Music, claiming that the Crew made unfair use of Roy Orbison’s Oh Pretty Woman.
The Supreme Court holds that 2 Live Crew’s Pretty Woman is a parody and is
therefore protected under copyright law.
• May 22--Masta Killa, part of the Staten Island Rap group Wu-Tang Clan, punches
journalist Cheo H. Coker in the eye because members of the crew disliked artwork
that accompanied Coker’s article in a recent issue of Rap Pages.
• July--Twenty-three-year-old Clarence Lars, a.k.a. D.J. Train, is burned to death in a
fire in his mother’s Los Angeles home. Train worked with the crew J.J. Fad on their
hit record Supersonic and later with M.C. Ren of N.W. A.
• Cypress Hill’s Black Sunday is certified double platinum.
• August 18--The Sugarhill Gang perform Rapper’s Delight at VIBE’s first anniversary
party. The crowd, including L.L. Cool J, Treach of Naughty by Nature, D.J. Premier
of Gang Starr, and Heavy D goes wild, highlighting this year’s resurgent interest in the
old school.
• September 28--The Source’s co-editor, James Bernard, writes a letter charging Source
publisher, David Mays, with conflict of interest for allegedly being the manager of the
Almighty RSO and for publishing a stealth article on the group unbeknownst to
Bernard and the editorial staff. Mays later denies having any proprietary interest in
the group.
• October—The Notorious B.I.G. releases his debut album Ready to Die (Bad Boy).
• November--The Universal Zulu Nation celebrates its 20th anniversary.
• Elektra Records drops KMD because of the controversial artwork for their Black
Bastards album. The cover shows a hanging cartoon figure, which is described by a
record executive as an Al Jolson character.
• After being coined the Greatest live Emcee of all time by a variety of critiques, judges
and writers, KRS-ONE publishes a how to book entitled the Science of Rap. Five
thousand of them are sold and/or given away. The Science of Rap was also published
in Japanese because of its high demand in Tokyo.


Common (aka Common Sense) releases “Resurrection.” pure hip-hop is resurrected; Common is acclaimed as one the best lyricists of all time.
Del’s “No Need for Alarm” is released in December; he used multi-syllabisms, which soon start a whole new form of rhymes in the underground community.
November: Tupac shot in a New York recording studio 5 times and robbed of $40,000 worth of Jewelry. Sentenced to prison where he served 8 months in New York Rikers Island.
NAS aka Nasir Jones went Gold with his first album "Illmatic" but it was "If I Ruled the World" with vocals by Lauryn Hill that pushed him into the hip-hop mainstream spotlight.
Warren G aka Warren Griffen (half brother of Dr Dre) debut album "Regulate - G-Funk Era" sold over 4 million copies. "Regulate" appeared on the Above the Rim soundtrack and hit number 2 on the music charts.


• The Notorious B.I.G., Coolio, Redman, Ill Al Scratch, Big Mike, Busta Rhymes,
Black Moon, and Bone Thugs N’ Harmony release a song entitled The Points, in
tribute to the legacy of the Black Panther Party (Polygram).

• C. DeLores Tucker and William Bennett launch an anti-rap campaign aimed at Time
• Buffy from the Fat Boys dies of a heart attack.
• Salt n’ Pepa are the first female Rappers to win a Grammy award.
• The Roots album, Do You Want More, brings live instruments bac

Last edited by barbiedollspimp on Aug 11, 2011 - 11:21 AM; edited 2 times in total
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Post subject: RE: hip hop time line  PostPosted: Aug 11, 2011 - 09:32 AM

Joined: Dec 15, 2005
Posts: 11683
Location: Powell, Wyoming
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An impressive timeline/history. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

I was born in 1957, so I remember a lot of what you're writing about, for example watching "Soul Train" on TV. I'm not as much of a Rap/Hip Hop fan as some here, but I do have a modest collection of 'old school' records that I enjoy.

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