Essay on The Golden Era of East Coast Hip-Hop

Words: 2057
Pages: 9

The Golden era of east coast hip-hop

This piece will demonstrate an understanding of the golden era of East coast hip-hop, from 1986 to 1993, focusing and analysing the historical roots, influences and inspirational individuals, giving reference to musical examples that shaped East coast hip-hop. Attention will also be centred on the legacy left, concentrating on the music that was influenced as well as the resulting change in fashion and political views.

Historical roots & influence

The East coast was influenced somewhat by the traditions of West African culture, the Griots dating back hundreds of years who travelled as poets and lyricists, contributed greatly to the lyricism of East coast hip-hop; the music of the Last Poets,
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These views on Black Nationalism, social states and Afrocentrism became the main reasons for the extensive sampling of James Brown in this era, many would agree that without James Brown hip-hop would not be where it is today.

K.R.S One became a foremost influence to the East coast hip-hop movement, eager to express his West Indian heritage he began creating a new hip-hop reggae style, deeply motivated by reggae legend Shinehead he started to incorporate and promote Jamaican dance hall expressions into hip-hop music. He had his debut after founding BDP (Boogie Down Productions), combined with D-Nice and DJ Scot La Rock with the influential album Criminal Minded (1987), which soon gained credit for the establishment of gangsta rap. The album’s production followed the path of Eric B and Rakim by the wide acceptance of sampling James Brown. Poetry (1987) contained samples from James Brown’s Don’t tell it (1976), Dope beat (1987) enclosed samples from ACDC Back in Black (1981) and Criminal minded incorporated the vocal melody from the Beatles Hey, Jude (1968). The Jamaican inspiration is present throughout the album, utilizing the ‘Diseases’ riddim which began with Yelowman’s reggae song Zunguzung (1982), the groove can