As discussed earlier, rap music was not very popular when most people were growing up. It is now, however! With artists such as Drake making songs that have millions of listens, hip hop has entered into its golden era.
Many musicians in this genre are known for their flashy clothes, dramatic hairstyles and frequent collaborations with other artist. Some even manage to make it onto TV talk shows and sitcoms!
Some rappers will go ahead and drop the “N” word or use misogynistic language towards women because they believe that it makes them sound tough and cool. This kind of style is what helped create the current wave of popularity for hip hop.
However, there are still some talented singers who prefer writing about more personal things than getting into crazy stories. Their music may be simpler, but it can do just as much good for your heart.
One of the most well-known members of The Lox is probably you know him as “Eazy-E,” his stage name. As we discussed earlier, his legal first name is Edward Ellis Ross, but he dropped the last two letters of that to create his rap moniker.
He initially made a splash in the hip hop scene with an independent album called Please Listen To My Track! He then signed up with Ruthless Records, one of the biggest labels at the time. It was here where he would meet his best friend and business partner, Sean "Diddy" Combs.
After Diddy convinced him to join his label Gonna Take Over You, which became known as Bad Boy Entertainment, he received even more attention. He now had both a successful solo career and a company he could run it through!
But before all of that, he had to go through some major growing pains. He wasn't always popular within the music community, and he didn't have much money when he started. His early success came not only from his talent, but also his work ethic and leadership qualities.
Before he was known as one of hip-hop’s greatest lyricists, before he became one of the genre’s most respected producers, before he made his name with such hit songs like “Dammn Baby” and “Rap Song (I Just Can’t Stop)”, there were many years when you could say that Laylaw Wallace didn’t quite know what to do with himself.
He grew up in South Central Los Angeles, raised by parents who loved him deeply but couldn’t always figure out how to help him be the best person he could be. His father was often too busy working to pay attention to him while his mother struggled with her own mental health issues, which left little time or energy for her son.
It wasn’t until he was well into his teens that things started to change for the better. He found an after school program that allowed him to learn computer technology, and it quickly became clear that he had a knack for it.
By high school, he was teaching students online courses and developing their skills, and soon afterward, he began offering them professional services. It only took a few months for him to realize that this was something he wanted to pursue full time.
From there, his journey really picked up speed. He designed websites and experimented with different styles and techniques, eventually landing his first job just weeks away from graduating college.
Born Robert Allen Garcia in Downey, California, on March 31, 1969, he was raised by his mother in Lynwood, Los Angeles. He had an older brother who died when he was young. His father left before he could get too old for that!
His childhood sweetheart was really the first person he ever knew how to write a song. They would sing together at school events and she eventually got him into music as a writer. After high school, he went straight from middle school to college without any sort of break.
He didn’t do anything majorly well during this time except for one thing – he learned how to rap. But it wasn’t just any run-of-the-mill hip hop either; it was more like gangsta rap. At only 19 years old, he dropped his debut album titled Niggas On The Block which featured songs such as “Pistol Pumping Party People.”
It received moderate success and even earned him some recognition but it wouldn’t be until two years later when things took off for him. In 1992, he released his second studio album entitled Losing My Mind To You which included his famous hit single "I Want A Girl (Who Can Take Me Hard" which became his signature song.
By now, you have probably heard his name or his lyrics somewhere before so let us take a look at why they are important to his career today.
Back in 1989, NWA member Lawrence Ross got into an argument with fellow rapper The Dufflebag about who was better, him or Tupac. This led to both rappers fighting each other at a concert. After that night, things really picked up for Pac as he earned his stage name “The Notorious B.I.G.” He would go onto become one of hip-hop’s biggest stars, while E has slowly but surely disappeared from the music scene.
Nowadays, people associate E with death. His passing away back in 1998 caused quite the commotion due to how popular he had become. Since then, his legacy has only grown bigger!
He will always be known for creating some of the most recognizable songs in rap such as “Dirty Work,” “La Di Da Di,” and my personal favorite, “Say What You Say.” Many artists have copied and/or sampled those songs for their own success.
His family still holds a lot of importance to him today. Both of his sons now work in entertainment and are famous themselves.
As mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons why we have so many hip hop songs is because artists need to promote themselves by writing or producing their own songs and promoting for others. Artists need exposure!
But there’s a flip side to this that sometimes gets overlooked: When an artist does not want your promotion, it can hurt their career.
In fact, some say that music with lots of feuding and backbiting has ruined the genre as we know it.
Many believe that these battles help create a sense of community in the music industry, but only for a short period. Afterward, people start avoiding each other due to fear of being involved in another conflict. This cuts down on the number of people who are willing to go up against the popular opinion or company of someone else.
It also encourages more negative talk about the competition which only helps them further solidify their status. For example, if two rappers mention each other often, they will both get credit for “sparking the battle” between the two. Even though only one person actually fought, everyone agrees that the comments made the situation worse.
In 1988, five years after his debut, Dr. Dre released his first solo album, The Chronic. He included one of his most famous songs, which some consider to be an anthem for overcoming adversity, “Let’s Go Fuck Around (Some More).”
The song features lyrics like, "Bitch I'm gonna fuck you up with these hops / You better prepare yourself, cause it's time to rise." It also includes references to guns and death.
In that same year, rapper Tupac Shakur left Death Row Records and signed with Bad Boy Entertainment. His new label was looking to launch him as an artist, so they paired him with Sean "Diddy" Combs. Diddy took over as his manager and producer.
Tupac and his crew got into a fight at an event in Las Vegas. After he was shot and killed, police found two loaded handguns in his vehicle along with several dozen bullets. They also discovered marijuana.
Many people believe that Diddy helped get Tupac out of prison by offering money or assistance to someone who could help keep him safe while he finished serving his sentence. Others say he protected himself from being arrested by buying more weapons.
No matter what reasons people give, many agree that Diddy played a major role in getting Tupac out of jail and helping him achieve mainstream success.
After leaving NWA, Dr. Dre founded his own label, Death Row Records. He built up an impressive roster that included such artists as The Game, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur.
However, he soon ran into issues with the music industry giants like Jay Z and Beyoncé. They felt his team was too strong and threatened to boycott his products unless he let them have their own artist.
Dre refused the business terms and left the company in 2001. Since then, he has mostly stayed out of the music scene, preferring to focus on producing other people’s songs.
He is known for creating some of hottest tracks of our time, including many from Rihanna, Drake, and Kanye West.