PART 3 - Rap, Race & Riots (How the Rodney King Verdict Changed Hip Hop)

For years before the Rodney King beating, hip hop had been talking about the way young black males were being mistreated by the police departments in their neighborhoods. With the exception of the fans of the art, and those living in those communities, their cries were widely ignored. The most well known track about the relationship, N.W.A.’s “Fuck The Police”, got the attention of the federal government who would send a cease and desist letter to the groups' record label. The news of this only made the group more popular, and to make matters worse, their music was becoming more and more popular in the suburbs.

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PART 2 - Rap, Race & Riots (How the Rodney King Verdict Changed Hip Hop)

At the same time another group of citizens headed to the LAPD head quarters downtown. What ensued is something out of movies, officers rallied inside, but were clearly outnumbred. As rocks, and garbage cans begin to fly in the direction of the plated glass windows that extended throughout the exterior of the buildings structure. Residents wanted answers, and if they would not be given, it could gladly be taken in blood. 

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The GREATEST Rapper Of All Time Has Not Reached His Prime.

 

Throughout my years as a hip hop junkie the NEVER ending debate of who was/is the BEST MC has been the topic of discussion. Wheather it was me and Lil Rob (RIP) arguing who’s better between Mobb Deep or 2Pac, the Grandmaster Caz vs. Melle Mel debates of the early 80s, the Rakim or Kane of the late 80s, or who can forget LL and Kool Moe Dee. Some of these fan rivalries resulted in verbal sparring, but more times than not the battle has been soley faught by the followers of a rapper and not the actual artist themselves. 

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Illmatic Turns 21

 

It's the norm now, but at the time of Illmatic, most rap albums production was handled in house, Illmatic changed that. This was the first album that brought the BEST producers on the east coast and put them on one album. DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, and Q-Tip formed a dream team and there's still room for an unknown producer, L.E.S. to shine bright. He would go on to become a frequest collaborator with NaS throughout the 90s and early 2000s.

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Dr. Maya Angelou asks Tupac "Do You Know How Important You Are?"

While everyone seems to be focused on the fact that Dr. Angelou made Tupac cry (how shocking - he was a human being!) it is her consistency of courage that should momentarily leave us in awe and serve as lifelong inspiration.

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BIGGIE and BED-STUY: The Art Album

Dawud Knuckles' exhibition brilliantly ushered visitors into making the connection between fine art and hip hop. Each selected art piece was presented as Biggie's lyrics personified! 

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