What an amazing, stellar (4 months) year for Hip Hop Smithsonian! We have created a home for the incredible history, culture, and evolution of hip-hop with your support. There are so many things in store for the months ahead…but you’ll just have to sit tight as they unfold. Currently, there are 100+ digital hip hop bios available for you to dissect, enjoy, and win arguments with your friends & family! Here, we break down the top 10 of 2013:
10. Heavy D - I caught an old episode of the Tracey Morgan sitcom show, and my son pointed at the TV screaming “Hey! That’s Heavy D. I instantly felt the pain of missing this incredible man & his spirit.
9. Digital Underground - Oakland (and the West Coast in general) brought a new type of voice, sound & subject matter to hip-hop. Digital Underground helped birth the career of Tupac Shakur. What is missing today that Humpty Hump & crew gave us back then is FUN and the ability to laugh at ourselves!
7. The Game - Visually stunning. His raw rhymes are a gift to all of your senses & emotions. Love him or hate him, his REALNESS & authenticity shines through in his digital bio
6. Da Brat - a roller coaster ride of a story! From signing to SoSo Def to what seemed like an instant rise to the top - she’s been up, down, but don’t dare count her out! Da Brat is here to stay & we love watching where she goes next.
5. Common - a lot of us have been used to seeing him onscreen in movies & his AMC series. This brother still finds time to contribute his time & resources to the Chicago community. But don’t sleep on his poetic, rhyming skills.
4. Ruff Ryders - this took a lot of effort to piece together, but it’s well worth it. Quite honestly, it’s the one page I personally revisit the most. This group, this culture, this movement spawned Eve, DMX, & Swizz Beatz to name a few…need I say more?
3. Kanye West - As my aunt said to me as I sat in my grandmother’s kitchen in a south suburb of Chicago, “He’s been getting attention for the wrong reasons, but the boy’s a genius!” His digital bio is also a sign of things to come here at Hip Hop Smithsonian, as it includes his producer credits
2. Gang Starr - we know that jazz has had a huge influence on hip hop. Guru & Premier took it to the next level, creating a signature sound that still serves as a blueprint for song production. Gang Starr turned history on its head by having the ability to also influence the jazz genre.