The 1990s are forever recognized as the golden era of hip hop by ushering in a new cultural movement that would forever alter not only the music industry but American society as a whole. The prior decade of social and economic inequality forged an East Coast sound that was rough, rugged and real. NAS, Jay Z, Notorious B.I.G., and the whole Wu-Tang crew dropped albums which dominated Billboard charts and later be recognized as founding pillars of modern day hip hop. Let us pay homage to the East Coast kings..
Wu-Tang, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
In 1993 Wu-Tang jump started the East Coast rap renaissance via their debut album and in return, set the bar for all acts to follow. From “C.R.E.A.M.” to “Protect Ya Neck” the album packed raw sounds and lyrics straight from the streets of New York. Despite its underground demeanor Enter the Wu-Tang would hit #41 on the Billboard 200 chart and become certified platinum by 1995. Most Importantly, Wu-Tang would set the stage for a new decade of Hip Hop culture throughout the United States.
Straight outta Queensbridge came an album that hit #12 on the Billboard 200 chart, sell 60,000 copies in the first week, and earn a platinum certification. Nas dropped his debut album in 1994, immediately receiving widespread praise from his unique flow and lyrical genius. Nearly three decades later and it ain’t hard to tell that Illmatic is still shaping Hip Hop to this day.
Notorious BIG, Ready to Die
Depicting real life struggles of a young hustler from the streets of New York, this album would speak to a generation of hip hop heads for years to come. In 1994, at 22 years old, Notorious BIG catapulted into mainstream success following the drop of Ready to Die. With hit singles like “Juicy”, “Big Poppa”, and “One More Chance” it's easy to see how this is still considered one of the greatest rap albums of all time.
Jay-Z, Reasonable Doubt
Released in 1996, the album hit Billboard top 200 charts at #14 and would later earn its well deserved platinum accolade. Often referred to Jay-Z’s best work as an artist with singles like “Can’t Knock the hustle” becoming an instant anthem for the streets of New York. Reasonable Doubt bridged the gap between the raw sounds of the East Coast projects and mainstream through its appealing hooks and nostalgic samples. From “Politics as Usual” to “Dead Presidents II” the track list will forever be on top of the hip hop podium.
In tribute to the roots of hip hop culture we’ve just dropped the East Coast Tape Stack. Word is bond. Hit the link...