The 1990s mark a point in history when West Coast gangster rap would move from the streets of California strait into the top of Billboard charts and speakers across America. From Oakland to Sacramento, The Bay Area and down to Los Angeles; artists began producing hits that would forever earn their respective place in Hip Hop history. With violence on the rise in many California communities and inequality growing, a raw style of Hip Hop was born. Let's take a look at four of the most influential albums of the times..
Ice Cube, Death Certificate
Kicking us off in 1991 Ice Cube dropped “Death Certificate”, a highly controversial album that was both politically and racially charged. Cube confronted his previous group members in N.W.A on the track “No Vaseline” and it is still considered one of the greatest diss tracks of all time. Despite the media's mixed reviews it would become certified platinum the same year with over one million advanced orders before it even hit the shelves. Most importantly, this album would kick off decade of a previously foreign style of Hip Hop.
Dr. Dre, The Chronic
In 1992 Dr. Dre launched his solo career with The Chronic following his departure from N.W.A. just months earlier. Dre would create mass appeal for West Coast gangster rap through his signature G-Funk style boasting fat beats with smooth vocals on the hook and synthesized horns throughout. The Chronic hit number three on the Billboard 200 charts, selling 5.7 million copies in the United States and become certified triple platinum. This album would undoubtedly go on to influence all forms of Hip Hop and had the streets yelling “it ain’t nuthin but a g thang” for years to come.
Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle
This album marks its spot in history as the fastest selling hip hop album ever after dropping in late 1993. Debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and selling over eight hundred copies domestically in the first week, it would go on to be certified quadruple platinum. Snoop Dogg jump on listeners radars and gained popularity following multiple appearances on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic in 1992. A little less than a year later, Snoop released this instant classic which carried the signature G-Funk sound further into the decade.
2Pac, All Eyez on Me
This double disc release charted at number one on the Billboard 200, won Rap Album of the Year at the Soul Train Awards and went on to be certified diamond. Following his release from jail in 1995, 2Pac would signed a three album deal with Death Row Records after the label posted his 1.4 million dollar bail. All Eyez on Me included hit singles “How Do U Want It” and “California Love”, both becoming Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles and earned 2Pac Favorite Rap/ Hip-Hop Artist at the 24th Annual Music Awards. The album marked a turning point for West Coast hip hop music moving it away from the G-funk era and towards a raw style of gangster rap.
Grab a West Coast Tape Stack below...