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March 09, 2008

Comments

Dave

I agree with a lot that's going on here, but think it's a little flawed to think of Golden Era Zulu Nation-esque jazz-rap (De La, Tribe, Jungle, etc.) and NWA-style proto-"gansta rap" as having occupied completely different ends of the hip hop spectrum. The two might have very different legacies, but both were the byproduct of Public Enemy and BPD, and both were very closely related, musically, lyrically, etc. In fact, Q-Tip himself has cited "Straight out of Compton" as the primary influence over "The Low End Theory."

Your distinction probably works better with post-Golden Era, mid 1990s hip hop (with the exceptions of Nas and Wu Tang, who had hands in each end), as hip hop gained world dominance. But the 2000s murkiness you cite was very much in effect in the late 80s-1992ish.

Dylan Matthews

I'm a bit sloppy in using examples from 1988 (N.W.A) to 1997 (Life After Death); I'll grant that the difference between Mo' Wax/Rawkus in 1997 and Jigga/Biggie was greater than the difference between N.W.A. and De La Soul.

Dave

** Make that BDP.

Dylan Matthews

Boogie Productions Down, Boogie Down Productions - it all works.

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