Celebrate 50 years of Hip-Hop!

Fifty! Fifty long years have passed since our culture was cultivated into a sound, a movement, something that had no boundaries. The founding men and women probably imagined the impact this culture and Hip Hop would have on the community but I don’t think they would know that culture and that movement would not only become the backbone for this community but for many parts of the world. 

There’s various ways to describe Hip Hop. I like to describe it as a melting pot of all things black mixed with surrounding characteristics but nothing melts, they just evolve. Blues, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, House, Rap, Soul, and Techno music can be found within many realms of the Hip Hop world, Fifty years ago in the Bronx, New York in 1973 it was born. DJ Kool Herc did something amazing, rap while the music was still playing, Hip Hop and Rap music was born but it would take six years before its break but soon it began to expand across the nation even the border to Toronto.

– Tavon H.

– Jaco M (Contributor)

The disco era had a moment in time where Afro’s, bel-bottoms, platform shoes with fishes in them- were coupled with stories of grand parties and dancing endlessly throughout the night.

By the late 70’s early 80’s A Genre of music that expressed an art form in conjunction -introduction to breakdancing that contained relatable urban stories, using onomatopoeia, similes, metaphors to convey the hardships and evoke positivity.

Pioneers/Greats such as The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rappers Delight”(1979) Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5’s Superappin’(1979) “The message”(1982); “The breaks” by Curtis Blow– ushered “Rap” to the forefront of the world.

Would not take long for the impact to extend in 1989 the grammy’s introduced a new category, Best Rap Performance, the nominees boycotted the event and the award was not even televised, impact recognized but respect still not given.    

  The 1980’s cemented artists that pushed and sealed Hip-Hop’s envelope.The LL cool J’s, Eric B and Rakim, Salt and Peppa, Run

DMC, Public enemy, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane, N.W.A. BizMarkie, Queen Latifah, Roxanne Shantae, MC lyte, Moni Love. Hip-HOP at this time was not accepted by mainstream media but The spirit of the songs echoed flavorful, electric, Loving, swaggy- a myriad of adjectives couldn’t  describe this up and coming trend.

More light hearted, playful Battles derived from the 80’s-Roxanne Wars (1984–1985), Juice Crew vs. Boogie Down Productions (1986–1988), Kool Moe Dee vs. LL Cool J (1987–1991), Special K, Run DMC- The 90’s inherently ,inspired ,an undoubtedly unapologetic face to face verbal exchange to the “death” while implementing new fashion and dancing; a plethora of boiling points reached rap battles ceiling. 

Conscious raps or backpack raps some call it was a pivotal moment in Hip Hop and its resurgence in the 90s shined lights on ongoing problems in our community.

Throughout the 90’s- Tupac shakur, The Notorious B.I.G, Lil Kim, Snoop Dogg, Nas, A-Z, Busta Rhymes, Common,Missy Elliot,Yo-Yo, Eminem. Powerhouse Ensembles featured Gang Starr, Wutang Clan, The lox, A Tribe called Quest, Digital Underground,Outkast Mobb Deep, Cash Money records Fugees, TLC. Hip Hops creative/ innovative direction ever so vividly embracing Consciousness, self- love, unity, fun gatherings with no drama- Microscopically magnifying street life, untold but relatable circumstances; in addition,issues past, present and future that hold urban communities from progression.

Commercially the Hip Hop scene was starting to become an influence on fashion or vice versa. It would soon be quiet for the conscious and commercial until its resurgence in the mid 2000s after the Money, Cars, Clothes, and Women era seem to be a take on the negative outlooks on the culture’s rewards and priorities. 

The 2000’s had a mysterious magic of its own. Jada Kiss, Lil Wayne, Ja Rule,Rick Ross, Dipset,Method Man, Redman,The Game, T.I,Ludacris,Fat Joe, Nelly,Camron, Kanye West and billboards Top artists 50 cent. Fashion brought us 20x t-shirts and pants size of 40/40. Not only was rap battles and competition present, sampling from older records, Enhanced metaphors/ similes- Successfully filtering its way through the crevices of mainstream media and reaching multitudes across the globe.

Real rap came back to the forefront; the boombaps were back and not just from New York, artists like Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Wale, J. Cole, Big KRIT, and more flooded the mixtape sites and blogs with bars for fans to debate over for months. Moving independently and focusing on the message open the lane for artist be themselves or be different. 

This also ushered in the blogging era of Hip Hop where the artists were gaining control over their art and lives. The “Money, Cars, Clothes, and Women” era was more about chasing the money and reaping the rewards that come with it, acquiring material things and then flexing on the competition that does not have them. The beats were hard though, the vibes matched the room and a lot of collaborations from Rappers and Singers created a formula of success allowing the hooks to be sung by R&B artists or samples from old school soul music, sometimes pop and rock.  

That’s when the blog era became monumental, the space for those artists to thrive in the same space as those mainstreams was open and the goal posts now were the same. Mainstreams had the machine but not the power or the people, Independent artists that were coming up had the power to release when they wanted and what they wanted, giving the fans what they want and keeping the power of the people. This field was leveled when acts like Drake, J. Cole, Kendrick, Kid Cudi, and Wale went from face of the blogs to standing in the same conversations with greats like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem, and 50 Cent. Kendrick Lamar even received respect from legendary west coast artists such as NWA and Ice Cube, Snoop Dog, Dr. Dre, and more. 

Hip Hop climbed the ladder of Power and Internet in the 2010’s –Kendrick Lamar, Migos,Drake,Pusha T, Future, Lupe Fisco, J. Cole, Joey Badass, Royce da 5’9, Benny da Butcher, Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, Nipsey Hussle, Curre$y and Big Sean. The content still personifies clear consciousness, perfection lyrically, references heard and unheard of, independent business brands and overcoming numerous obstacles. Hip hop would not be denied entry into untapped markets, arenas, sports and fashion.


This allowed another opportunity to be created, Chief Keef embodied “Doing things my way” and he made the world comfortable with letting artist be themselves with no boundaries that birth the industry with acts like Young Thug who took it to another level and became the blueprint for upcoming artists and fellow peers to be influenced by their sound and way of living. There were also artists like Chance the rapper making history at the grammys and creating a new lane for independent artists. Once were looked at as the bottom of the barrel now it’s understood they were in their own barrels. Alternative Hip Hop started to make a wave, no boundaries and genre blending, rock, jazz, soul, reggae, pop, and more are not off limits, alternative hip-hop became more experimental.


One vital era happened back in the 2000s, Trap music, an offspring of rap and soul music became the sound of the south originating in Atlanta, GA. In 2014 the sound became worldwide and was a force, the music was being played in every city and country. Remixes, covers, and more took over the internet. The south had something to say and came through influencing the world and other cultures such as K-Pop, Contemporary R&B, Reggaeton, and more. Pop singers have even teamed up with the genre’s biggest stars. Within four years of that era Rock was finally dethroned as the most popular for the first time in history. No matter how hot the culture gets, it doesn’t melt, it just keeps evolving.

MO’s Top 5 from 50

Top 5 Records


 Media Head Coordinator, DMV 

Favorite Song: Lauryn Hill – I Gotta Find Peace of Mind
Why: That whole project just spoke to me when I was a kid first hearing the words and cords. It was hard to choose a favorite but this says all the things I need to say.

  • Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon
  • Erykah Badu –  Times A Wastin
  • Smino – Blk Swn/Amphetamine
  • Jay-Z – Lucifer

The Blog Era cemented my love for music and various cultures. The artists freedom and expressions that was produced during this time shaped the game. Timeless music, moments, movements, and a cultural stamp that was too big to run away from or hide. 

Johnny Wen 

 Multimedia Content Creator, Maryland

Favorite Song:

  • Calling My Phone, by Lil Tjay/6LACK
    Why: This song is very relatable and catch and embodies trap and RnB vibes of the Trap Music era.
  • Girls Want Girls (Drake)
  • Superhero (Metro Boomin, Future, Chris Brown)
  • Players (Coi Leray)

Davone (DBlack)

 Sports Content Creator, Virginia 

  • Favorite Song: Souls of Mischief – 93 till Infinity
    • Why: the whole Souls of Mischief flowing sets the tone with cool and chill bars. This song is the definition of nostalgic 90s aesthetics to me. Love how the sample is flipped into a mellow yet vibrate beat. 
  • Kendrick Lamar – How Much a Dollar Cost
  • 2pac – Troublesome 96
  • Lil Wayne – Tha Mobb
  • J. Cole – Runaway

Favorite Era: That blog era time period from like 2007-2014 was peak hip hop for me. So many great artist had their own sound became successful and thrived. It was amazing to experience in real time. I’ll always appreciate how there was a range or balance of substance in hip hop during that era. 

Abel Girma

CEO/Co-Founder, DMV

  • Favorite Song
    • Hate or Love it – 50 Cent & The Game
  • Cole World – J Cole 
  • Big Pimpin’ – Jay Z , UGK
  • Flashing Lights – Kanye West  
  • March Madness – Future 

Favorite Era: The era from 2010 to 2015 when real rap and trap music was merging with Kanye, J Cole, Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean , A$AP Rocky, Chief Keef, G Herbo & many more. I really enjoyed music at that time because there was a variety of music but still showcasing the real essence of hip hop music. There was music for everyone’s taste in hip hop. 


 Multimedia Content Creator, Location

  • 2Pac- me against the world   

Arguably the start of a an indescribable soul rap 2pacs – Me against the world dives into a complex but relatable path of a “spiritual thug” songs like “Lord knows” and “If I Die 2nite” gives us a perspective of a soldier who’s intentions are to change his life while he struggles with various emotions-decisions on his journey to becoming a better version for himself and the others.  

  • The Lox’s  Money, Power, Respect-  

Raps long-lasting lyrical trio- Jada Kiss,Styles P, Sheek Louch delivers their most underrated debut album with platinum singles “If you think I’m jiggy” and Money, Power, Respect- invites you into a world of prosperity, living the life, Business all in one.  

  • It’s Dark and He’ll is HoT

One of the greatest lycists with an super human energy unmatched” Ruff Ryders Anthem” and “ How’s it going down” shows how DMX spearheaded an aggressive but controlled movement- while detailing the fight between inner demons and external forces, consciousness and subconscious; also, how to be smoothly assertive.

  • Notorious B.I.G. Ready to die

Brooklyns own Double entendre personified practically called The Notorious BIG is on the Raps mount Olympus. “Juicy” and “One more chance” memorable punch lines, unforgettable verses, Unstoppable melodies. Big was a force literally not seen or heard of.

  • Jay-z Blueprint

Mr. Hov he got his own lane almost tripling and quadrupling entendres, phrases,sentences literally and figuratively. No skips on this masterpiece “The ruler is back”  indirectly sets the tone for hits like “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Song cry” showing no matter what happens in the relationship he’ll be there for a significant other or two- His style, flow, delivery, swag cannot duplicated as he also sits on Raps mount olympus.

Like this:

Discover more from MOBOOMBOX

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading