Public Enemy move into the realm of sonic genius due to their innovative approach to dissonance; piss off even more white parents with their militant, anti-white politics
MF Doom releases Operation: Doomsday, a creative masterwork blending 80s easy listening R& B, monster movies, and cartoons. And he does it all while donning a metal mask as part of his character’s back story. He’s essentially doing ghetto performance art!
Jay-Z declares himself the greatest rapper alive; draws parallels between the corner drug dealer and the corporate maven; transcends the ghetto niche with witty lyrics and pop beats.
Outkast channels Funkadelic and broadens hip hop’s palette: they’re from the South, one of them dresses funny, they experiment with electronic music
Record labels Def Jux, Anticon move hip hop out of the ghetto, expanding boundaries by making cerebral hip hop that’s more like indie rock in its approach
Buzz builds around 50 Cent, a NY rapper who embodies primal black aggression and sexuality; plus, he was really shot 9 times. How authentic!
Caushun, the first openly gay rapper, starts getting national publicity
Def Jux, Anticon become too white and corny; not in touch with what’s going on with real people
For the first time in hip hop’s history, Kanye West presents a complex black persona--no longer do rappers have to be either thugs or preachy conscious artists.
Critics in the know realize that Camron and Dipset are Dadaist geniuses.
Dangermouse hits the postmodern critical jackpot by blending the music from The Beatles’ White Album with the vocals from Jay Z’s Black Album to make The Grey Album
Wu Tang is back! Well, Ghostface is, at least
Common is the antichrist: he dresses strangely and panders to a pseudo-intellectual, racially insecure fan base
The Streets, MIA, Dizzee Rascal wow music fans. The UK is the future of hip hop
MF Doom, Dangermouse become corporate shills and drop a shitty album for Cartoon Network
Lil Wayne, The Clipse deliver the 2 greatest mixtapes ever (of the 3 we’ve heard)
Lil Wayne drops The Carter II, which instantly becomes the greatest rap album ever
UGK puts Texas rap on the map
Several great rappers emerge from New Orleans, Miami, Houston, Memphis. The American South is the new UK!
It’s officially OK for white people to say “nigga” as long as they’re ironic and not really racist
With Kingdom Come, Jay-Z abandons the “realness” of the hood and becomes an elitist corporate shill. He starts to suck
By declaring hip hop dead, Nas snatches the hip hop antichrist mantle from Common
A record number of black people (5) show up to the Pitchfork Music Festival. They are cordial and honor most people’s requests to take pictures with them.
The Cool Kids bring a fresh, retro approach to a stagnant hip hop landscape
Unfortunately, Caushun revealed to be a hoax
Race, gender, region, skill, access to equipment no longer barriers to rap success; knowledge of rap no longer a barrier to writing hip hop music criticism. Hip hop finally becomes the embodiment of the democratic ideal!