Rap Music And The Era Of Atlanta Hip Hop Essay

Rap Music And The Era Of Atlanta Hip Hop Essay

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Rap music became popularized in Atlanta and the rest of the South in the early to mid-1980s. The first rap to come out of the city of Atlanta was uptempo party music with heavy bass and very obvious Florida influence. Hits like “Whoomp! (There It Is)” by Tag Team, and “Jump” by Kriss Kross defined the pre-Outkast era of Atlanta hip-hop. While these songs were immensely popular (“Whoomp!” is ranked by Billboard as one of the greatest songs of all time (“Greatest of All Time”) while “Jump” was one of the top 3 selling songs of 1992 (“Week Ending May”), groups from the city, for the most part, were commonly seen as “novelty” and “kiddie crews” (“Kriss Kross: Da Bomb”). While the emergence of relatively simple but enjoyable music was going on in Atlanta, rap as a whole began to truly explode. The newest major music genre entered its golden era; “Ready to Die” by Biggie Smalls, “Illmatic” by Nas, and “Me Against The World” by 2Pac were all albums that were rated “five mics” by The Source (“5 Mics?”) The “five mic” rating from The Source indicated an exceptional and rare hip-hop album. In this time of growth in hip-hop culture Atlanta, and the South as a whole was in large part left out. People were enthralled by cross country feuds between rap superstars; but just when it seemed like there was no space at the time for rap from anywhere but New York or California, the duo of Andre “3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, better known as Outkast single-handedly redefined rap music. Andre 3000 played an instrumental role in defining not just rap, but music as a whole in the 1990s and 2000s. His presence transitioned Southern rap from being viewed as nothing more than exciting, throw away party music to music that could be timeless an...

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...ing an album in over a decade new artists today commonly cite the group as an influence; the hyper lyricism, extraterrestrial themes, and experimental funk sound that helped define their music has been emulated by dozens of musicians today, ranging from Macklemore to Kendrick Lamar. Since 1994 Outkast’s music has been sampled by nearly 300 different artists.
Without the emergence of Outkast, music today simply would not be what it is. Outkast defined music and rap culture in the 2000s. Their willingness to entirely abandon conventional wisdom both in and outside of their music has inspired a generation of musicians. Outkast single handedly reshaped rap culture’s view of rap music from the South. Outkast’s greatness is nearly immeasurable, but in terms of visible impact on rap and music as a whole today, they are among the most influential rap groups we have ever seen.

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