in the early days In the hip-hop era, nobody talked much about the East Coast. Because there was no other coast to compare with. Hip-hop originated in the Bronx and other areas of rap permeated throughout his ’80s, but nearly every major hip-hop artist in his first decade of hip-hop music hails from New York, including Curtis Blow and others. Coming out of old-school pioneers like Funky Four+1. Also look out for street rap progenitors like Run-DMC and LL Cool J, and sonic and political agitators like De La Soul and Public Enemy. In the early ’90s, when the West Coast scene threatened its hegemony, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan and other hard-edged, lyrical giants helped swing the pendulum back. After the rise of Southern rap in the 2000s, a new generation of stars such as Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Bobby Shmurda, Pop Smoke and Ice Spice showed the world that the birthplace of rap could still be an important hub for rap. reminded me.
“East Coast” has grown to cover artists like Beanie Siegel and Meek Mill from Philadelphia, Wale and Noncharante from Washington, D.C., favorite son Redman from New Jersey and Rico Nasty from Maryland. What defines East Coast rap? For artists like Eric B. and Rakim, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, or ELUCID, it means innovative samples inspired by therapeutic boom bap . For classics like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s ‘The Message’, Lil Uzi Vert’s ‘XO Tour Llif3’ and Young MA’s ‘OOOUUU’, it’s ice cold It means a stripped-down sound driven home by bravado and courage. Thorny bar. It covers the popiest hip-hop (who lost to his OPP?) as well as the most challenging and artistic hip-hop (Gangster, Company Flow). Complex lyrics are synonymous with East Coast rap, but some of the region’s best songs have verses that even parents can recite word for word. Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere,” Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend,” and Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” may not surprise you with cutting-edge wordplay, but they’re all bona fide classics nonetheless. is. The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” incorporates a rhyme about soggy macaroni, but the song nevertheless changed the face of music forever.
Our 100 Best East Coast Hip-Hop Songs list has all this and much more. We convened a group of RS staff and critics to create the list. We focused on impact, relevance, originality and ingenuity. Some songs have remained staples for decades. A few have come out in the last few years. Some were big hits. Others are obscure gems. Of course, with a musical style this vast, some difficult choices had to be made. Some legendary artists weren’t represented and some groundbreaking records didn’t hit. Our goal was not to hit all the historical milestones, but to complete a list of influential records that still sound fresh and great new songs that push the tradition forward.
After creating the list, we solicited expert opinions from people deeply involved in music about the results. We reached out to rapper and producer Rock Marciano, who has appeared on the list as a rapper and producer and has collaborated with the likes of Busta Rhymes. “I think it’s in a good space,” he says of East Coast rap. “I think we’ve put it back into great health.” Known for popularizing the neo-Bumbop sound over the past decade, Marciano is encouraged by the rise of drill. “Rest in peace, Pop Smoke,” he says. “Before he died, he was probably going to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, artists in rap.” provides an important glimpse into the ever-promising future of