This piece will demonstrate an understanding of the golden era of East coast help- hop, from 1986 to 1993, focusing and analyzing the historical roots, influences and inspirational individuals, giving reference to musical examples that shaped East coast hip-hop. Attention will also be centered on the legacy left, concentrating on the music that was influenced as well as the resulting change in fashion and political views. Historical roots & Influence The East coast was influenced somewhat by the traditions of West African culture, the
Grits dating back hundreds of years who traveled as poets and lyricists, contributed greatly to the lyricism of East coast hip-hop; the music of the Last Poets, Gill Scott- Heron and Gala Mansard Unhurried, had great importance to the development of east coast hip hop with their early raps and rhythm. The furthermost direct Influence on East coast hip-hop was the Jamaican style of ‘Toasting’, which consisted of chanting over African American R&B records. African American sailors introduced Toasting’ in the asses at dances termed ‘Blues dances’, whilst in port.
The advent of Hip-hop culture can be traced back to the ever more widespread block parties of New York City (1973), where a cross colonization of African Americans and Puerco Ricans began In the South Bronx. These block parties mostly comprised of Ids playing vernacular genres such as soul, funk and disco, DC Cool Here amongst them, was credited with the development of East coast hip-hop, his technique of isolating the ‘break’ from a hard hitting funk track and extending it by using two copies of the same record became very popular.
He emigrated to America (1967) from Jamaica ringing with him the already popular DC style of break-beat mixing used in Jamaican Dub music. He encouraged B-oblong or break-dancing, which became part of the four elements of hip-hop culture (B;oblong, rap, graffiti and D]ling he Introduced a generation of sampling, which was extensively used in ass hip-hop whilst creating a generation of Ids and influencing artists such as Grandmaster Flash, Africa Bombast and DC Premier. Gangs had great influence on the evolution of East coast hip-hop culture, from guarding equipment, security for Ids, to collecting money off the doors of parties.
Africa Bombast once head of the largest gang in New York, the Black Spades, managed to create one the largest movements in hip-hop culture, the Zulu Nation. This hip-hop awareness group began organizing social events for the youths of New York, merging the mall the four elements of hip-hop, B-oblong, graffiti, rapping and violence and where the youth could socialize, as well as promoting black power. Bombast had great effect on the growth of hip-hop culture; one very influential piece he produced was Planet rock (1982), which became one of the most ever sampled and remixed tracks in hip-hop.
The influence from Jerkwater is apparent throughout; the melody from the Trans-Europe express (1977) is used as well as their style of synthetic drums and rhythms. Arthur Baker, the producer, set a blueprint for future producers by the use of the Roland TRY-808. Distinctive elements & individuals In divergence to many early raps, which utilized basic rhyme patterns, East coast can be defined by its emphasis on poetic skill; it may also be characterized by its intricate wordplay, metaphors, polysyllable rhymes and smooth conveyance, production may be perceived as ‘hard hitting, aggressive and mainly sample driven, as seen in DC
Premier’s iconic production. A major influential duo in East coast rap was Eric B & Racism, who made sampling James Brown the main basis of hip-hop in the late ass and early ass. The duo saw their debut with the single Eric B is president (1986), which consisted of Rake’s notable ladybird vocal style and Eric Bi’s distinguished scratching. The original record recognized Eric B as the producer and Marble Marble as the mixer, but the fact was, Marble Marble arranged the parts together; the duo Just simply paid him, due to their lack of knowledge with studio equipment.
The track entwined the famous baseline from Found Race’s over like a rat (1982) above drums from the Honey Dipper’s Impeach the president (1972) and the vocal sample of James Brown’s funky president (1974), which was the scratched by Eric B; a subtle 808 kick was also layered underneath. Marble Marble produced the entire track using a four track recorder and an Kaki Mac Renaissance, he described these confines as, “Limitations made us what we were,” he said. “We were making classic hip hop in the projects in the living room, no studio and a four track.
So it’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at. Sometimes limitations are good”[l]. The duo had their album debut with Paid in full (1987) which soon became East coast hip-hop’s most influential album of the golden era, with Rake’s style setting a blueprint for future East coast rappers, it was taken from the old-school era to the lyrical dexterity known to define East coast hip-hop of the ass. Rake’s Jazz influences were portrayed throughout the album with his tranquil implementation.
Woven Bone describes this era as “During this period, it was rap artists, rather than Black churches or traditional civil rights organizations, who through their music and persona connected with chicaneries urban youth”. James Brown had a very similar influence, “His music not only reflected the stride of and the diligence and militancy of the Black liberation struggle, but some of his songs became anthems of Black Pride in the face of racism and state repression, such as, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” which our knees”.
These views on Black Nationalism, social states and Affirmations became the main reasons for the extensive sampling of James Brown in this era, many would agree that without James Brown hip-hop would not be where it is today. K. R. S One became a foremost influence to the East coast hip-hop movement, eager to express his West Indian heritage he began creating a new hip-hop reggae style, deeply motivated by reggae legend Skinhead he started to incorporate and promote Jamaican dance hall expressions into hip-hop music.
He had his debut after founding PDP (Boogie Down Productions), combined with D-Nice and DC Scot La Rock with the influential album Criminal Minded (1987), which soon gained credit for the establishment of gangs rap. The album’s production followed the path of Eric B and Racism by the wide acceptance of sampling James Brown. Poetry (1987) contained samples from James Brown’s Don’t tell it (1976), Dope beat (1987) enclosed samples from ACID Back in Black (1981) and Criminal minded incorporated the vocal melody from the Battles Hey, Jude (1968).
The Jamaican inspiration is present throughout the album, utilizing the ‘Diseases’ iridium which began with Helmsman’s reggae song Gauzing (1982), the groove can strongly be heard in Remix for p & mm but was more hostile and provocative. Criminal minded was the first album to contain a vivid portrayal of real life in the south Bronx streets; it paved the way for the next decade f gangs rap. The albums was the first of their kind to promote gun violence as can be heard in mm and the brandishing of firearms on the front cover, which soon became widely accepted in the ass era.
The album was mainly produced by K. R. S; it is sampled based production, a very aggressive style and utilizing the sampling of funk ‘breaks’. The legacy The legacy East coast hip-hop left was vast, greatly expanding to a more commercially viable demographic, with the help of Bombast, it was spread worldwide. Dry. Jocosely Wilson describes the legacy left, “Surely the cultural expressions in a hip-hop epistyle created a way for many people across a variety of backgrounds to grow wealth, extend the boundaries of their artistic talents and establish a foothold in areas of political and civic engagement”.
Political and social views expressed through music had been preserved in many other styles of music, gangs rap was soon to follow the golden era, heavily influenced by Eric B & Racism and K. R. S, it became a dominant force in hip hop culture up until its collapse in the late asses. The majority of early rap was accredited for decreasing gang violence but the emergence of gangs rap did completely the opposite, many youths of society would come to express the quarrels of individuals into a nationwide dispute, this can be seen in the feud between the Blood and the Crisps gangs.
The golden era was the most innovative, diverse and creative period in hip-hop; it currently entered our daily vernacular and penetrated conventional culture. The early fashion style of the a-boys (baggy Jeans, trainers, Jewelry and tracksuits etc. ) has been echoed throughout mainstream society, with the majority of popular fashion companies following. Businesses such as Aids, Mike, Fred Perry, and so Roth have all played part in spreading hip-hop fashion to the masses.