Shortly after this song, Flash and the Furious Five decided to make a song that highlighted the societal issues that were causing their hometown to decay. ‘The Message’ was the first conscious rap single or “reality rap” single. The song showed the world the life in the Bronx. It was the first song that had a message other than ‘let’s party’. Rolling Stones gave that songs 5 stars making it the first critically acclaimed rap song ever. Now that hip hop has established themselves and everyone knows about it, the 80s was all about gaining success and becoming a mainstream artist. The next big rap icon was Russell Simmons. He and Rick Rubin founded Dej Jam Records and created success for many up and coming artists. He helped Kurtis Blow blow up as well as his own group Run–DMC. Run DMC quickly became popular because their music displayed the fundamentals of rap. It wasn’t new to the underground community, but it was new to the world. One thing that made them even more popular was their style. They dressed in normal clothes that everyone else was wearing. Simplicity was their motto. Russell Simmons saw an opportunity to make money off Adidas because everyone was buying because of them. So they got some Adidas reps to come to one oftheir concerts which led to them becoming the first musical group to get an endorsement deal by an apparel company. Dej Jam records in now on the map and they sign artists like LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy.At this point, rap has only had a taste of what it feels like to be in the mainstream. It would get abetter taste of mainstream success when Aerosmith collaborated with Run-DMC to make ‘Walk This Way’ cover in 1986. This cover is credited for helping hip hop music break into the mainstream pop charts. It was the first hip hop song to hit the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 while also demonstrating how the elements of hip hop music can be extracted from rock and pop songs.While most rappers during this time was shouting and screaming on most of their songs, MarleyMar and Big Daddy Kane introduced a new style of sound to the hip hop evolution. They brought a cool and chill style to MC’ing. He was smooth and that was unheard of in the rap industry during this time. Rakim was coming up at the same time BDK. His word play and delivery was different than everyone else. His style was influenced by his jazz background which made his style popular when he was discovered. He rapped about his experiences and the knowledge he possed and wanted to pass knowledge along which also made him more popular with the people. Then came the conscious rapping about social issues rather than just party music. Another soon-to-be successful rap group was birthed during the time. This group would be called Public Enemy.Chuck D was the visionary of the group and Flavor Flav was the personality.They mixed the rage from the 60s/70s with the style of hip hop that was popular at that time and made empowering music. They wanted to be a voice for the people of their community andBlack people all over.
All of this took place on the East Coast. The rap scene on the West Coast was completely different.
- Spring '18
- Dr. Dre, Hip hop music