East Coast Hip-Hop

Nas Performs at amfAR Fabulous Fund Fair
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East coast hip-hop is sometimes referred to as New York Rap because it originated from block parties thrown on the streets of New York City in the 1970's. East coast hip-hop was dominant during the late 1980's and mid-90's (the golden era of hip-hop, and is still relevant today.

The Evolution of East Coast Rap

East coast hip-hop has undergone a series of musical surgeries, from the lyrical subgenre that gave yield to Rakim and Nas, to the conscious approach made famous by Public Enemy and Beastie Boys, and later the mafioso rap blueprint popularized by Kool G Rap, Raekwon, and AZ, and now back to the lyrical.

Elements of East Coast Hip-Hop

Unlike the simplistic rhyme pattern utilized in old school rap, or the call and response style present in crunk, east coast rap is almost synonymous with lyrical dexterity. More often than not, east coast rap is characterized by multi-syllabic rhymes, complex wordplay, continuos free-flowing delivery, and intricate metaphors.

Notable East Coast Artists

  • Rakim
  • Nas
  • The Wu-Tang Clan
  • Ghostface Killah
  • KRS-One
  • Jay-Z
  • Kool G Rap
  • Big Daddy Kane
  • GangStarr
  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Mobb Deep
  • The LOX
  • AZ

Recommended East Coast Albums for Beginners

  • Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
  • Nas - Illmatic
  • Notorious B.I.G. - Ready To Die
  • Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt
  • A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders