In 2023, hip-hop fans found themselves wondering whether small leaps in evolution can be as satisfying as the giant steps of the past.
As the industry slowly crumbled, action figures like 50 Cent and Lil Jon rolled off the assembly line with muscular, eardrum-popping sounds.
In a year defined by electro kingdoms and fresh wild styles, Run-D.M.C., Afrika Bambaataa and others sought to explore rap’s future.
Most of the best hip-hop of 1981 didn’t appear on rap records — with Grandmaster Flash’s “Wheels of Steel” a gloriously historic exception.
While Missy Elliott and the Neptunes dominated 2002, the rise of 50 Cent, Dipset, and Southern rap promised to transform the culture.
While 9/11 and Jay-Z vs. Nas defined the year, global forces began disrupting the cloistered rap industry, whether it was ready or not.
In the first year of the 21st century, hip-hop mutated in unusual ways, and a canyon grew between the haves and the have-nots.
In 1979, hip-hop as a regional culture was irrevocably changed when “Rapper’s Delight” introduced it to the outside world.
The year 1993 reflected the music industry’s “see if it sticks” approach to rap, resulting in a boundless variety of peaks and valleys.
As 2022 draws to a close, Humthrush presents its second annual listing of rap musicians who passed away during the year.
This memorial explores the many hip-hop voices lost in 2021. It focuses on the work they created in their lives instead of their demise.
In an essay originally written for Maura magazine, the 1996 renaissance of female rappers resonates as a time of missed opportunity.