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Eminem in all his glory with that confidant look, every word he spoke was an intended rap. There exists an elusive touch to his rap songs, everything he did reverberate an Eminem tone, which cannot be unfolded anywhere else but is that exclusivity found at the heart of his songs. A single beat of Eminem is all that it takes to resonate with his voice and lyrics in your head. And then you go all crazy! The sui generis nature of his songs characterizes the Eminem touch.
His emergence in the industry was in the late 1990s, and his major-label debut album, The Slim Shady LP, had won a Grammy for the best rap album. Lady Luck was beside him, blessing him with her fortunes because he was a genius. The Marshall Mathers LP, his second album, was crowned as the fastest-selling solo album in the United States. The epoch of his accolades was his entry into the Guinness World Records. His song Rap God broke the record for most words packed into a single hit, and an added ten records.
Eminem is adept at business, and this skill is evident in the 1.76 million copies of The Marshall Mathers LP in the first week. This is massive! Also, ten of his albums were the number one hits on the Billboard 100. He was worshipped both by enthusiasts of rap because of his compact lyricism. Eminem was conferred the stature of a deity with his song Rap God that witnessed the awe-inspiring moment of Eminem swiftly rattling off syllables – a wonder to this day.
As an American, he had to validate his mastery before the rap culture could espouse him. Being a white was a joy both sweet and bitter because he got the support of a lot of suburban dads, and mom says, “Rap is a big no except for my kids except for Eminem.” The privileged status as the sole mainstream white rapper who succoured the expansion of rap into white households.
He narrated stories through his songs, including that of his personal struggles. His classics like Stan would present you the experience of Eminem getting into your head and telling his story through music. This was an exceptional song that expressed a compelling emotional narrative through his verses.
Who doesn’t love an anti-hero? Everyone does. Songs like Without Me, he expressed himself as violent, aggressive, and crude while presenting his stature in the pop-culture – the symbol of a revolutionary in rap. His songs, like White America, where he criticised George W. Bush even before the entry of Donald Trump, was a remarkable stance. Despite his white fanbase, he never hesitated to criticise right-wing white America. Yet, many conservatives still loved him – his enigma always outstood. Hence, he was always able to furnish a harmonious blend of his views and fanbase.
Hip-hop is not a new genre, but strands of this form have been present in our music for a very long time. You can find the traits in reggae music, and it can also be traced to the music form of West Africa. The 1970s can be attributed to the development of modern-day Rap where most of the traditions and strands of the music form took its final shape. This started with a few DJs, and MC’s playing music in the clubs of New York, and now we even have ‘Hamilton’, a Hip Hop musical playing in New York.
At this time, the genre was not as popular as it is today, but artists like Grandmaster Flash made a significant contribution. By the end of the decade, Hip-Hop had gained its own space in the music arena. The first rap record you can credit to 1979 single Rappers Delight by Sugarhill Gang. This was the first-ever instance when Rap music had made it to the mainstream. The music was received well by the audience, and this track broke the top 40 in the States. Not that it introduced a new Rap form, but Sugarhill gang became the first pioneers of the new revolution. The music became a common occurrence being played on the recorders.
It took a while with the domination of the market as is the case with every new thing. In the early years of the 1980s, hip-hop was rising. It had not competed against other music forms, but it was making news and money. It had spread from New York to the clubs of North- America. Technology has played an important part in every music industry, and Hip-hop is no alien to it. The main improvement came when Roland introduced TR-808, a programmable drum. This helped to forge the signature sound of the music. This gave a new meaning to the music, and the sampling technique was better. 1981’s Grandmaster Flash track The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash And The Wheels Of Steel was made up of sampled instrumentals.
By the 1990s many artists had made their way in the industry. It catered to the requirements of the industry, and it was making whopping music. Groups like Run-DMC and Beastie Boys exemplified this. The new school was better, and music took a drastic step. Beastie Boys is the early group that topped the Billboard chart with their Licensed To Ill. This served as an inspiration to other artists and groups welcoming a new era in the industry. This was followed by N.W.A, Wu-tang clan, and Raekwon. The new player in the game brought with them skillful talent, and dedication. The contribution of artists like Tupac, Dr. Dre, or 50 Cent can’t be overlooked.
Rap music is one of the leading music industries as of now. It also collaborates with others to make songs. The transition of rap music from one section to become a diverse group that has far reach not just in the United States, but across the world. Artists like Eminem have contributed further.
It was 22 years ago that Lauryn Hill released her seminal album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” on August 25, 1998. For the first time, the Fugees’ one-time lead walked away from the silhouette of her male bandmates, finally releasing a solo debut. With the woman as the cynosure remains promptly celebrated for her enigma. Since its 1998 release, this quintessential album has gone three times platinum in the UK, with sales of more than 19 million copies across the globe. The focal point was the Grammy Awards in 1999 that bestowed on her five awards, including Best New Artist and Album of the Year – a cultural touchstone.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill reveals her personal façade that was not unfolded during her time with the Fugees. Her pioneering album tours us through a venture of love – the love in its numerous forms – of heartbreak, newfound rapture, and spirituality. The effortless flow from a soothing voice to her brassy voice in her album mesmerises the soul of the audience. The harmonious blend of the sounds of reggae, rap, and hip hop instilled with a soulful sweetness and integrated with authentic lyrics worked the magic.
The Phenomenal Black Artist
The female boundaries in the industry were snapped despite not the pioneer; her songs resonated with the souls of the audience by the amalgamation of hip hop and R&B. Her debut album outstripped Madonna’s record with a sale of more than 420,000 copies its first week. She can be best described as phenomenal because she portrays beauty, wholesomeness, and expertise.
A Candid Act of Feminism
The creation of this masterpiece dawned when she was pregnant. She strongly spurned society’s perception that she had to choose between her family and career. The fourth track, To Zion, was a dedication to her son she was carrying. In this song, she gracefully dismisses those who asked her to view her career with the utmost importance for which she should consider the option of an abortion.
She Spearheaded Deliberate Lyrics in Hip-hop.
Her lyrics worked magic in the hearts of the audiences because it bore her personal testimonies. She outrightly expressed her views on ideas that were perceived to be taboos at that particular period. Therefore, she fashioned a path for sincere and socially-conscious lyrics to be incorporated in the music, from sexual objectivity in Doo Wop That Thing to broken relationships in Ex-Factor. She had predicted the metamorphosis in the industry – while the reality is that she pioneered this transformation in hip-hop.
Her Notes Eclipse Hip-hop and R&B
The shackles of boundaries were shattered pertaining to the freedom of black women artists in the music industry. The soulfulness and authenticity had transcended these barriers, and she was a revolutionary in the industry. The musical genius of Hill can be depicted through the numerous artists she has influenced from Adele, Beyonce, Talib Kwele, Kanye West, to John Legend – the inception of his career can be attributed to Everything is Everything. The celestial capturing of all those moments was made possible because of her exclusivity.
The release of Drake’s “So Far Gone” mixtape in 2009 signified the advent of a unique path: singing as rapping, singing, and rapping both were intertwined together into a single holistic entity. Drake disintegrated the perception that those two facets had to be furnished by two different people and also deconstructed what was envisaged by these components. He paved the way for the creation of a global pop norm – effortless hip-hop free from the conventional assertiveness. Drake recast the standards of being a rapper in the 2010s. With his seminal album “Thank Me Later,” he became the famous personage in his arena.
The Genre Started Traversing into a New Realm
The ability of Drake to transcend rapping and singing into a graceful dialogue depicted his prowess. At the same time, some have perceived this harmonious blend and relegates it as tenderness. This softness is often looked down upon because it does not fit the aggressive masculinity. However, Drake has created his path, and in this process, has succoured the refashioning of hip-hop. He has also been crucial in developing increased conversations between burgeoning hip-hop music worldwide – Nigeria, England, and the Caribbean. The centrality of his art was founded in virality. He has etched an indelible mark in the hip-hop genre.
The Reformed Glance at Women
This revolutionary glance was made possible by Drake by redefining the ethos masculinity through his lyrics about women, heartbreak, and love. Historically rap has served the narratives of masculinity by the rappers themselves being violent and aggressive in their songs. This is the reason why it is often relegated to the position of a soft rapper. For instance, from his third mixtape, So Far Gone, his song Best I Ever Had he raps about his love for his girlfriend and admiring her for the natural beauty that she is. His songs do not relegate the traits of a woman to the size of their asses but instead perceives them with unique character traits. The description of women as independent and the praises he offers them for being strong, educated, and accomplished – it is an eye-opener to the industry that women are beyond their physique, and it is their inherent qualities that shape them. This critical eye facilitated by Drake is noteworthy. This was depicted through his single Proud of You featuring Nicki Minaj. The attribution of characters is what makes Drake unique. The women can be observed to be real, and he does not objectify them. In comparison, many other rappers reduce women to commodities and are viewed as a gorgeous stripper, a prostitute, or a gold digger. The preconceived notion that rap has to be egoistic was crushed.
Jay-Z has been the personification of an entrepreneur from his childhood years at Brooklyn’s street corners to his soaring in the industry as he spearheads the hip-hop world. His uniqueness lies in the fact that he cannot be restricted to the world of music alone but a business empire that he is shaping. His successful endeavours include Rocawear, the 40/40 Club, Roc Nation, and TIDAL. The epoch of his career was achieved in 2019 when he earned the accolade of the first hip-hop artist to become a billionaire. The ascendancy of Jay-Z can be traced to America’s eminent black political figures with his influence on all facets, including music, business, and race.
Count on Yourself
He is earned the title of a cultural touchstone because he was able to transcend from a narrative of black hardship and poverty to a cultural figure combating all odds. He has transmogrified into the essence, aroma, verve, and determination to succeed and be identified as spearheading hip-hop. Jay-Z, along with his business partners Damon Dash and Kareem Burke, established their own label, Roc-A-Fella Records, in 1996. In 1997 sold to Def Jam half of their company for $1.5 million. Seven years later, the other half was purchased by Def Jam for $10 million. In 2005, he was made the CEO of Roc-A-Fella and served for three years.
He is Ready to Face it All
He has no apprehension of being a failure in the market. He is ready to embrace it if he has to. It is, however, his hard work and the sheer genius that he is has succoured him in this journey of being a billionaire. In 2003 we saw him enter into a four-year partnership with Reebok instead of actualising a sneaker deal with the giants in the industry – Nike. This is what you call the Jay-Z effect. The company reportedly sold 10,000 pairs of his sneakers within the first hour of their release. In his last thirty years, we witness the eclipse from rags to riches despite the impediments that are a reality for African Americans’ burgeoning.
Be a Harbinger for Social Justice
His desire for magnifying and combating for social justice has been a result of the struggles he has transcended as an African American. He has decided to produce documentaries on the tragic death of Kalief Browder and the criminal justice reform in the case of Trayvon Martin. The mobility and transcendence as a society can only stem from empathy and the ability to identify that the human race is not perfect. We all have our flaws, but rising above it while providing a helping hand is the panacea. Jay-Z is also furnishing donations for organisations like Colour of Change and Southerners, being the advocate of change for jailed fathers. They are not convicted of any crime but remains to be there since they cannot afford bail. He has also made a significant contribution of $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter, and since 2013 has been funding the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund for the economically underprivileged.