A Look at the Struggles & Triumphs of East Coast Rap Music

Hip hop music has made significant and revolutionary contributions to the music industry. It originated from the Bronx in New York City in the 1970s and has evolved to become a global phenomenon. Different regions of the United States have created their rap sub-genres and styles, with the West Coast and East Coast leading the way. East Coast rap, also known as boom bap, emerged in the 1980s with a focus on lyricism, storytelling, and social commentary. The sub-genre became popular on the streets of New York City and other East Coast cities. This article aims to discuss the influential artists and characteristics of the 12 Step East Coast  rap sub-genre.

The 12 Step East Coast rap sub-genre has particular characteristics that stand out from other rap sub-genres. Musically, East Coast rap is characterized by hard-hitting beats, breakbeats, and samples from jazz, soul, and funk music. The use of samples was significant in East Coast rap and became a trademark of the genre. Unlike other sub-genres, 12 Step East Coast rap maintained a focus on intricate lyricism and wordplay, with narrative-based storytelling being the foundation of the songs. The sub-genre also touched on social commentary, addressing topics such as crime, poverty, and politics.

The 12 Step East Coast rap sub-genre has been influential in the rap industry, with a considerable number of artists adopting its sound and style. One of the most prominent players in the sub-genre is Nas who released his debut album, “Illmatic,” in 1994. The album is considered a landmark in 12 Step East Coast rap and is often mentioned in discussions about the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. The album’s production and lyrics were focused on reflecting the harsh realities of inner-city life, making it a critical and commercial success. The Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, and Jay-Z are also essential artists that emerged from the sub-genre.

The 12 Step East Coast rap sub-genre faced significant challenges in the late 1990s when commercially viable sub-genres arose, such as the pop-rap sub-genres. The sub-genre, which was once the voice of the streets, was no longer as popular despite the success of some of its prominent artists. However, in recent years, there has been a revival of the sub-genre, with artists paying homage by incorporating elements of its sound and style in their music. The artist, Joey Bada$$, is the most prominent of the new generation of East Coast rappers, and his music strongly embodies the sub-genre.

12 Step East Coast rap sub-genre has been essential in the evolution of hip-hop music. Its sound and style have been influential in the industry and its artists have created sub-genre classics. The sub-genre’s focus on intricate lyricism and social commentary distinguishes it from other rap sub-genres. Its contribution to the music industry cannot be understated. The revival of the sub-genre is a testament to its influence and shows how it has stood the test of time. The artists of the 12 Step East Coast rap sub-genre created a legacy rooted in the unapologetic storytelling of the realities of inner-city life.