The Golden Era of Hip Hop can be described as period of the late 1980’s to the mid 1990 characterized by its diversity, quality, innovation and influence. This was a time between when lyrics took precedent and mic prodigies developed the art of storytelling and metaphor usage. Lyrical content pushed rapping to new heights as emcees pushed black activism, Afrocentricity, G-Funk, gangsta rap, and gritty street rap. Being able to rap fast is not something new, all of this came along in this time frame. Today you here a lot of R&B mixed into hip hop, well you can thank the New Jack Swing movement in the Golden Era also as artist such as Heavy D and Teddy Riley created a new genre of hip hop.
Hip-hop production became denser, rhymes and beats faster, as the drum machine was augmented with the sampler technology. More jazz, funk, soul, mixed with head banging drums gave hip hop a different sound than ever heard before.
There were so many groundbreaking albums, artists and groups during this time period that it set stage for hip hip to take over the mainstream. Just to name a few because there were so many Public Enemy, KRS-One, Eric B. & Rakim, Ultramagnetic MCs, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Lord Finesse, EPMD, NWA, Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and OutKast.
Lyrical content was on full display and innovative production during this time. If you lyrics and subject matter was weak you got laughed off the mic.
If you listen to hip hop today it is more cookie cutter, and only a few emcees stand out from the crowd. If you turn on the radio or television majority of the songs sound the same and the lyrics are very simple.
So I ask if you take four of the hottest artist from today Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Joey Bada$$ which one would survive or make a groundbreaking album in the Golden Era. Each artist is good in their own right and have made good music. Each of these rappers offer something different. Kendrick is a militant version of Chuck D, Drake has that sing/song flow, J.Cole offers more positive message, and Joey Bada$$ brings that street grit.