Items that almost killed Hip Hop in the ‘90s has been compiled by Complex.
The site was inspired to craft the list due to the airing of VH1’s The Breaks film, which is set in 1990 and premiered on the network yesterday (January 4).
One of the items cited is that rap lyrics were facing punishments.
“The attorney general in Florida had a case against 2 Live Crew,” Dan Charnas, whose The Big Payback book inspired The Breaks, says during an interview with Complex. “They were trying to pursue the group on charges of obscenity, which in part brought about the political atmosphere that led to those ‘Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics’ stickers. A few major chain record stores wouldn’t carry rap records with that sticker. It was a climate wherein record stores could get boycotted or sued.”
Another item is “Women’s Roles Changed.”
“In the late ’80s, artists like Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah and Monie Love cast a positive, almost wholesome image,” Charnas says. “But by the late ’90s, the emergence of Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown changed the tenor of what it meant to be a woman in Hip Hop. Many felt it was a regression toward females performing mostly for the male gaze. But that problem was and is bigger than Hip Hop.”
To read the full list of “9 Things That Almost Killed Hip-Hop in the ‘90s,” visit Complex.