The Most Important Events in Hip-Hop by Year: 1973-2018
Throughout its history, hip-hop has provided the world with plenty of headlines. We're taking a look at the most important events in the genre's history that have taken place in each year since 1973.
These are the moments that the entire hip-hop world was talking about. This includes the technical innovations that allowed the nascent art form to grow in the time between DJ Kool Herc's legendary party in 1973 and the release of the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" in 1979, when Cypress Hill got banned from Saturday Night Live for smoking marijuana on-camera and how the community came together to help elect Barack Obama as president of the United States.
We've also included times where hip-hop made greater inroads into mainstream American culture, such as when Blondie and Aerosmith broke down the walls between genres, Elton John defended Eminem against charges of homophobia by performing with him at the Grammys and Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton: An American Musical became the hottest ticket on Broadway.
But that's also meant that we've had to point out times when the headlines weren't positive, including the killings of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. six months apart, 2 Live Crew's run-ins with the law and Puff Daddy's arrest after a gun went off in a Manhattan nightclub.
And, of course, there's the music. We've spotlighted genre-defining tracks and albums like Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message," Eric B. & Rakim's debut release, Paid in Full and more recent efforts by Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.
Check those and others out below.