With the rise of N.W.A., gangsta rap and Suge Knight, the East Coast-West Coast rivalry climaxes with a lethal beef ensnaring the great Tupac Shakur.
In NYC, the Notorious B.I.G. fosters an empowering protégée, Lil’ Kim. When the East-West feud claims Biggie, Puff Daddy and Jay-Z vie for the throne.
Alternative hip-hop bubbles up from the streets: Mos Def spits in NYC, the Freestyle Fellowship chops it up in LA, and Eminem battles on the circuit.
A hot, sticky music scene is born in Atlanta as the infectious hooks of TLC and Kris Kross yield to the gritty originality of OutKast and Goodie Mob.
2 Live Crew popularizes the Miami bass sound and scores a victory for free speech. The Geto Boys put Houston on the map, paving the way for UGK.
In the Bay Area, Too $hort channels pimp culture, MC Hammer becomes rap's first pop star, and Digital Underground introduces the world to Tupac Shakur.
KRS-One makes his mark at New York's legendary Latin Quarter club. A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul cultivate an Afrocentric, jazzy style.
In the early 1990s, a new wave of hardcore East Coast artists emerges, led by Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and the Notorious B.I.G.
In the 1970s, DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash and the first rhythmic rappers lay the foundations of hip-hop in the South Bronx.
Bootleg tapes capture the energy of live battles, the Sugarhill Gang releases a Top 40 hit, and hip-hop meets art punk in downtown New York.
Run-D.M.C. and Def Jam bridge the rock-rap divide. Innovators like Marley Marl and Rakim usher in a new sound, and Public Enemy raises consciousness.
Ice-T and N.W.A put West Coast rap on the map, documenting the reality of life in South Central LA. Dr. Dre tops the charts with "The Chronic."