The greatest empires of Hip Hop – Part. 2

The greatest empires of Hip Hop – Part. 2

The continuation of the empires which marked the Hip Hop. Return on the greatest empires, collectives or crew of Hip Hop:


Founder: Jay-Z, Damon Dash & Biggs

Glorious period: 1996-2010

Under the leadership of Jay-Z, Roc-A-Fella has propelled many artists onto the scene, while dominating the charts for long periods with New York Hip Hop, notably with artists such as Kanye West, Freeway, Cam’Ron or Beanie Sigel.

Notable achievements:

Juice Crew

Ruthless Records

Founder: Eazy-E & Jerry Heller

Glorious period: 1988-1995

As the founder of gangsta rap, the Ruthless label both popularized the sub-genre and gave visibility to the West Coast in what was almost exclusively New York hip hop. In addition to inventing gangsta rap, the label’s achievements will give the first notes of G-Funk which will be later popularized by Death Row.

Notable achievements:

Juice Crew

Founder: Marley Marl

Glorious period: 1987-1991

Hailing from Brooklyn, the Juice Crew is one of the most iconic Hip Hop collectives of the late 90s. Signed to the Cold Chillin label and led by producer Marley Marl, the Crew released some of the most iconic albums of the period.

Notable achievements:

Aftermath / Shady / G-Unit

Founder: Dr. Dre, Eminem et 50 Cent

Glorious period: 1999-2005

The association of the three labels signed on Interscope Records under the control of Jimmy Iovine will mark the Hip Hop of its imprint with a flashy and glamorous gangsta rap style. The productions of Dr. Dre will be found on all the radios and on all the dance floors throughout the world. 

Notable achievements:

Bad Boy Entertainment

Founder: Puff Daddy

Glorious period: 1993-1998

In an era where New York rap is taking a more gangsta turn, Bad Boy’s roster is no exception to the rule. However, it will take more pop and rnb tunes for more radio friendly beats under the impulse of Puff Daddy, with lyrics that can be both aggressive or sometimes more futile.

Notable achievements:

Native Tongues

Founder: N/A

Glorious period: 1988-1993

Led by Q-Tip, the Native Tongues will breathe a new wind more Afro centered on Hip Hop, always on optimistic tunes, rather philosophical for A Tribe Called Quest or rather candid for De La Soul. The Native Tongues come back to the roots of Hip Hop with a will to gather and promote the Afro-American culture.

Notable achievements:

Wu-Tang Clan

Founder: RZA

Glorious period: 1993-1996

Born in 1993 under the impulse of RZA, the Wu-Tang Clan will give back its glory to New York in a period dominated by the G-Funk of Death Row. RZA’s grimy, gangsta sound launched a new era in New York Hip Hop, but Wu-Tang distinguished itself with influences from Asian martial arts culture. After a first album as a group, the members will launch into solo albums always under the artistic direction of RZA.

Notable achievements:

Death Row Records

Founder: Suge Knight et Dr. Dre

Glorious period: 1992-1996

Death Row revolutionized Hip Hop under the impulse of Dr. Dre by popularizing the G-Funk with achievements that are among the most iconic of Hip Hop. The label has finally been quite ephemeral and begins to collapse after the departure of Dr. Dre in 1996. The death of 2pac the same year will finalize the fall of the legendary label.

Notable achievements:

Honorables mentions: Odd Future, ASAP Mob, Dungeon Family, The Dangerous Crew, So So Def

Find the first part of the article:

By Grégoire Zasa

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