Midwest and beyond
The center of the country has been a popular place for rap since it’s beginnings. But it always hasn’t been so well respected. It took a while to get the respect of the rest of the rap community. Rappers like Eminem and Nelly had to thank the likes of do or die and Bone thugs-n-harmony.
There was a time when the midwest was largely neglected. The East coast has always been the dominant coast since it was New York that started this rag thing in the first place. Building on the success of some of the greats like Run DMC, JJ Cool J, and Kool Moe Dee. Next up was the west coasts rise to power starting with Too Short and E-40, then extended when Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg took us for a ride or two. After that the south got it’s turn at bat bringing us the incomparable Outkast.
But after that what’s left? Well the unofficial capital of the midwest has been up for discussion. Be it Chicago or Detroit. so that’s a problem. Secondly along with all the difference in capitals, there was also a contrast in rap styles. From rapid fire bars in places like Cleveland to laid back in cities like St. Louis. The conflict took a while to sort out.
With hip hop becoming a dominant force in pop music and new ways to enjoy music coming into the fold, the midwest finally got its due. Along with the advancement of the internet you can be from almost anywhere and gain a following. Youtube, Vimeo, even Worldstar hip hop can bring a virtual unknown to web 2.0 celebrity status. We have even seen that the internet has taken the place of MTV and BET as the leader in music video plays.
The international game has also enhanced as Europe’s influence has been seen and felt throughout the industry. The lines have definitely been blurred but that isn’t a bad thing at all.