Midwest hip hop: Difference between revisions

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==Detroit==
 
==Detroit==
 
{{Main|Music of Detroit}}
 
{{Main|Music of Detroit}}
[[Detroit]] is one of the most recognizable cities that have a [[Rap music|rap]]/[[hip hop]] origin. After hip hop originated in the late 70s and gained popularity through time, Detroit was home to a vibrant underground hip hop scene by the 1990s. The first Detroit hip hop artists to gain major notice included [[Esham]], [[Kid Rock]] and [[Insane Clown Posse]].<ref>{{cite news |first= |last= |title=''Film exaggerates the support early hip-hop had in Detroit.'' |url=http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-8920875_ITM |publisher=''[[Detroit Free Press]]'' |date=November 8, 2002 |accessdate=11 April 2009 }}</ref><ref>{{cite news |first= |last= |title=''Before Eminem, there was Esham'' |curly= |url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/487244521.html?dids=487244521:487244521&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Dec+09%2C+2003&author=KRT&pub=Chicago+Tribune&desc=Before+Eminem%2C+there+was+Esham&pqatl=google |publisher=''[[Chicago Tribune]]'' |date=December 9, 2003 |accessdate=11 April 2009 }}</ref> Detroit's hip hop is mostly noted for its talented underground artists, and the city's freestyle battles. A popular place for rap battles there is the local Hip Hop Shop, located on W 7 Mile. [[Slum Village]] was one of the first early acts to emerge from the hip hop scene in Detroit. In the mid 1990s, rap superstar [[Eminem]] was an underground Detroit rapper and released two albums before being signed; ''[[Infinite]]'' and ''[[The Slim Shady EP]]''. Later, in 1999, he released his major-label debut album ''[[The Slim Shady LP]]''. His second album, ''[[The Marshall Mathers LP]]'', became the fastest selling hip hop album in history, breaking [[Snoop Dogg]]'s record. [[MC Breed]], from [[Flint, Michigan]] released many albums and some [[compilation albums]]. His most famous song was probably ''[[I Gotta Get Mine]]'' featuring [[Tupac Shakur]]. However, he was on life support for two days in September after he collapsed during a game of pick-up basketball due to kidney failure. It is unclear if prior health complications were the cause of death <ref>http://www.ballerstatus.com/article/news/2008/11/5852/</ref> Rapper [[Proof (rapper)|Proof]], Eminem's former best friend before he was deceased, was part of the Detroit-founded rap group [[D12]]. Despite his success with D12, he also released two solo albums which were ''[[Searching For Jerry Garcia]]'' and ''[[I Miss The Hip Hop Shop]]''. On April 11, 2006, he was fatally shot to death in a gunfight at a Detroit nightclub taking numerous bullet wounds to the head. It was stated that he almost survived. The two most popular underground groups from Detroit city in the late 90's we're [[Rock Bottom Entertainment]] (before [[Big Herk]] left) & the Chedda Boyz.
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[[Detroit]] has a [[Rap music|rap]]/[[hip hop]] origin. After hip hop originated in the late 70s and gained popularity through time, Detroit was home to a vibrant underground hip hop scene. The first Detroit hip hop artists to gain major notice included [[Esham]], [[Kid Rock]] and [[Insane Clown Posse]].<ref>{{cite news |first= |last= |title=''Film exaggerates the support early hip-hop had in Detroit.'' |url=http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-8920875_ITM |publisher=''[[Detroit Free Press]]'' |date=November 8, 2002 |accessdate=11 April 2009 }}</ref><ref>{{cite news |first= |last= |title=''Before Eminem, there was Esham'' |curly= |url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/487244521.html?dids=487244521:487244521&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Dec+09%2C+2003&author=KRT&pub=Chicago+Tribune&desc=Before+Eminem%2C+there+was+Esham&pqatl=google |publisher=''[[Chicago Tribune]]'' |date=December 9, 2003 |accessdate=11 April 2009 }}</ref> Detroit's hip hop is mostly noted for its talented underground artists, shitty lyrics, and the city's freestyle battles. A popular place for rap battles there is the local Hip Hop Shop, located on W 7 Mile. [[Slum Village]] was one of the first early acts to emerge from the hip hop scene in Detroit. In the mid 1990s, rap superstar [[Eminem]] was an underground Detroit rapper and released two albums before being signed; ''[[Infinite]]'' and ''[[The Slim Shady EP]]''. Later, in 1999, he released his major-label debut album ''[[The Slim Shady LP]]''. His second album, ''[[The Marshall Mathers LP]]'', became the fastest selling hip hop album in history, breaking [[Snoop Dogg]]'s record. [[MC Breed]], from [[Flint, Michigan]] released many albums and some [[compilation albums]]. His most famous song was probably ''[[I Gotta Get Mine]]'' featuring [[Tupac Shakur]]. However, he was on life support for two days in September after he collapsed during a game of pick-up basketball due to kidney failure. It is unclear if prior health complications were the cause of death <ref>http://www.ballerstatus.com/article/news/2008/11/5852/</ref> Rapper [[Proof (rapper)|Proof]], Eminem's former best friend before he was deceased, was part of the Detroit-founded rap group [[D12]]. Despite his success with D12, he also released two solo albums which were ''[[Searching For Jerry Garcia]]'' and ''[[I Miss The Hip Hop Shop]]''. On April 11, 2006, he was fatally shot to death in a gunfight at a Detroit nightclub taking numerous bullet wounds to the head. It was stated that he almost survived. The two most popular underground groups from Detroit city in the late 90's we're [[Rock Bottom Entertainment]] (before [[Big Herk]] left) & the Chedda Boyz.
   
 
Despite the vibrant underground hip hop in Detroit, it's difficult to make a name in the city that was officially named the most dangerous city in [[United States|America]]. Despite Detroit being over 85% black, many of the most famous white rappers, including Eminem, and Kid Rock, are from the Detroit area. D12, standing for [[D12|Dirty Dozen]] or [[D12|Detroit Twelve]], has had much success since their first two major albums. Besides Eminem, former member Proof, and former member [[Bugz]] the rest of the group consists of members [[Bizarre]], [[Kon Artis]], [[Kuniva]], and Swift. The idea for the group's name was that there would be only six members, but with alter egos technically making twelve of them. Detroit's unique rap style is essential to the artists there. Detroit rapper [[Obie Trice]] made his major-label debut in [[Shady Records]] as he released ''[[Cheers]]'' followed by ''[[Second Round's On Me]]''. [[Royce da 5'9]], another Detroit rapper, debuted around the same time D12 did. Before that, Royce was part of the underground rap duo "Bad Meets Evil" with fellow Detroit MC Eminem. [[Trick Trick]] is greatly known in Detroit's underground hip hop scene. The city often refers to [[Big Herk]] as being the best rapper to ever come from the city after he released "Guilty As Charged" in 2003.<ref>[http://www.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=6825 Murder rap (Metro Times Detroit)<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref>
 
Despite the vibrant underground hip hop in Detroit, it's difficult to make a name in the city that was officially named the most dangerous city in [[United States|America]]. Despite Detroit being over 85% black, many of the most famous white rappers, including Eminem, and Kid Rock, are from the Detroit area. D12, standing for [[D12|Dirty Dozen]] or [[D12|Detroit Twelve]], has had much success since their first two major albums. Besides Eminem, former member Proof, and former member [[Bugz]] the rest of the group consists of members [[Bizarre]], [[Kon Artis]], [[Kuniva]], and Swift. The idea for the group's name was that there would be only six members, but with alter egos technically making twelve of them. Detroit's unique rap style is essential to the artists there. Detroit rapper [[Obie Trice]] made his major-label debut in [[Shady Records]] as he released ''[[Cheers]]'' followed by ''[[Second Round's On Me]]''. [[Royce da 5'9]], another Detroit rapper, debuted around the same time D12 did. Before that, Royce was part of the underground rap duo "Bad Meets Evil" with fellow Detroit MC Eminem. [[Trick Trick]] is greatly known in Detroit's underground hip hop scene. The city often refers to [[Big Herk]] as being the best rapper to ever come from the city after he released "Guilty As Charged" in 2003.<ref>[http://www.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=6825 Murder rap (Metro Times Detroit)<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref>

Revision as of 00:52, 11 March 2010

Midwest hip hop is hip hop music performed by artists from the Midwestern United States. In contrast with its East Coast, West Coast and Southern counterparts, Midwest hip hop has very few constants. Its first dose of national popularity in the mid-90s was associated with fast-paced styles of rappers such as; Twista (Chicago), Tech N9ne (Kansas City, Missouri), Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (Cleveland), and Atmosphere (Minneapolis).

These artists became the first to introduce Midwest hip hop that rivaled the popularity of West and East Coast styles. However, subsequent acts which have since risen to national prominence such as Nelly, D12, and Kanye West share very few similarities. It is because these lack of constants between acts from different cities (and sometimes even between artists from the same city) that it can be extremely difficult to define a "typical" Midwest sound. One characteristic of Midwest hip hop is that beat tempos can range from 90 to about 180, while East Coast's beat tempo is 90-120, West Coast is 100-120, and Southern rap is 80-110. Prozak, as stated in his DVD "The Hitchcock of HipHop", says that the Midwest's style often revolves around "Dark beats and lyrics".

Detroit

Detroit has a rap/hip hop origin. After hip hop originated in the late 70s and gained popularity through time, Detroit was home to a vibrant underground hip hop scene. The first Detroit hip hop artists to gain major notice included Esham, Kid Rock and Insane Clown Posse.[1][2] Detroit's hip hop is mostly noted for its talented underground artists, shitty lyrics, and the city's freestyle battles. A popular place for rap battles there is the local Hip Hop Shop, located on W 7 Mile. Slum Village was one of the first early acts to emerge from the hip hop scene in Detroit. In the mid 1990s, rap superstar Eminem was an underground Detroit rapper and released two albums before being signed; Infinite and The Slim Shady EP. Later, in 1999, he released his major-label debut album The Slim Shady LP. His second album, The Marshall Mathers LP, became the fastest selling hip hop album in history, breaking Snoop Dogg's record. MC Breed, from Flint, Michigan released many albums and some compilation albums. His most famous song was probably I Gotta Get Mine featuring Tupac Shakur. However, he was on life support for two days in September after he collapsed during a game of pick-up basketball due to kidney failure. It is unclear if prior health complications were the cause of death [3] Rapper Proof, Eminem's former best friend before he was deceased, was part of the Detroit-founded rap group D12. Despite his success with D12, he also released two solo albums which were Searching For Jerry Garcia and I Miss The Hip Hop Shop. On April 11, 2006, he was fatally shot to death in a gunfight at a Detroit nightclub taking numerous bullet wounds to the head. It was stated that he almost survived. The two most popular underground groups from Detroit city in the late 90's we're Rock Bottom Entertainment (before Big Herk left) & the Chedda Boyz.

Despite the vibrant underground hip hop in Detroit, it's difficult to make a name in the city that was officially named the most dangerous city in America. Despite Detroit being over 85% black, many of the most famous white rappers, including Eminem, and Kid Rock, are from the Detroit area. D12, standing for Dirty Dozen or Detroit Twelve, has had much success since their first two major albums. Besides Eminem, former member Proof, and former member Bugz the rest of the group consists of members Bizarre, Kon Artis, Kuniva, and Swift. The idea for the group's name was that there would be only six members, but with alter egos technically making twelve of them. Detroit's unique rap style is essential to the artists there. Detroit rapper Obie Trice made his major-label debut in Shady Records as he released Cheers followed by Second Round's On Me. Royce da 5'9, another Detroit rapper, debuted around the same time D12 did. Before that, Royce was part of the underground rap duo "Bad Meets Evil" with fellow Detroit MC Eminem. Trick Trick is greatly known in Detroit's underground hip hop scene. The city often refers to Big Herk as being the best rapper to ever come from the city after he released "Guilty As Charged" in 2003.[4]

Chicago

Chicago has harbored several locally popular acts since the early 1990s, including Do or Die and Crucial Conflict; the former being a fast-rapping group associated with Twista,and the latter of which was a group with a decidedly down-home, country sound. Chicago soon became known for more than fast rapping with the rising popularity of Common Sense, protege of producer No I.D., who put flippant battle raps over a jazzy backdrop. Other rappers in this vein included Vakill, who also gained some notoriety in Chicago. Da Brat, a female Chicago native, also had a hit in this period with Jermaine Dupri's label So So Def.

In 2004, Chicago producer and rapper Kanye West broke the scene with his multi platinum debut, College Dropout on Roc-A-Fella Records. He became an industry commodity, reworking and repopularizing Wu-Tang producer RZA's style of speeding up Soul instrumental and vocal samples to fit hip hop beats. The style became known as "chipmunk soul". The same year, West produced two hits for Twista, "Slow Jamz" and "Overnight Celebrity"; these led to the rapper's first platinum release, Kamikaze. In 2005, Common (having dropped the "Sense" from his name) signed with Kanye's GOOD Music, West also being a student of No I.D. This led to Be, Common's second gold album. West attempted to push longtime associate Rhymefest, a Chicago battle rapper and ghostwriter; his support helped carve the MC a local niche and some national attention. A guest spot on West's 2006 second album, Late Registration, also solidified the buzz of up-and-coming Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco, whose debut album Food & Liquor was the #1 rap album in the country upon its release. His later album The Cool directly references his Chicago roots.

Chicago is currently home to a thriving underground rap-music scene. Blogs such as Fake Shore Drive have become a "vital nerve center" for the local underground rap music scene.[5] A 2009 film, I Am Hip Hop: The Chicago Hip Hop Documentary documented the underground rap-music scene in Chicago from 2004-2009.

Cleveland

Bizzy Bone of Bone Thugs & Harmony - live in concert

In the early 1990s, five drop outs formed the unit Bone Enterpri$e and took a one way bus ticket to Compton. They went searching for Eazy E, a pioneer of gangsta rap, and signed to his label. They were signed to Ruthless when they got back to Cleveland for a concert, where they performed for Eazy on the spot. They changed their name to Bone Thugs-n-Harmony consisting of Flesh-N-Bone, Layzie Bone, Wish Bone, Krayzie Bone, Bizzy Bone. They created a style never heard in hip hop , a rapid-fire flow and melodic mesh of harmonizing vocals, a style they called the Flow Motion. They released their LP Creepin on ah Come Up with the smash single "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" and "Foe tha Love of $" featuring Eazy E. They later had hits like "1st Of Tha Month", "Tha Crossroads", Art of War's "Look Into My Eyes", and "If I Could Teach The World" which earned the group their first American Music Awards. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony were the first Midwest rappers to go platinum, which lead to a conflict with Chicago rappers as Twista, Do or Die, and Crucial Conflict about stealing their style. They are also the only ones to collaborate with hip hop "Hall of Famers" like The Notorious BIG ("Notorious Thugs"), Tupac ("Thug Luv"), Big Pun, and Eazy E while they were all living, and have sold more than 40 million records only in the U.S. Today they have their own label after contractual difficulties with Ruthless records. Their new album, Strength and Loyalty, was released May 2007 with their smashing hit "I Tried" winning their second AMA.

In 2008, most Northeast Ohio (NEO) Hip-Hop has either a faux-southern sound (usually from inner city Cleveland/Akron), while Youngstown (on the PA Line) preserves a more classic vibe. However, both the Eastern and Western sides of Cleveland itself hold light to a conscious Hip Hop sound coined by artists such as Mos Def, Common, and Talib Kweli, while the southern portion of the city holds more to a flashier, more glamorous side of hip hop. The city being a major metropolis, typically the city has a feel that is much more East Coast. Some[who?] say Detroit meets Philly, than St. Louis or any other undeniably "Midwestern" place. To consider the cultures or subcultures of Cleveland and Kansas City "of the same region" is simple and archaic. The Hip-Hop, as well as the food, language, and values of these cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas are remarkably different. The terms Great Lakes, Rustbelt, Mideast, "Northern", North-Central, or Northeastern Interior are much accurate and clear in the study of music of the cities between Philadelphia and Denver. Currently, the Northeast hip hop scene is exploding with artists such as the recent booming Kid Cudi. Kid Cudi is signed to G.O.O.D Music. (Kanye West's label) Kid Cudi's breakout smash hit being "Day N Nite". Kid Cudi was nominated for 4 BET Awards in 2009, followed by MTV Video Music Award and American Music Award nods.

Cleveland was named as xxlmag.com top ten hip hop cities and with Ohio being named as Americas most hip-hop states, and having the full support of Cleveland Cavaliers star small forward LeBron James's imprint, DeamLife Ent., Cleveland and the whole Northeast Ohio music scene showing itself as a force in Midwest as well as mainstream hip-ho

Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri has many well known rappers such as Tech N9ne, Kutt Calhoun, Skatterman & Snug Brim, and Big Krizz Kaliko, most of these artists are signed with Strange Music, a Kansas City based record label owned by Travis O'Guin and Tech N9ne.

Another notable Kansas City rapper is Mac Lethal who signed to the Rhymesayers Entertainment imprint and helped create his own Black Clover Record label.

Milwaukee

Milwaukee hip hop dates back to the early 80’s, but it first received national attention in 1992 when Arrested Development-whose front-man, Speech, is a native of the city-strung together a set of commercially successful hits.

Until the end of the 1990’s, the Milwaukee scene was largely confined to the city’s (predominantly black) North Side. However, as members of the hip hop generation began to attend college in the early 2000’s, cultural organizations at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee began to invite acts such as Talib Kweli to perform on the East Side campus. The success of these shows led to local groups with similar followings, such as Black Elephant and Rusty P’s being booked for on-campus sets as well. This, in turn, opened the door for the local acts to play off-campus venues on the East Side such as Onopa (now Stonefly) Shank Hall, Up & Under and BBC that had previously been off limits to hip hop (presumably due to the stereotypes associated with such crowds).

Meanwhile, Memphis club music was rapidly finding its way to Milwaukee’s North Side via Southern transplants and North Siders who either had relatives and/or attended college in the area. During this time Coo Coo Cal, who had a more typical Midwestern quick-tongued style (albeit, with a noticeably slower delivery) enjoyed moderate commercial success with his debut single “My Projects” and the follow-up “How Does It Feel”. The result is a more artistically driven scene that is centered on the East Side, and a more commercially driven scene that is centered on the North Side .

The East Side scene is characterized by socially and politically charged lyrics, neo-soul influences and the relatively common use of live instrumentation. Some of these acts include Dameon Ellzey, Def Harmonic, Element Everest, Haz Solo, Dylan Thomas, Raze, Gambit, Rusty P’s, Sose, JC Poppe, and Taste Emcees. A collective of several emcees, producers, and a DJ recently came together to form a supergroup known as The House of M, which has led to further collaborations between different Milwaukee artists, helping to make the local scene a more successful cooperative then it had been in the past. The members of the House of M are: Gambit, A.P.R.I.M.E., Trellmatic, D-Matikk, Lou-Tang, Ecko, DJ Deadbeat, Dana Coppafeel (also a member of KingHellBastard), and Dylan Thomas. The use of live bands by many of these acts has also influenced some Milwaukee-based soul bands such as Growing Nation and Urban Sol to incorporate MC’s into their acts.

Conversely, the North Side scene is characterized by its gritty lyrics, southern club music influences and willingness to follow commercial trends. The most successful artists such as J DUB and MECH and DREZ coming from Milwaukee's North Side, Paper Cha$e who has close ties to Milwaukee legend Pimpin' Ken. Paper Cha$e has been cameoed on a variety of UGK music videos such as, "Get Throwed" and "International Player's Anthem". He was featured in a 2008 article of Ozone magazine's Patiently Waiting which earned him a spot in Milwaukee's most influential rap artists. Tay Gullyon from Milwaukee’s East Side (3rd street) made major head way across the pacific by garnering success in Honolulu, HI. Gullyon has opened for Snoop Dogg, Eddie Griffin, Shaggy, scoring regional Hits "Why", "P.A.S.S.I.O.N", and Drug Dealer Dream.

Acts such as Rico Love, and Miko have had (or been featured on) commercially successful singles in recent years. Streetz & Young Deuces, 2006 Get 'Em Magazine Award Winners, have gained national support by putting out mixtapes with the Hittmenn DJs, Core DJs, Future Star DJs, and Shadyville Djs. The city is also home to producers such as D.J Sixteen, Big Poppi, the Lmntlyst, The Surgeon (who is affiliated with Nelly and Derrty ENT), Swift G (produced for Arista Records), Big City (Midwest Funk/ X-rated), JR Da Supastar, Dash D.U.B. of Duce Duce Entertainment, Scottie Knoxx, J Billa (Ghost-town), Durty Mouf , Double R (from Bone Thugs family), Big Hank, and R D Houston, the gangsta rapper/producer who invented the "R.S.B" style or ride, slide & bounce sometimes compared to what's called gangsta bounce but with a more roller coaster ride effect look out for more new artist because Mil-Town is building up to be the next movement in Hip-Hop.

For the past several years, Milwaukee has hosted a local event called The Miltown Beatdown which served as a beat showcase/battle for local area producers. This has been another tool that has helped to join the North and East side styles together. Milwaukee is also the founding city of the largest DJ organization in the world, The Core DJ's (founder, Milwaukee native & DJ, Tony Neal)

Minneapolis-St. Paul

Although strictly underground, there existed a subterranean hip hop culture in the Twin Cities starting as early as 1981. Similar to the development of hip hop in the South Bronx, Twin Cities rap started as humble parties with a DJ and an emcee.[6] A DJ named Travitron was comparable to the DJ Kool Herc of the Twin Cities area. Shows took place at many venues, most notoriously Club Hip Hop on Selby Avenue in St. Paul. Other artists and DJs include Disco T, Verb X, Brother Jules, Delite, and Truth Maze. The first real album to come out of the Twin Cities was called The I.R.M. Crew, released in 1985. Graffiti and b-boy crews were also existent in the city. This is the world that the current movers of Twin Cities Hip Hop were brought up in.

The main movers of Twin Cities Hip Hop came together to form the group Headshots, a precursor to the Rhymesayers Entertainment label. Members of this group included Slug, I Self Devine, Micranots, Musab, Siddiq, and Ant. Slug was one of the main artists to move into the foreground, setting the tone for the style of music to follow in the years to come.

Since the emergence of Rhymesayers Entertainment, the Minneapolis hip hop scene has seen the local hip-hop scene erupt with talent including Brother Ali, Eyedea, the Doomtree collective which includes emcees:P.O.S., Sims, Dessa, Mike Mictlan and Cecil Otter. Other notable Minneapolis artists include Heiruspecs, Toki Wright, Mujah Messiah, Knonam, M.anifest, Trama, Big Quarters, Franz Diego, St. Paul Slim, Prof, Carnage, Illuminous 3, Kanser, Maria Isa, Los Nativos and the Unknown Prophets

The Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop is an annual event hosted by Yo! The Movement, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate the power of community through hip-hop culture. Over the past five years nearly 20,000 people from around the world have taken part in the festival and conference.

Another notable annual event is Soundset which started its first year on Memorial Day Weekend in May 2008. It features several big name hip hop acts and had over 14,000 in attendance. For 2009, the Soundset music festival was much larger. Some of the notable performing acts include Atmosphere, Pharcyde, Brother Ali, P.O.S., MF Doom, Freeway & Jake One, Immortal Technique, Eyedea & Abilities The Cunninlynguists, Sage Francis, El-P, Heiruspecs, Buck 65, Haiku D'Etat, Blue Scholars, Sims of Doomtree, I Self Devine, One Be Lo, Unknown Prophets, Mike Mictlan & Lazerbeak of Doomtree, Toki Wright, Grieves, Awol One and there were over 15,000 in attendance.

Omaha

St. Louis

St. Louis is one of the most popular cities in midwest hip-hop, releasing many popular artists such as Huey, Jibbs, J-Kwon, Nelly, Chingy, Unladylike, Jus Bleezy, Murphy Lee, and even Akon. Nelly and his St. Lunatics collectively went on to a career driven by commercial singles, many of which were produced by St Louis production team Basement Beats. Nelly's debut album, Country Grammar, sold over 10 million albums and put St Louis on the national map in the hip hop industry. In 2001 the St. Lunatics released their debut album Free City with hits such as "Summer in the City" and "Midwest Swing". Ali released his solo album Heavy Starch in 2002 and Murphy Lee released his solo album Murphy's Law in 2003.

In 2004, FLAME, also from St. Louis, became the first national Christian hip hop artist from the Midwest. FLAME has been nominated for Dove Awards, Stellar Award, and Grammy Award for Best Gospel Rap/Rock Album of the Year. St. Louis native Chingy signed to Atlanta rapper Ludacris' label DTP. Jibbs received his major deal at age 15 gaining popularity with hits such as "Chain Hang Low" and "King Kong", the latter featuring Texas rapper Chamillionaire. Another St. Louisian, J-Kwon, gained popularity at the age of 17 with the controversial single "Tipsy". Akon (born in St. Louis but raised in Senegal, Africa) is known for his African melodic singing is also a native of St. Louis. Rapper Huey received recognition with the smash hit Pop, Lock & Drop It from his 2007 album Notebook Paper at the age of 18.

Throughout the 2000s St Louis has also had a vibrant underground scene, featuring mainstays such as The Science, a live radio broadcast every Friday from Blueberry Hill, and the Hi-Pointe Cafe, a Monday night open mic. Dominant crews included Ruckus Crew, Midwest Avengers, Gatekeepaz, Altered St8s of Consciousness, Soul Tyde and The Committee, along with many other groups and solo acts. St Louis DJs and producers have held their own on a national level, as B-Money placed songs on Jay-Z's Kingdom Come and 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Trying, DJ Charlie Chan tours internationally as the backing DJ for DMC (from Run-DMC), and local crew The Wax Murdaraz have placed well in DJ battles such as the DMC championships.

Madison

Madison, Wisconsin has a relatively small underground hip hop scene. The CREST (AD, Jack Cracker) have been bringing regional and national artists to the liberal city for over ten years. These artists include Eyedea & Abilities, Juice, One Be Lo, Pigeon John among many others. Jack Cracker gained battle fame by his two top four finishes in Scribble Jam. The CREST is signed to Uprising Records and the single "Heart Shaped Box" is featured on 2K games "NBA 2K7". DJ Pain 1 and Starr form local group Fallguys and host Saturday nights on the local Hip hop station 93.1 Jamz. DJ Pain 1 also produced a track for Young Jeezy on his gold selling 2008 release. Artists such as L.O.S.T.S.O.U.L.S, Smokes, DLO, dumate, STINK TANK, RSP, and Reigny Day Productions are also local favorites. Madison party scene is included in many lyrics. Madison is greatly influenced by neighboring Milwaukee's scene.

Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, South Dakota also has a fairly small underground hip hop scene. The most notable act includes Soulcrate Music (A-Def, Dirtdee & DJ Absolute) who are signed to Kansas City based rapper Mac Lethal's Black Clover Records. They have since been on several tours since the summer of 2008 with labelmates Mac Lethal and Grieves. They have released several albums independently and under their record label. Some of these include: Obviously Bothered, A-Def Eisenhauer, DirtDee and Cardboard Cut-Outs No. 1 as well as a limited edition CD they released in May 2009. The popularity of Soulcrate Music has been built upon their live performances. They have shared the stage with several notable acts including Atmosphere, 311, Brother Ali, and more.

Sioux Falls also features V the Noble One and Trey Lane who are the faces of Flame-On Entertainment - a loose collection of Sioux Falls rappers. Trey Lane's albums include Built 4 This EP, The Standard, and More Than Music. V the Noble One's solo album which was released in the Spring of 2008 is titled Heavy Is the Head That Wears the Crown. V the Noble One is also known for his mixtapes and albums he did with a previous group called the Noblemen and Young Noble collective. Other members of Flame-On Entertainment include Blitz, Bru'tal and Ka$h. V the Noble One and Trey Lane are also noted for putting together a series of local rap battles called "Rap Wars."

Notable Native American battle-rapper Maniac the Siouxpernatural also lives in Sioux Falls and has released several albums under the Nightshield Entertainment record label.

Sioux falls is also home to hip-hop duo Truth and Adapt , who's energizing stage shows have been a staple and catalyst to the movement in Sioux Falls. They have released 3 albums since 2005. Truth and Adapt 's albums include "Things to Come" , "Some Love It, Some Live It" , and "I Got 5 On It" . Truth and Adapt have toured, headlined and performed all over the U.S. with the likes of Dilated Peoples, Aesop Rock, Murs, Brother Ali, OneBeLo, Evidence, Toki Wright, Young Buck, DJ Rhettmatic, Eyedea & Abilities, Jedi Mind Tricks, Doomtree, P.O.S, Qwel, Qwazaar, Heiruspecs, Psalm One, Kanser, Robust, Carnage, Afroman, Glue, Hanger 18, Mac lethal, R.A. the Rugged Man, 2mex, Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, Defari , Soulcrate Music, Scarub, Grieves, and The Crest to name a few.

Current and future trends

While the Midwest has lost some of its most supported acts, namely Proof of D12 and J Dilla, other artists stand to uphold the area's scene. Royce da 5'9", long eluded by commercial fame, is currently working on an album with DJ Premier and may sign with Nas's The Jones Experience; Lupe Fiasco has announced his next album, and Kanye West and Common have also both announced their next albums on GOOD Music, to be released sometime in '07.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are also releasing their seventh studio album, Uni5, with the newly reunited full five-man roster. This is the first time in over a decade that the full group has worked together on an album.[7] (Flesh-N-Bone is in jail liable for parole in 2008 and Bizzy Bone who left the group and is now back, has released an album this year titled A Song for You). On May 7, 2007, Strength & Loyalty was released on Interscope/Full Surface, with the singles "I Tried" featuring Akon, and "Lil L.O.V.E." with appearances from one time rival Twista, Mariah Carey, The Game, and many more plus production from Swizz Beatz.

In early 2008, hip hop duo Streetz & Young Deuces found success with their single "Dougie" and "Dat Guy" independently distributed through iTunes and Rhapsody. With the success of these club driven tracks, they have caught the attention of several major record labels.

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