A digital relic of rap history has been unearthed
In the early-to-mid 90s, hip hop was in its prime, both commercially and artistically. Not only did the movement cause a cultural earthquake, it also inspired a whole generation of hip hop obsessives, giving them a seemingly endless supply of dope albums to discuss and debate. Unlike today, where such discussion is constantly documented, shared, and commodified, the heated debates of the time were mostly confined to the barbershop.
However, a good deal of OG hip hop fans were ahead of the curve, and were promoting, debating their passion online way before Facebook and Twitter had even been conceptualized. The result today is a hip hop nerd’s dream – a vast archive documenting all the comings and goings of the golden era of rap.
The Google group, named alt.rap, holds around 65,000 discussion threads, the majority of which have timestamps from the 1990s. No images, no hashtags; just an old school forum that provides raw snapshots of the biggest events in hip hop history.
In this post from 1994, a hip hop junkie tells of his delight at the release of Nas‘ seminal album Illmatic, and how he had queued up at HMV to buy the album at midnight. Needless to say, he was not disappointed.
There’s the reaction to the tragic death of Notorious BIG, an event which could arguably be pinpointed as the end of the golden era. A couple of years later, there is a great deal of confusion and debate among the alt.rap community as a young Eminem bursts onto the scene. It’s amusing to see that, when it comes to Marshall, opinion is split just as much as it is today.
If you’re a hip hop fan, and you have a little spare time on your hands, dig through this group using the search feature. You will not be disappointed.
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