Hip-hop might not have started in "The Bridge", but many of today's most esteemed and established artists used to call the Queensbridge projects home. Marley Marl, Nas, Mobb Deep, and Cormega are just a few examples. Nowadays, Queensbridge has become well-known for it's specific type of hip-hop music. Nasty Nas, the Mobb, Mega, Tragedy Khadafi, CNN and Big Noyd's styles and sound all stand out when compared to the music of today. And you can genuinely argue that they created their own genre of hip-hop... gritty ghetto tales illuminated by the best production of the day.
Queensbridge first became known as a hip-hop hotbed six years after Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight". MC Shan released the infamous: "The Bridge". Although the song was an ode to Shan's experience in the Bridge, KRS One took it as Queensbridge's claim to starting hip-hop. This started the "Bridge Wars", which lasted for a few years, and only died down because of the death of DJ Scott La Rock.
During the "Bridge Wars", Marley Marl and The Juice Crew also came up. They represented the new-school genre of hip-hop at that time, very closely associated with Prince Paul and De La. Marley Marl himself is one of the most legendary producers ever. Working with Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Biz Markie, Masta Ace, and also mixing for Eric B (of Rakim fame). The Juice Crew was just as notable in hip-hop history, playing a large part in ending "The Bridge Wars. They also created the "first" posse cut in history with "The Symphony". And almost all the members have since branched out to more successful solo careers.
And finally you have the Mafioso era, when the East Coast took NWA's initiative and created it's own genre of gangster rap. "Illmatic" is not your classic mafioso record, but "It Was Written is. Mobb Deep came with two classics: "The Infamous" and "Hell On Earth". Capone-N-Noreaga (CNN) released "The War Report", which never gets the credit it deserves (don't sleep)! Cormega released his debut in '01, but if "The Testament" wouldn't have been shelved by Def Jam, that would be seen as a classic mafioso rap record. Big Noyd's debut "Episodes Of A Hustla" isn't a classic, but he has put in some major work with the Mobb. Blaq Poet's "Without A Warning" is one of the better albums to come from the supergroup Screwball. Tragedy Khadafi came through with "Tragedy: Saga of a Hoodlum" back in '93, and who can forget about The Firm?

That's why "The Bridge" is a mecca of hip-hop. On a sidenote, if you ever get a chance, I would definitely recommend checking out Tragedy: The Story of Queensbridge. Based on Khadafi's life, but also an documentary on the Queensbridge hip-hop scene.

Finally, I did not forget Rakim, he grew up in Long Island.
Posted on 2:17 PM by Guy Fawkes and filed under | 3 Comments »


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