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12 Of The Most Dope Moments In The History Of Rap

Because sometimes getting into rap takes more than one mic. And the dopeness continues on Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family, tomorrow at 11:30/10:30c only on MTV2.

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4. 1988–1990: N.W.A. spawns Ice Cube and Dr. Dre.

Dr. Dre perfects the West Coast production style, which leads to dominating the early '90s with his own album, '92's The Chronic, as well as controlling the radio with artists like Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and 50 Cent. Cube leaves his lyrical thumbprint all over Straight Outta Compton, but leaves N.W.A. and moves to New York to record AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, which expands his legacy as one of rap's best storytellers and modernizes mixtapes with "Jackin' for Beats."

5. July 25, 1989: The Beastie Boys release Paul's Boutique.

It legitimized a group of three white men as rappers, while also shoving well over 100 samples into 15 songs (some are catalogued here). Amazingly enough, the Brooklyn group records the entire album in L.A. — early signs that the East–West rap feud that would arise roughly two years later was an aberration.

6. November 9, 1993: Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest release perfect albums.

However, the two albums differ drastically: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) pushes gangster rap ahead by leaps and bounds and the group's unique setup influences artists like D12, Odd Future, and A$AP Mob. Meanwhile, Midnight Marauders perfects jazz rap with funky beats and positive lyrics — showcasing two very different sides of New York City rap on one day.

7. April 19, 1994: Nas releases "Illmatic."

A mix of jazz beats (one of which is even produced by A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip) and gangster storytelling make this a huge turning point in rap that both comes to define East Coast rapping and shifts the way people think about rhyming for decades.

8. August 3, 1995: André 3000 promises that "The South got somethin' to say."

At the height of the rap's notorious East-West rivalry, Atlanta's own Outkast won The Source's New Artist of the Year (Group) award, but were booed — and André predicted the diversity that would expand as the rivalry declined.

10. 2005: DatPiff starts hosting mixtapes online.

Mixtapes "sponsored" by artists and labels are hosted as free downloads, while basic members can download five non-sponsored mixtapes per day. Previously, mixtapes were circulated by hand or by torrent — making unsigned and rising rappers' entire catalogues subject to legal seizure.

12. October, 2009: RapGenius adds another layer to lyrics.

User- and rapper-submitted definitions put rap's puns, wordplay, and obscure references all into context for everyone. For example, Nas has an account on the site and explains some lyrics off his seminal album here.

Wednesdays, 2014: Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family returns to MTV2 at 11:30/10:30c for a second season.

View this video on YouTube


The Pittsburgh kid is back — sampling jazz, producing songs, unleashing mixtapes, and laying metaphors all over his tracks with rappers from all over the country.