Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hip-Hop Game Changer: 1995 Source Awards

It was the event that started the war. The tension between East coast and West coast rappers had been mounting for years. The perception was that East coast power brokers didn't respect West coast rappers and were unwilling to acknowledge that West coast hip-hop was more popular than East coast hip-hop around the nation. In other words, New York was reluctant to give up its position as the focal point of rap. It all came to a head in 1995 at the Source Awards. Suge Knight called out P Diddy and told the hip-hop world to come over to Death Row if they were tired of watching CEO's dancing around in videos. What started out as a feud between Bad Boy and Death Row records quickly escalated into a battle between The East coast and the West coast. The media had a field day with the conflict instigating bad blood and animosity between the two rivals. It was big business to keep the feud going as long as they could. Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. were the generals of this war, the two biggest rappers on the planet at that time. Their influence on the culture can not be overlooked. It had a profound impact on the overall outcome. They were the face of their respected armies and paid the ultimate price. Had it not been for their tragic deaths the war may have never ended. A pyrrhic victory of sorts I guess. The lessons to be learned here are simple, respect one another and don't let outside forces manipulate your feelings. Let's hope history doesn't repeat itself.

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