Sticky Spice wrote:
So is it still considered the Golden Era considering how hip hop still impacts the airwaves and sales? If not, does this era have a name? How bout the era of suck?
The Golden Era is universally considered to be '86-'87ish to 1994. There's really no set term to define later eras in hip-hop, but I've heard 1994-1998/99 called the bling era and 1999-current called the indy/underground era, but neither of those have really caught on.
Personally, I use different criteria than old school, golden era, bling era, etc. For me there are two major turning points in modern hip-hop (modern being about 1985 on). The first was the emergence of Paul C. Every time a new piece of equipment was inroduced and mastered it changed the hip-hop landscape. Paul C was the first to master SP-1200. In fact, sometimes I feel like there was the "pre-Paul C" hip-hop of the SP-12 and beat juggling and beat boxes, and then the "post-Paul C" hip-hop of James Brown breaks, the SP-1200, and chopped loops. That legacy is still felt in rap today, pretty much wherever you hear sampling. It amazes me how many times I still hear James Brown breaks today that I could swear were taken from Paul C's legendary private stock of 12"es.
The second turning point was the release of Illmatic. Listen to any ten hip-hop CDs from New York artists that were released between 1988 and 1993, then listen to ten more from 1995-1999. Illmatic's impact on Nas' contemporaries can not be overstated. I almost feel bad for Nas that he has never been able to duplicate the initial success he had with his first album when he was 20. But then, he is responsible for one of the top two or three albums of all time, so I don't feel too bad for him.
Anyway, I don't even know what the hell I'm talking about anymore...sorry for getting off track.