East Coast hip hop is a regional subgenre of hip hop music that originated in New York City during the 1970s. Hip hop is recognized to have originated and evolved first in The Bronx, New York; East Coast hip hop only became a distinct subgenre after artists from other regions of the United States emerged with different styles. In contrast to other styles, East Coast hip hop music has prioritized complex lyrics for attentive listening rather than beats for dancing. The main components of hip hop culture from that time and still today are MC’ing, DJ’ing, break dancing, and graffiti.In contrast to the simplistic rhyme pattern and scheme utilized in old school hip hop, East Coast hip hop has been noted for its emphasis on lyrical dexterity. It has also been characterized by multi-syllabic rhymes, complex wordplay, a continuous free-flowing delivery and intricate metaphors. East Coast hip hop has a uniform sound and style, it tends to gravitate to aggressive beats and sample collages. The aggressive and hard-hitting beats of the form were emphasized by such acts as EPMD, Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, while artists such as Eric B. & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions, Big Daddy Kane, and Slick Rick were noted for their lyrical skill. Lyrical themes throughout the history of East Coast hip hop have ranged from lyrical consciousness by such artists as Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest to mafioso rap themes by rappers such as, MF Grimm and Kool G Rap.
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