Hardcore Hip Hop
Hardcore hip hop, also referred to as hardcore rap, is a sub-genre of hip hop music that developed through the East Coast hip hop scene in the 1980s. Pioneered by such artists as Schoolly D, Boogie Down Productions, and Kool G Rap, it is generally characterized by an aggressive sound and confrontational lyricism, while the form has often been associated with gangsta rap. However, hardcore hip hop does not generally revolve around "gangsta" lyrical themes, even though there is a great deal of overlap, especially among hardcore rappers of the 1990s. Similarly, while it is commonly associated with boom bap (a specific production style that got its name from the onomatopoeic representation of the drum sound; it was basically the
production style on the East Coast up until the very late 1990s), boom bap is not synonymous with the style even though a lot of hardcore artists from that time period did make use of it. While hardcore rap has been associated with a "monolithic 'gangsta' outlook" by the popular press, hardcore rappers have laid claim to a wide variety of ground. Following a breakthrough in the early 1990s, hardcore hip hop became a popular crossover style during the mid-1990s.