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Music of the 1990s

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  • Grunge: The new rock n' roll of the nineties, literally. The "big four" are Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden.
  • Hip Hop Soul was a direct offshoot of New Jack Swing that was created in 1989 by R&B producer Teddy Riley, and quickly displaced its parent genre as the decade progressed.
  • Contemporary R&B would emerge from the death of New Jack Swing, the birth of Hip Hop Soul and from the synth-heavy R&B stylings of the 1980s.
  • Nu Metal: The new (alternative) metal of the nineties. Coolly received by critics and traditionalists, but very successful with teens.
  • New Jack Swing continued to have popularity in the first half of the 90s, though it would be seen as outdated by 1995 and was gradually replaced by other forms of R&B like Neo-Soul.
  • Alternative Hip Hop: Made hip-hop very chic among some white college kids.
  • Jazz Rap: Hip-Hop with heavy emphasis on jazz samples, and live jazz instrumentation; popularized by A Tribe Called Quest. Though beginning in the late Eighties, it saw the most commercial success in the 1990s.
  • Boy Bands
  • The "electronica" boom that crested in the mid-late '90s, including among others: Daft Punk and The Prodigy. On the other side, Trance also gained stride, with producers like Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz starting out in this decade.
  • Trip Hop: Originated in the early '90s in Bristol with bands Portishead and Massive Attack.
  • Dancehall Reggae also crosses over during this decade .
  • Britpop: Britain's response to Grunge, including acts such as Blur, Oasis, Pulp and Suede.
  • Riot Grrrl: A punk movement that began in the early 90s that combined Hardcore Punk with feminist subject matter. It has particular association with third wave feminism which some have suggested had grown out from this movement.
  • Midwestern rap acts
  • Gangsta Rap: The other new rock n' roll of the nineties.
  • G-Funk: A West Coast gangsta rap subgenre focused on Parliament-Funkadelic samples and a sunny, stoned sound.
  • Third Wave Ska such as: Reel Big Fish and No Doubt.
  • The Melodic Death Metal movement, which was started circa 1993.
  • Jungle/drum'n'bass, while we're at it: Goldie, Roni Size, UK Apachi, LTJ Bukem, Photek, Dillinja, DJ Krust, etc.
  • Black Metal was codified in the early and mid-1990's in Northern Europe, both musically and aesthetically. This is also the time of the infamous "Black Circle" hijinks such as murders, suicides, and church-burnings that helped give the popular image of black metal today.
  • Queercore began during the Nineties.
  • Eurobeat: The Italian-made version's initial popularity was primarily experienced in this decade.
  • Jam bands: A scene of psychedelic bands heavily influenced by the Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers Band, and known primarily for their live performances featuring improvisational jams. Top bands in this scene included Phish and the Dave Matthews Band, both of whom developed cult followings in the '90s that would endure for decades.
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