Hard Core – Lil’ Kim (1996)


Hard Core album cover Hard Core album cover

The so called gansta rap had taken over as the premier rap style in hop hop by the mid ’90s. Cries of “keeping it real” by West Coast rappers implied that the smart edgy raps typical of Tribe Called Quest or the pop buffoonery of Will Smith was selling out rap to white people. They also thought the academic nature of eleeist rap was opening the floodgates for others to dilute the art form.

In response, a gritty new style developed centered around the worst stereotypes of black males in America. It may have started with N.W.A.’s prison stories, but had spread to include imagery from films about Italian gangster culture (Scarface, The Godfather etc.).

The new hard core had become the basis for a kind of misogynistic male posturing that in effect had the unintended effect of becoming the new sound of revolt for a generation…

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