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西岸说唱 West Coast Hip Hop

在Hip-Hop 世界里,这不仅是一个地理的分割。东西海岸说唱的区别在于它们不同的风格和内容。尽管也受 Hip-Hop 前辈如 Grandmaster Flash 和 Afrika Bambatta 的影响,西海岸说唱比起东海岸说唱,进一步从老派说唱游离开去。他们使用更 funky 的独特节奏,支持着流畅的、有旋律的曲调。西海岸说唱手还率先把“黑帮”文化良莠不分地带入 Hip-Hop 文化的前沿。尽管在说唱乐继续演变的过程中,东西海岸说唱的界限正在慢慢淡化,但仍有一个明显的 西海岸体系,包括从精髓的说唱乐队 N.W.A. 到 Snoop Dogg 和 Vallejo,以及加州的 E-40 等。

1989年时 N.W.A.发行了专辑 Straight Outta Compton ,从此西海岸说唱在它研磨的唱腔与市井的内容之上又加入了更强硬的嗓音,再加上它保持了其原有的作为聚会音乐的基本功能,这一切都使它在90年代成为 hip-hop 的主要力量。另外,南方说唱的兴起也使得东海岸说唱无法再保有其原先的音乐地位,但它也没有在90年代完全消失。除了 Puff Daddy 靠着 Bad Boy 的招牌占据了极其有利的地势并在流行乐坛也极负盛名以外,东海岸说唱还影响了一批风格各异且获得高度评价的艺人们,包括词作鉴赏家 Nas、电子化的 Fugees and Roots、以及受其影响极深的硬核组合 Wu-Tang Clan.


West Coast Rap dominated the hip-hop scene for the middle section of the '90s, making gangsta rap into a popular phenomenon and establishing Dr. Dre as one of the most influential figures in rap history. Still, even if Dre's patented G-funk defined the West Coast sound and style for many, California's rap scene was a great deal more diverse. Up until the mid- to late '80s, West Coast rap mostly imitated East Coast party rap, already considered old-school in its place of origin; however, both Los Angeles and the Bay Area soon proved to be fertile pastures. The former produced the landmark proto-gangsta recordings of Ice-T, the hugely influential, Latino-tinged stoner funk of Cypress Hill, and the warped comedy of the Pharcyde; the Bay Area countered with the pimp-obsessed rhymes of TOO|$HORTToo $hort, the P-Funk-inspired, good-humored Digital Underground, and the pop breakthrough of MC Hammer. In short, West Coast rap became as eclectic and difficult to pigeonhole as East Coast rap. However, N.W.A.'s 1989 gangsta-rap landmarkStraight Outta Compton set the stage for a more identifiable West Coast style — its sound was hard-hitting and minimalistic, its lyrics alternating between violent hedonism and righteously angry social commentary. Upon leaving N.W.A., Ice Cube made solo records which maintained that lyrical tone while employing noisy, Public Enemy-style production; his bandmate Dr. Dre discovered Snoop Doggy Dogg, signed to Death Row Records, and at the end of 1992 released The Chronic, the album that defined G-funk and spawned legions of imitators. The Chronic's gangsta hedonism and production style — whiny synthesizers, rolling P-Funk beats, and deep, slow grooves — provided the blueprint that made Death Row the biggest hip-hop label of the early '90s, scoring hits by Snoop, Warren G.,Tha Dogg Pound, and more. Controversial gangsta star 2Pac joined the label in late 1995 and became a crossover superstar with theDre duet "California Love," and Coolio had taken a more pop-oriented version of the West Coast sound to the top of the charts earlier in the year with "Gangsta's Paradise." However, West Coast dominance soon crumbled — 2Pac was murdered in 1996, Drejumped ship, and Death Row CEO Suge Knight was jailed over business practices. By the end of the '90s, hip-hop's focus had turned back to the East Coast and to the emerging South.



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