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Hip-hop history 808: a trip through hip-hop music from 2010 till 2019

2020 is here and that means we can end another decade in the music industry. The tennies, 2010 until 2019, have brought us an enormous amount of American hip-hop tracks and events you should remember. Growing up in this period, these songs will always be a reference to our, and maybe your, teenage years. From classic hip-hop, to drill, to Atlanta trap on 808 type of beats all the way down to grime. Google and our memory offered us uncountable things to talk about. So we've sorted out what seemed like the things that would be in a hip-hop history syllabus! Here's the playlist in case you want to get in the mood while reading.

Article by Yaell Monas, header picture by Ashley Okwuego


Let's start at the beginning, with Lil Wayne going to prison, TI getting out and Gucci Mane being sentenced for the who-knows-how-many-time. The 'We Are Young Money' album gets certified gold. Not a big surprise thinking the album contains Nicki Minaj, Drake, Tyga, Lil Wayne and features of Gucci Mane, Lloyd and more.

Then, the 'Recovery' album by Eminem drops, 'Thank Me Later' by Drake follows. And the Canadian rapper decided to throw the very first edition of OVO Festival. His own festival in his hometown Toronto. Eminem's album has the most first-week sales of that year, Nicki Minaj comes through with her 'Pink Friday' album and Kanye West drops 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'. We also lost Magnolia Shorty this year, a female rapper who was part of the Cash Money crew, due to a gunfight. Kanye West launched his GOOD Fridays series, with 15 free tracks releasing and later returning in 2016 and 2018. West kept releasing freely downloadable tracks of him and other artists through these years.

Throwback songs of the year 2010: Kanye West - Power, Waka Flocka Flame - No Hands, B.O.B ft. Hayley Williams- Airplanes, Wiz Khalifa - Black and Yellow, Drake - Over, DJ Khaled - All I Do Is Win, Eminem - Not Afraid, Kanye West - Runaway, Eminem ft. Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie


Eminem won two Grammy's with his 'Recovery' album, Ja Rule went to prison for two years for gun charges and Lil Wayne dropped 'Tha Carter IV' album. Drake clearly went through emotions, with Rihanna breaking his heart. And then wrote them down on 'Take Care', which is still one of the greatest in-your-feelings albums in hip-hop history. And of course, Jay Z and Kanye West teamed up for their 'Watch The Throne' album, which went platinum, and a world tour followed quickly.

Throwback songs of the year 2011: Kanye West ft. Jay-Z - Ni**as in Paris, A$AP Rocky - Peso, Tyler The Creator - Yonkers, Tyga - Rack City, Drake - Headlines, Nicki Minaj - Super Bass, Lil Wayne ft. Drake - She Will


Kanye West started his year with four Grammy Awards. The world was shocked over the hologram guest performance of 2Pac during Snoop Dogg's show on Coachella. Pusha T and Lil Wayne started beefing, Lil Phat was shot and Frank Ocean wrote an open letter about being gay on Tumblr followed by his album 'Channel Orange'. He'll be ghosting the world for a few years from this point on.

Lil Wayne tops Elvis on Billboard appearances, Kendrick Lamar dropped 'Good Kid M.A.A.D. City', Nicki Minaj is back with 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded' and NAS released 'Life is Good'. During fall 2012, the first edition of 'Camp Flog Gnaw' by Tyler The Creator took place. The rapper started his own festival which is now one of the biggest and most hyped hip-hop festivals in the USA. And Snoop Dogg pulled some shenanigans and changed his name into Snoop Lion. Which he later, of course, regretted and changed back.

Throwback songs of the year 2012: Chief Keef - I Don't Like, Kendrick Lamar - M.A.A.D City, Snoop Dogg ft. Wiz Khalifa - Young, Wild and Free, Kanye West - Mercy, A$AP Rocky ft. Drake ft. 2Chainz - F**kin' Problems, Drake ft. Rihanna - Take Care, Drake - Started From The Bottom, Frank Ocean - Thinkin' Bout You, Chief Keef - Love Sosa


In January, security kicked Lupe Fiasco off stage at former US-president Barack Obama's inauguration party after throwing anti-Obama comments. Drake won his first Grammy for best rap album and Kanye West and Jay Z both won three. Lil Wayne suffered multiple seizures, someone robbed 2Chainz and Wiz Khalifa married Amber Rose. Tyler The Creator blessed us with 'Wolf', and some stranger leaked the entire 'Yeezus' album by Kanye West on June 14th.

There was the breakthrough of Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj was not pleased. While DJ Khaled just wanted Minaj to marry him after he proposed to her live on MTV with a 10 karat diamond ring. Minaj said no, as they weren't even in a relationship before the proposal. Future and Drake had a two-day beef over their tour, but they fixed it pretty quick. LA Capone got shot, Eminem became the second artist with four songs in the top 20 of the Billboard top 100 at the same moment, Atlanta rap trio Migos broke through and GQ chose Kendrick Lamar as the rapper of the year.

Throwback songs of the year 2013: Migos - Versace, Rich Homie Quan - Some Type of Way, Eminem - Rap God, YG ft. Jeezy - My Nigga, A$AP Ferg - Work, Jay-Z ft. Justin Timberlake - Holy Grail, Macklemore ft. Ryan Lewis - Thrift Shop, A$AP Ferg ft. A$AP Rocky - Shabba


Macklemore won four Grammy Awards while Freddie Gibbs and Young Jeezy started beefing about the ending of the Gibbs' record deal with Jeezy's label and Dr. Dre sued his previous label Deathrow Records. The police arrested Chris Brown for disobeying his restraining order against women after beating Rihanna in 2009. Someone shot Chief Keef's cousin Blood Money. Tyga and The Game dissed Lil Durk on 'Chi-Raq to LA', and Gucci Mane goes to prison for two years. Bobby Shmurda, who just broke through with 'Hot N*ggah', was arrested and would be in jail up until 2020. While half of the hip-hop world was in jail, hip-hop fans all over the world were pleased with G-unit reuniting at Hot 97 Summer Jam. A hip-hop party in New Jersey sponsored by New York-based Hot 97 radio.

In the meantime, Eminem won two Billboard awards and was the first rapper ever to headline London's Wembley Stadium. And Jay-Z became even richer by releasing his own streaming service, Tidal. Where he posted all of his own music, next to music of other big artists such as Beyonce's and Nicki Minaj. It would take years before the Tidal artists released their music on other streaming services Spotify and Apple Music. Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and G-Unit made history with a video at GGN where Snoop impersonates mumble rappers, showing off he is not pleased with the changes in hip-hop. Mumble rap will only grow from this point on. Making its big breakthrough via the Atlanta series of Childish Gambino, which later won a Golden Globe.

Throwback songs of the year 2014: Bobby Shmurda - Hot N*igga, Rae Sremmurd - No Type, Rich Gang - Lifestyle, Nicki Minaj - Anaconda, Joey Bada$$ - Christ Conscious, J Cole - Wet Dreamz, Wiz Khalifa - We Dem Boyz, OT Genasis - Coco


This year started off pretty sad when A$AP Yams overdosed and died and Young Pappy was fatally shot. HotStylz sued Eminem for copying their music in 'Rap God' and Offset and Quavo get arrested for drug and weapon charges. Tyler The Creator makes the 'Cherry Bomb' album, which didn't get the response he expected. He later canceled part of his world tour in Australia due to a campaign of CollectiveShout against the bad portrayal of women in his lyrics. And he got a three-year ban from the UK for his controversial lyrics including bashing gay people and rapping about violence against women. Although he later explained he never meant what he rapped about. He also came out as gay himself on his album 'Scum Fuck Flower Boy' in 2017.

50 Cent literally owned 50 cents when he went bankrupt in 2015. Later that year, Young Thug and Birdman allegedly conspired against Lil Wayne and shooting his tour bus. Birdman got sued multiple other times that same year. And the news got out Tyga wasn't as rich as he made it seem, being sued for not paying rent. The year ended with Chris Brown who, once again, couldn't keep his hands to himself and beat up a man. And UK Grime became even more internationally known with Skepta's 'Shutdown' going viral. Although Dizzee Rascal already opened the doors for the UK Grime king a few years earlier.

Throwback songs of the year 2015: Drake - Hotline Bling, Wiz Khalifa - See You Again, Fatty Wap - Trap Queen, Silento - Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae), Desiigner - Panda, Travis Scott - Antidote, XXXTentacion - Look At Me!, Young Thug - Best Friend, Kendrick Lamar - Alright, Big Sean ft. Drake ft. Kanye West - Blessings, Skepta - Shutdown


The year where trap artists became really big and older rappers being angry about it. 'GOOD Fridays' by Kanye West returned at the beginning of 2016, where West dropped another series of free downloadable tracks on the internet. And Future becomes the fastest artist to chart three number 1 albums in one year. TI becomes the new co-owner of Tidal. Beyonce dropped the 'Lemonade' album right after the Jay-Z cheating scandal hit the news. She and her sister Solange with 'A Seat at the Table' became the first and only siblings to both have a number 1 album in the same year at the Billboard 100. And Frank Ocean gave up ghosting and dropped the album 'Blond' after letting us wait for four years

Joe Budden and Drake start beefing, which is followed by multiple diss tracks. YG starts 4Hunnid records and Kanye West signs Tyga and Migos to 'GOOD music'. Later, Kanye West was hospitalized for hallucinations and Kid Cudi for depression and suicidal thoughts. 2016 contained lots of music videos, but not one as big as the 'Famous' video by Kanye West in which he used naked wax figures of Taylor Swift, Trump and more. The video was so controversial, Taylor Swift wasn't pleased and Kim Kardashian used Snapchat to expose her giving permission.

Throwback songs of the year 2016: Drake - One Dance, DRAM ft. Lil Yachty - Broccoli, Aminé - Caroline, Zay Hilfigerrr - Juju On That Beat, 21 Savage - No Heart, Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert - Bad and Boujee, Fat Joe - All The Way Up, Ski Mask The Slump God - Catch Me Outside, Lil Pump - Gucci Gang, Playboi Carti - Magnolia, J. Cole - Deja Vu, Kanye West - Famous, Beyoncé - Hold Up, Post Malone - White Iverson


Drake's Summer Sixteen tour becomes the highest-grossing hip-hop tour in history, making 84 million dollars. NAV and J.I.D got signed and Nicki Minaj has a feud with Remy Ma about allegedly copying a track of Ma. Kodak Black was, once again, arrested in February that year and XXX was released from prison after being there for domestic abuse charges. Nicki Minaj becomes the most entered female rapper in the Billboard hot 100 with 76 different entries and 'The Life of Pablo' by Kanye West is the first streaming-only album to go platinum. Sheck Was dropped 'Mo Bamba', which made literally everyone on earth scream 'FUCK, SHIT, BITCH'.

Prodigy died in June from accidental choking, and Forbes reported that hip-hop is the most popular music genre for the first time in history (before that, it used to be rock). Kendrick Lamar dropped his masterpiece 'DAMN.', and Cardi B with 'Bodak Yellow' becomes the first solo female rapper who gets a number one Billboard hot 100 track since Lauryn Hill in 1998. 6ix9ine broke through in 2017, and on November 15th we lost rapper Lil Peep to an overdose. This was live-streamed on Instagram by best friend and co-rapper Bexey Swann, who later apologized as he thought Peep just passed out.

Throwback songs of the year 2017: Cardi B - Bodak Yellow, Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE, Lil Uzi Vert - XO Tour Life, Future - Mask Off, 6ix9ine - GUMMO, Post Malone ft. 21 Savage - Rockstar, Sheck Wes - Mo Bamba


Fredo Santana died and everyone is still hating on Russ after the rapper has been hated by other rappers since the beginning of 2017. Kendrick's album 'DAMN.' wins the Pulitzer Prize for Music, as the first hip-hop artist ever. Meek Mill got out of jail, and Drake broke all streaming records with 'God's Plan' which made everyone yell along "I only love my bed and my momma, I'm sorry". With 'Look Alive', Drake let everyone dance very weird and Lil Xan canceled his own career by saying 2Pac was boring. RIP.

NBA Youngboy was released from prison, '?' by XXXTentacion dropped and J.Cole and Lil Pump did the most cringe-worthy interview in hip-hop history with 'The End of F*** J.Cole'. Cardi B dropped 'Invasion of Privacy', while her boyfriend's clique drops 'Culture II'. Pusha T shocks the whole world by exposing Drake has a son, and Childish Gambino releases the music video for 'This Is America'. Which again, shocks the whole world. Kanye West reveals he's not as smart as everyone may think, by dropping some controversial (to say the least) comments on slavery.

'Die Lit' by Playboi Carti drops, which might be the only album we get, probably ever as the rapper never made another album while fans are stalking him on socials waiting for the next one. A$AP Rocky releases the album 'Testing', with an amazing music video for 'A$AP Forever'. In June we lost XXXTentacion to a drive-by shooting. The whole world is shocked due to the loss of the 20-year-old artist, who drops a music video of attending his own funeral 10 days after his death. Drake kills all streaming records with 'Scorpion'. And Beyoncé kept Jay-Z in cuffing season by making a whole album together under the name of 'The Carters'. They also showed off how rich they are by renting the Louvre for their music video to 'APESHIT'.

Cardi B gives birth to daughter Kulture, and 6ix9ine is kidnapped and later hospitalized. Kodak Black was released from prison, and we lost Mac Miller in September due to an overdose. In August 2018, Travis Scott FINALLY drops 'Astroworld', which is a hip-hop masterpiece, and later turns it into a whole damn festival. Cardi B fights with Nicki Minaj and it's all on video. Sheck Wes drops 'Mudboy' and 6ix9ine eventually gets arrested and faces a life sentence in jail. If his week wasn't shitty enough, his whole album 'Dummy Boy' leaked online. The year ended with Jaden Smith saying Tyler The Creator is his boyfriend.

Throwback songs of the year 2018: Drake - God's Plan, Childish Gambino - This Is America, Travis Scott ft. Drake - Sicko Mode, Post Malone ft. TY Dolla $ign - Psycho!, XXXTentacion - Sad!, Juice WRLD - Lucid Dreams, Drake ft. BlocBoy JB - Look Alive, Cardi B ft. J Balvin - I Like It, 6ix9ine ft. Nicki Minaj - FEFE, Kanye West ft. Lil Pump - I Love It, The Carters - APESHIT, Rich The Kid - Plug Walk, Cardi B ft. Migos ft. Nicki Minaj - Motorsport, A$AP Ferg - Plain Jane, Kodak Black - ZEZE, Gunna - Never Recover, Blueface - Thotiana, A$AP Rocky - A$AP Forever


The year started with Soulja Boy's comeback stating he's the godfather of nowadays hip-hop artists. He later made his own game console, which did not sell at all. 6ix9ine pled guilty to a life sentence and decided to, later on, snitch almost everyone in the hip-hop world. In February it turned out 21 Savage was actually not an American, but a British rapper with a visa that was expired. YNW Melly turns himself in for double homicide charges on his best friends. RIP his career.

Kanye West starts 'Sunday Service', brings it to Coachella and finally drops his 'Jesus is King' album. Cardi B wins the Grammy Award for best rap album, although she got called out for "doing a reverse Bill Cosby". Lil Nas X drops 'Old Town Road' together with Billy Ray Cyrus, being number one in the Billboard Hot 100 for 19 weeks straight. That's the longest ever.

Nipsey Hussle got killed, which was very sad news for the hip-hop world. DaBaby releases two albums this year, 'Baby on Baby' and 'Kirk'. He then goes viral with the 'BOP dance'. Rolling Loud Festival has its first edition, which turns out to be the biggest hip-hop festival in the world. Tyler The Creator drops 'IGOR', and later on beefs with DJ Khaled as Khaled's album got second after IGOR as most streamed. Lil Dicky breaks the internet with the most amazing freestyle of all times, and Skepta drops 'Ignorance is Bliss' while there are rumors he is dating Adele.

A$AP Rocky got locked up in Sweden and it was President Trump getting him out. "It was a Rocky week. Now get home asap, A$AP!" is probably the worst pun ever made. Young Thug dropped 'So Much Fun' and Nicki Minaj retired from music. Joe Budden later calls Logic the worst rapper of all time and Travis Scott breaks up with Kylie Jenner. Famous Dex shocked everyone by getting a seizure on stage, and Drake got booed off of the stage at Tyler's Camp Flog Gnaw. He shouldn't worry though, as he turns out to be the most-streamed artist of the decade. At the end of 2019 and the end of this decade, we tragically lost Juice WRLD due to a drug overdose. Another big loss for the hip-hop world.

Throwback songs of the year 2019: Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus - Old Town Road, DaBaby - Suge, 21 Savage ft. J.Cole - A Lot, Young Thug - The London, Lil Tecca - Ransom, Offset ft. Cardi B - Clout, Skepta - Greaze Mode, DaBaby - BOP

We've listed up all these songs in a new Spotify playlist on our Chase Spotify account. Follow us on Spotify and listen to the playlist below!

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