Chicago Hip Hop History 1980’s-2000’s

Kevin Beacham is a Chicago Hip Hop pioneer. Along with JP Chill @ Whpk , had the longest running college radio show dedicated to nothing but strictly hip hop. He later went on to promote events and eventually became a key element to the success of Rhyme Sayers entertainment [Atmosphere, Brother Ali,Psalm One etc.] The words below and the information were gathered by Kevin Beacham. Please feel free to spread this.


Chicago Hip Hop History 1980’s-2000’s

Compiled & written by Kevin Beacham [a.k.a Formless]

Obviously the history to Chicago’s Hip Hop scene is much more complex, intricate, and extensive than can be covered in this article, a magazine special or even a series of stories. This is merely an attempt to spotlight some of the key names, places, and events that helped shape it into what is has become. For more info on the Chicago Hip Hop scene (past, present, and/or future), as well as any of the artists or information in this piece feel free to contact:

Information sources & inspiration: J-bird, Bomb The Suburbs, E.C,, The Molemen, Upski, Flypapers, Jesse De La Pena, Kingdom Rock, Third Rail, PLEE Fresh, Slang, Trixster, Denz, Demon, Zore.

The Earliest stages of the Hip Hop scene in Chicago don’t differ much from most other areas outside of New York. It began by listening, admiring, bonding, and ultimately imitating it. The roots of Hip Hop date back to somewhere in-between the early to mid 70’s. Its story can be told by a variety of means. I’ve always found it best to visualize it as a series of chronological eras:

I. Old School to Middle School
II. The Golden Age of Hip Hop (’86-89):
III. The Production Era (’90-’93):
IV. The Independent label Era (’94-’97):
V. The Internet Era (’98-the present):

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s