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The History of Hip-Hop

Hip-Hop Timeline: 2006 - Present


  • Nas inks a joint-label deal with Def Jam and Columbia.
  • Detroit producer/MC Jay Dee (James Yancey) dies of complications from lupus (the autoimmune disease) on February 10, 2006.
  • D-12's Proof (Deshaun Holton) is shot and killed at CCC Club on East 8 Mile Road on April 10.
  • Jay-Z ends his three-year break from active recording and bounces back with Kingdom Come. The album includes a diss track to Cam'ron and Jim Jones.
  • Nas' Def Jam debut, Hip-Hop Is Dead, dusts up controversy and debate over its title.
  • Inspired by the movie 'American Gangster,' Jay-Z records a concept album by the same name. American Gangster
  • On November 12, Donda West, mother of Kanye West, dies from the complications of surgery.
  • KRS-One and Marley Marl put two decades of rivalry behind them and collaborate on an album titled Hip-Hop Lives
  • Dipset/Byrd Gang rapper Stack Bundles (born Rayquon Elliott) is shot and killed outside his home in Queens, New York.
  • In the months leading up to the 2008 presidential election, Democratic nominee Barack Obama galvanizes hip-hop artists into action, leading to a slew of Obama rap tributes.
  • Jay-Z becomes the first rapper to headline Glastonbury, the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world.
  • Brooklyn MC Jamal "Gravy" Woolard is recruited to play the Biggie Smalls in the biopic Notorious.
  • Eminem ends his four-year sabbatical with the release of Relapse. The album debuts at No. 1 and scores a Grammy win for Best Rap Album.
  • T.I. is sentenced to 12 months in federal prison for illegal weapons possession.
  • DJ AM is found dead in his New York apartment, following a series of ominous tweets.
  • Four revered MCs Detroit's Royce da 5'9", California's Crooked I, New Jersey's Joe Budden, and Brooklyn's Joel Ortiz join forces to form a supergroup named Slaughterhouse. Their self-titled debut re-energizes the lyricism movement in hip-hop.
  • Gang Starr co-founder and hip-hop icon Guru dies on April 19 after a grueling battle with cancer.
  • Bun B's third solo album, Trill OG, becomes the first album in five years to receive The Source magazine's 5-mic award.
  • Wyclef Jean declares for presidency of his native country Haiti. Jean's candidacy is eventually rejected by the electoral council.


  • Flavor Flav opens a fried chicken restaurant in Clinton, Iowa.
  • A new LA collective known as OFWGKTA ear-rapes The Jimmy Fallon Show. People compare them to Wu-Tang.
  • Wyclef Jean is shot just outside Port-au-Prince in Haiti. He gets treated at a local hospital and leaves the same day.
  • G-Funk specialist Nate Dogg dies at 41.
  • Flava dumps his fried chicken joint after just 4 months.
  • FBI reveals documents from Biggie's murder investigation.
  • Heavy D dies at 44.
  • DMX says he doesn't like Drake.
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  5. Hip-Hop Timeline: 1925 - Present

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