Edition#11 of our monthly Classic Material series pays tribute to the hip hop of 1997, a year which many associate with the dawn of the so called ‘Indie’ era. The music of 1997 set the stage the development of two distinct sounds over the following years, the underground independent sound nurtured by labels such as Correct, ABB, Rawkus and others and the commercial sound of the major labels typified by the output of artists such as Jay Z, Foxy Brown and others. Whilst the independent productions of the likes of Shawn J Period and DJ Hi Tek certainly broke new ground, the commercial output should not be written off, with novel sample sources still playing an important role (see Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz’ use of Steely Dan or Lil Kim’s use of Jeff Lorber for example).
Notable albums include, of course, Biggie’s seminal ‘Life After Death’ and at the other end of the spectrum Jurassic 5’s debut ‘J5’ EP and Company Flow’s leftfield classic ‘Funcrusher Plus’.
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