James Brown records “Sex Machine” and “Funky Drummer” featuring John Sparks and Clyde Stubblefield, respectively on the drums. Both of these songs would be used by DJs and producers for years to come.
DJ Kool Herc, born Clive Campbell, moved from Jamaica to the United States at age 11.
Afrika Bambaataa started DJing in his building’s recreation room with single turntables set up on each side of the room.
Little Sister “Somebody’s Watching You” is the first song to chart featuring a drum machine.
The iconic Technics SL-1200 turntable debuts. It is considered an industry standard even after production of the turntables stopped in 2010.
DJ Kool Herc holds a historic party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Bronx, NY.
Kevin Donovan, better known as Afrika Bambaataa forms the Zulu Nation.
James Brown releases “Funky President,” which, like “Funky Drummer,” would also become an essential piece of music in the DJ and Producer repertoire.
Billed as the first DJ battle, DJ Afrika Bambaataa spun records against Disco King Mario at a performance at the Bronx River Center.
The Rock Steady Crew was formed in the Bronx, New York by four B-Boys: JoJo, Jimmy Dee, Easy Mike, and P-Body.
Roland launched the MC8 Microcomposer. It was the first ‘computer music composer’, but in reality it was an advanced digital sequencer.
Sugar Hill Gang release “Rapper’s Delight” and it reaches #36 on the Billboard Music Charts, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five release “Superappin’,” and Fatback Band release “King Tim III (Personality Jock)”.
Afrika Bambaataa released “Zulu Nation Throwdown Part 1 & 2”, Kurtis Blow drops “The Breaks”, and Lady B releases “To the Beat, Y’all.”
Roland releases the TR-808 Rhythm Composer. This drum sequencer featured classic drums including the now ubiquitous 808 kick drum sound.
Sugar Hill Gang release “Apache” which samples Incredible Bongo Band’s cover of “Apache”. The original was performed by British instrumental rock band The Shadows.
Grand Wizard Theodore and the Fantastic Five release “Can I Get a Soul Clap/ Fresh Out the Pack.”
Afrika Bambaata releases “Planet Rock”, “Looking for the Perfect Beat”, and “Renegades of Funk”, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five release “The Message”.
Cold Crush Brothers release “Punk Rock Rap”, and Run DMC release “It’s Like That/Sucker MC’s”.
Mr. Magic’s radio show, Rap Attack, was the first of its kind on popular radio. It was featured on WBLS in New York.
Roland debuts the TR-909 the first MIDI equipped drum machine.
Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons found the legendary Def Jam Recordings, a label ultimately under Universal Music Group. Def Jam would go on to sign an array of rap moguls, from Kanye West, Common, and Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest to Jadakiss, Nas, Ludacris, and Redman of Wu-Tang Clan.
“It’s Yours” by T. La Rock/ Jazzy Jay is released.
Steinberg releases Steinberg Pro 16. for the Commodore 4. This is the first computer based Midi sequencing software.
Korg launched the first low-cost drum machine in the DDM-110.
The 61-key Roland D50 debuts combining sampling and synthesis in an affordable instrument.
The classic E-mu SP-1200 drum machine and sampler is released by E-mu Systems Inc. It had notable users such as J Dilla, Pete Rock, Large Professor, the Beastie Boys, and Dr. Dre.
The Casio FZ-1 sampling synthesizer keyboard was released followed by the rack mount version, the FZ-10. Notable users are MF DOOM and 2 Live Crew.
Akai updates the S900 with the warm and gritty sounding S950 Sampler.
Roger Linn and Akai work together to release the MPC60. This is the first installment of the famed series of MPC MIDI Production systems
Korg introduces the M1 synthesizer workstation.
Gangstar’s debut album No More Mr. Nice Guy is released. All but one song is produced by DJ Premier and Guru. “Gusto” was produced by The 45 King.
On January 20th, Avid Technology launched the revolutionary digital audio workstation "Pro Tools" that complied with both Mac and Windows interface operating systems.
A Tribe Called Quest releases People’s Instinctive Travels.
Pete Rock & CL Smooth release the All Souled Out EP.
General MIDI formalizes synthesiser and drum sounds.
A Tribe Called Quest releases The Low End Theory.
Ensoniq releases the ASR-10 sampling keyboard. The production tool went on to be used by many of Hiphop’s elite producers such as J Dilla, Large Professor, NO I.D., Kanye West, The RZA, and others.
Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa & Kool DJ Herc appear on the cover of The Source Source Magazine in November.
A Tribe Called Quest is featured on the cover of The Source in the following month, December.
In March, CAMPBELL, aka SKYYWALKER, et al. v. ACUFF ROSE MUSIC, INC. is decided in the Supreme Court when 2 Live Crew was accused of copyright infringement for making a parody of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”. It was decided that the 2 Live Crew’s “Pretty Woman” did not infringe on Orbison’s song under the fair use act.
On April 19th, Nas releases his debut album Illmatic. It featured production from Pete Rock, Q-Tip, DJ Premier, Large Professor, and L.E.S.
Akai releases the MPC3000. This is the last MPC that Roger Linn worked on. This drum machine and sampler was said to be Dr. Dre's main piece of equipment to use while producing in the studio.
Shawn "JAY Z" Carter, Damon "Dame" Dash, and Kareem "Biggs" Burke found Roc-A-Fella Records in New York City, a label that goes on to discover and sign Kanye West, Beanie Sigel, The Diplomats, and more.
Dr. Dre founds and launches "Aftermath Entertainment," a hip-hop record label that would later team with Shady Records and Top Dog Entertainment, under Interscope Records. This label would go on to release a number of critically acclaimed and noteworthy rap albums, including The Firm's "The Album," Dr. Dre's "The Chronic 2001," Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP," 50 cent's "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp A Butterfly," and many more.
On September 13th, 2pac is shot and killed in Las Vegas, Nevada after an overwhelming hype of beef between the West coast hip-hop scene and the East coast hip-hop scene, a hype represented by 2pac of the West coast and The Notorious B.I.G. of the East coast.
Akai’s MPC 2000 marks the first non-Roger Linn MPC collaboration even though it features a lot of its predecessors technology.
Slum Village releases Fantastic Vol. 1 independently. J Dilla produces the entire album.
A year after 2pac's death, on March 9th Biggie Smalls is shot and killed in Los Angeles, California.
Proceeding the death of 2pac and The Notorious B.I.G., Mos Def and Talib Kweli come together as "Back star," to release an album that promote peace, love, and positivity among and through hip-hop culture.
Eminem and Paul Rosenberg found Shady Records and team with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. Both of these labels operate under Interscope Geffen A&M Records.
On February 27th, J Dilla releases his first solo album entitled Welcome To Detroit.
An official beef is declared between JAY Z and Nas, calling upon both rappers to conduct a lyrical face-off. In early September, JAY Z releases “The Blueprint,” a few months earlier than Nas' release of "Stillmatic," where each album has its respective diss track. JAY Z's "Takeover" commences the battle, and Nas replies with "Ether" in mid-December.
Early February marks the release of “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” by 50 Cent.
Serato Audio Research releases Serato Scratch Live.
On February 10th, Kanye West releases his debut album "The College Dropout." This album would later win the Grammy for "Best Rap Album" at the 47th Grammy Awards.
On February 7th, J Dilla releases Donuts on his 32nd birthday which was also three days before his death. The three-quarters complete, "The Shining" was posthumously released in August of that year.
September 11th of 2007 marked the globally broadcasted showdown between Kanye West's "Graduation" and 50 Cent's "Curtis" to see which album would sell better. The two made an agreement to carry this out as a result of their consistent but healthy competition. The winner would be presented the metaphorical crown of hip-hop.
Kanye West releases 808s & Heartbreak proceeding the separation with his long-term partner and fiancée, Alexis Phifer, and the loss of his mother.
Kanye West releases My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Teenage Engineering releases OP-1: a sequencer, sampler, and synthesizer with OLED display.
Kendrick Lamar drops “good Kid, m.A.A.d city" in late October.
A Tribe Called Quest announces its final performances as a segment of Kanye West's Yeezus tour.
On March 15th, Kendrick Lamar releases "To Pimp A Butterfly."