Hip-Hop Icons in the ’90s: The Photos

Many of rap’s biggest names came up in the ’90s. As these images show, they looked like stars right from the start. 

american rapper notorious big, aka biggie smalls, aka chris wallace 1972   1997, rolls a cigar outside his mother's house in brooklyn, new york, 18th january 1995  photo by clarence davisny daily news archive via getty images

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ARCHIVEGETTY IMAGES

Although hip-hop is the most dominant and influential musical genre in America today, it was still a burgeoning category in the early 1990s. Acts and artists like Wu-Tang Clan, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Queen Latifah, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg were just getting started. Their rise was fast, and by the close of the decade, they would be household names. Today they’re icons. As these 28 photos from the ’90s show, these stars all looked like stars right from the start.

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Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg at the 23rd Annual American Music Awards in 1996. Between them: MC Hammer with a cigar.

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Flavor Flav and Chuck D of Public Enemy perform in Chicago in 1990.

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Lauryn Hill performing in 1990.

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Missy Elliott in 1997.

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Tupac Shakur at the Regal Theater in Chicago in March 1994.

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The Notorious B.I.G. outside his mother’s house in in January 1995.

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Ice-T in Chicago in 1990.

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Snoop Dogg, Shaquille O’Neal, and George Clinton at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards in L.A.

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Lil’ Kim on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City on September 9, 1999.

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N.W.A. before their performance during the “Straight Outta Compton” tour at Kemper Arena in Kansas City in 1989.

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Dr. Dre pictured at his home in Woodland Hills, California on October 7, 1999.

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Ice Cube with John Singleton, director of the film Boyz N the Hood, at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1991.

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Wu-Tang Clan—Raekwon, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, RZA, Method Man—on May 8, 1993 in Staten Island.

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Method Man and Redman on November 1, 1993 in New York City.

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Method Man, circa April 1997, in New York City.

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Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg backstage at the Source Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 3, 1995 in New York City.

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Biggie and Diddy at the 11th Annual Soul Train Music Awards in 1997.

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Eminem and Dr. Dre at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.

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Ol’ Dirty Bastard of Wu-Tang Clan in 1997 portrait.

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Erykah Badu in concert in Chicago in 1990.

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Diddy attends the Mobo awards in London in 1999.

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The Fugees—Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Pras Michel—backstage at the Manhattan Center in 1993 in New York City.

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Jay-Z at Diddy’s birthday party in New York on November 4, 1998.

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A Tribe Called Quest in 1990.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

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Snoop Dogg backstage at the Apollo Theater in NYC in 1994.

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Cypress Hill outside the Galaxy Gallery in Los Angeles in 1990.

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Queen Latifah performs at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago in April 1990.

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Tupac Shakur, Shock G, Money-B, and Digital Underground at Newark Symphony Hall on April 10, 1990 in New Jersey.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.ioThis commenting section is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information on their web site.

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