How artists emerged in the late ’90s to challenge the gangsta narrative in hip-hop

As 1998 lurched to life, hip-hop’s future was clouded in uncertainty and much of the promise of the ’90s lay shattered in pieces. N.W.A./Ruthless Records founder Eric “Eazy-E” Wright was dead. So were two other ’90s musical giants, rappers Tupac Shakur and Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace. Beefs. Feuds. Diss tracks. This is what the rap music scene had descended to by the mid-’90s…

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