Why aren't there rappers from the Bronx anymore?
July 16, 2012 2:45 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone explain the relative paucity of New York rappers from the Bronx, particularly since the form was more or less born in that borough?

It seems true to me that, at least among those who have reached major label or underground prominence, very few rappers come from the Bronx after, say, the early to mid 90s. After BDP I can't really think of anyone other than the Diggin' in the Crates folks, which brings us as late as Fat Joe's career but that's it. I think a few Dipset folks are from there, but that's not many people.

By contrast Brooklyn, Queens, and Harlem have been producing a steady stream of rappers up until now. (I'm not forgetting Staten Island, but Wu-Tang aside it seems like a minor player in this question.)

I don't think this is explained by the genre's shift away from NYC in the last decade or more, since NY rappers outside the Bronx have still become prominent.

Anyone have theories, substantiated or otherwise?

Also, if my premise is actually wrong here, fire away.
posted by kensington314 to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Off hand I'd suggest demographics, Brooklyn is considerably larger than the Bronx and some neighborhoods in Brooklyn (Bed-Stuy and others) have the highest concentration of black people in the country. Obviously not just black people rap, but maybe black artists are more likely to rap than say hispanic artists?
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:02 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

There is a Hispanic majority in the Bronx, which is why you find more rappers like Big Pun, Fat Joe, Cuban Link.
posted by wongcorgi at 3:10 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Brooklyn has about twice the population of the Bronx, so I think that is a factor.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:01 PM on July 16, 2012

There are also quite a few big-name rappers from Mt. Vernon (Puffy, the late Heavy D, DMX), which is just over the line from the Bronx.
posted by deadmessenger at 4:38 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Demographics would seem like a good guess. The 2000 Census had the Bronx population at 48% Hispanic and 35% black; in 2010 this moved to 53% Hispanic and 30% black, making the Bronx the only NY borough with a Hispanic majority. 45.2% of the population speaks Spanish at home. My opinion is that the early to mid 90s rap's image has become codified so that it's harder to become visible if you don't look/sound/dress a certain way, which would present multiple barriers to entry for those who don't immediately fit a mold. Factor that alongside the general push away from New York rap.

That said you can count current sensation French Montana as well as Cory Gunz as recent Bronx artists.
posted by Smallpox at 7:52 AM on July 17, 2012

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