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East Coast hip hop is the original style of hip hop music that originated in New York City, USA, during the early-1970s. East Coast hip hop emerged as a definitive subgenre after artists from other regions of the United States, West Coast hip hop, Southern hip hop and Midwest hip hop, emerged with different styles. It has since grown into a major subgenre of hip hop, and has played an instrumental role in hip hop history. East Coast hip hop has developed several creative epicenters and local scenes within the Northeastern United States, most of which are primarily located within African American and Hispanic urban centers.

New York City is historically the home of hip-hop, dating back to DJ Kool Herc's block parties in the Bronx, and artists like Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa who were among the first prominent hip-hop artists. Also of note are the Sugar Hill Gang who come from Englewood, New Jersey, who had the first rap single to crack the Top 40. Later, Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys emerged in the 80's to help bridge the gap between hip-hop and rock fans worldwide. In the late 80's and early 90's, with the rise of N.W.A. and Dr. Dre, the West Coast wrested control from the East as the dominant style in mainstream rap. East coast rap went through a renaissance starting in the mid-90's, sparked by artists like Notorious B.I.G., Nas, the Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, and Big L. .

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