Hip-hop music, an urban form once dismissed as a musical novelty or passing fad, has consistently proven its critics wrong by steadily growing into the most influential, dominant global form of popular music and culture. But despite those advances, the once close-knit musical genre lacks the uniform vision it once commanded. I refer to that sense of unity among all hip-hop artists displayed back in the "golden era" of the late 80's to early 90's. For proof you need look no further than the bevy of posse cuts recorded back then, and outlined below. Yes in the passing decades since that era, the Bronx founded reactionary form of music and culture would exponentially expand into an unstoppable, sprawling cultural force on a global level. But while today's hip-hop may be the pop music de jour for most, as well as having mutated into a zillion sub-genres and breakaway categories, hip-hop as a genre is way more disjointed and separated than ever before. Hence I take a return to that posse cut era when hip-hop artists of all backgrounds would unite in song/video and often craft some of hip-hop history's best music.
"Posse" cut was the phenomenon where large collectives of rappers linked by crew, region, or, most often, by a common cause (EG anti-violence), all would get together to record a massive joint effort. Posse cuts were most popular circa '88 to '94 coinciding with the years of hip-hop's much lauded golden era. Multiple emcee, pass-the-mic styled hip-hop songs, posse cuts date back to hip-hop's formative years with many of them freestyle sessions dating back the 1970's up to the start of the 1980's in Bronx during the early years of hip-hop. Of these many were not even recorded but luckily some were such as Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force's "Zulu Nation Throwdown." But It wasn't until the later 1980's when the posse cut came into its own. Below are the videos of seven of some of the best posse cuts from that six-year span beginning in '88. Each are timeless, classic hip-hop recordings. And with so many contributing artists, they are a comprehensive history lesson in hip-hop of that era.