If you followed rap music in the early 90s, you’d agree that it was the golden era of child rappers. Even though their style was not similar to that used by child stars today, they made their mark in the industry. Read on to take this trip down memory lane and remember the good old days of child rappers.
Among the first to breakthrough in the industry was Another Bad Creation signed by Michael Bivins of Bel Biv Devoe. Another Bad Creation was a new jack swing group originally from Atlanta. They released their debut in 1991 dubbed ‘Coolin at the Playground Ya Know.’ They went on to drop two albums and several singles but later broke up in 1993.
In 1992 Kriss Kross emerged after being discovered by producer and songwriter Jermaine Dupri. Dupri’s Def Jam Records signed the duo Chris Kelly and Chris Smith after he encountered them in a mall in Atlanta. Working under Dupri, Kriss Kross released the hit song ‘Jump’ that stormed the industry.
Brothers Taji and Qu’ran Goodman and cousin Tarik Dawson together known as ‘Da Youngsters’, emerged from Philly in 1992. They introduced themselves to the industry with their single ‘Something 4 Da Youngsta’s, but it did not do well among the masses.
LL Cool J is among the few kid rappers that managed to transition into an adult rapper. He coined his name from Ladies Love Cool James. LL Cool James’ real name is James Todd Smith, and he started rapping when he was 9 to run away from trouble back at home. When he signed with Def Jam, LL Cool J dropped out of school to pursue his career as a rapper. He did well enough to remain on the rap radar and later moved to acting in the 2000s.
Another rapper from the good old days is Special Ed. He released his first single in 1989 titled ‘I Got It Made’ when he was 16 years old. Even though his career was short-lived and ended by his 18th birthday, he took pride in influencing some of the big shots in the rap industry. Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg regard Special Ed as their role model.
Def Jam was the hub for child rappers as it unearthed another gem in Foxy Brown. The record label helped Foxy Brown to release her first single when she was 17 years old. Foxy is among the few rappers that successfully maintained the momentum for long. She dropped albums throughout the 90s and 2000s that made her a household name. However, several stints in prison have derailed her career.
Snoop Dogg inspired Lil Bow Wow to release his first album when he was only 13. Snoop Dogg gave the young rapper the stage name. But after releasing his third solo album, he opted to drop the ‘Lil’ from his name to simply ‘Bow Wow.’ He is among the kid rappers that managed to navigate through his career and ventured into acting also.