Rappers André 3000 (André Benjamin) and Big Boi (Antwan Patton) of Outkast poses for photos at George's Music Room in Chicago
Source: Getty Images

Rap Rewind: Every Major Moment in Hip-Hop History That Happened in the Month of April

What happened today in hip-hop history? Discover the most iconic and game-changing moments in rap history that happened in April.


Apr. 2 2024, Published 4:38 p.m. ET

For hip-hop fans, April is an important month in the genre’s history. From groundbreaking album releases to iconic performances and cultural shifts, April has witnessed pivotal moments that continue to shape the trajectory of hip-hop.

Let's take a journey through some of these remarkable occurrences throughout the years.

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April 15, 1991: MC Hammer becomes the biggest act in music.

mc hammer during  music file
Source: Getty Images

MC Hammer during 1991 Music File

MC Hammer dominated the music scene in the early 1990s, and he has the certifications to prove it. Hip-hop history was made when MC Hammer secured a monumental achievement by earning the genre its first RIAA Diamond album with Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em.

The album's success was propelled by hits like "U Can't Touch This," which solidified MC Hammer's status as a global phenomenon and marked a pivotal moment in hip-hop's journey into the mainstream.

April 26, 1994: Outkast change the game with their debut album, 'Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.'

gettyimages antwan a big boi patton and andre andre  benjamin
Source: Getty Images

Antwan A. Big Boi Patton and Andre Andre 3000 Benjamin at 106 & Park

On April 26th, 1994, Outkast – the duo consisting of André 3000 and Big Boi, made a seismic impact on the music scene with the release of their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.

The Atlanta group brought a fresh and innovative sound that combined Southern funk and soulful melodies. With tracks like "Player's Ball" and "Git Up, Git Out," the album showcased Outkast's unique storytelling and laid the foundation for their legendary career.

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April 13, 2005: Snopp Dogg tries to make peace between Los Angeles gang members.

snoop dogg during mtv presents hip hop week
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Snoop Dogg during MTV Presents Hip-Hop Week 2005.

West Coast native Snoop Dogg took matters into his own hands in 2005 by attempting to mediate the beef between the Southern California street gangs. Snoop orchestrated the Protect The West peace summit held in Los Angeles. The event gathered influential figures from the West Coast hip-hop scene to address grievances and work towards reconciliation. Snoop’s initiative signaled a significant step towards unity and collaboration within the community.

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April 4, 2009: Run-D.M.C. is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

joseph rev run simmons speaks while run dmc
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Joseph "Rev. Run" Simmons speaks while Run-D.M.C.

Run-D.M.C., the hip-hop group hailed for their pioneering contributions to the genre, achieved major milestone when they became the second hip-hop group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their induction not only celebrated their musical legacy but also highlighted the profound impact of hip-hop on the broader landscape of popular music. As the second hip-hop group to receive this honor, Run-D.M.C.'s induction underscored their enduring influence and reaffirmed their place among the legends of rock and roll history.

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April 22, 2016: Birdman goes viral after confronting 'The Breakfast Club.'

“Are yall finished or are yall done” will forever be one of Birdman’s most infamous lines. In April 2016, the rapper stopped by The Breakfast Club to settle a score he had with the radio personalities. His frustration stemmed from perceived disrespect towards his name and reputation, leading to a heated exchange. Birdman's abrupt demeanor set the stage for a confrontational interaction as he demanded that the host refrain from "playing with his name" and show him the respect he deserved.

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April 20, 2020: Verzuz Battles emerged during the pandemic.

jermaine dupri papoose ma nelly fat joe ja rule ashanti and lil mo attend verzuz
Source: Getty Images

Jermaine Dupri, Papoose, Ma, Nelly, Fat Joe, Ja Rule, Ashanti and Lil' Mo attend VERZUZ battle.

As the COVID-19 pandemic stopped society, hip-hop fans found solace in the emergence of Verzuz, a live-streamed musical battle series created by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.

On April 20, 2020, the series kicked off with an anticipated showdown between producers Teddy Riley and Babyface, attracting millions of viewers and igniting a wave of nostalgia. Since then, Verzuz has become a cultural phenomenon, showcasing legendary hip-hop acts like Nelly, Ludacris, Mannie Fresh, and Scott Storch.

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