Jay-Z during Jay-Z Announces I Declare War Concert at Power 105.1 FM
Source: Getty Images

Rap Rewind: 7 Historic Moments In Rap History That You Didn't Know Happened In June

The month of June has seen genre-shifting moments that have forever changed hip-hop. Here are some of the monumental events that occurred in history.


Jun. 6 2024, Published 6:14 p.m. ET

Hip-hop’s history is filled with triumphs and tragedies. Since the genre’s inception in the 1970s, rappers have been at the forefront of groundbreaking music moments.

With classic album releases and historic performances, June has consistently played a defining role in shaping the narrative of rap music. Let's take a look at some of the most memorable moments that have left an indelible mark on the genre.

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June 4, 2000: Eminem gets arrested for attacking a bodyguard who kissed his wife.

eminem with beard at hollywood walk of fame wearing black capcalifornia
Source: Getty Images

Eminem at the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony.

The hip-hop world was rocked in 2000 as news surfaced of Eminem's involvement in a violent altercation with a bouncer who kissed his then-wife, Kim Mathers.

According to MTV, the GRAMMY-winning rapper was arrested following the incident, which allegedly involved pistol-whipping. Eminem was ultimately sentenced to two years of probation and was prohibited from owning firearms.

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June 15, 2017: Jay-Z becomes the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

jay z
Source: Getty Images

Jay-Z accepts the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award on stage during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards

In 2017, Jay-Z made history as the first rapper to ever be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Forbes reports.

The rapper, born Shawn Carter, joined the esteemed ranks of legendary songwriters recognized for their contributions to the music industry. His induction marked a significant milestone, highlighting the genre's undeniable influence and cultural relevance.

However, Hov was unable to attend the invite as Beyoncé was in labor with the couple’s twins.

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June 16: Tupac Shakur is born.

tupac raps on stage wearing a blue bandana and no shirt
Source: Getty Images

Tupac wears baggy jeans, blue and red boxers, and a blue bandana and raps on stage.

Tupac Shakur is widely recognized as one of the greatest rappers in history, and his legacy is commemorated annually on his birthday. Born in 1971, Tupac continues to be celebrated for his influential contributions to hip-hop and lasting impact on popular culture. Each year, on this significant date, fans and fellow artists take to social media to pay tribute to the rapper.

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June 18, 2018: XXXTentacion is fatally shot.

xxxtentacion and his mom cleo
Source: Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic

XXXTentacion and his mom pose together on the red carpet of the 2017 BET Awards.

In June 2018, the music industry was shaken by the death of rapper XXXTentacion. According to ABC News, four men were convicted for shooting the Florida MC during an ambush robbery in XXX’s hometown.

The rapper’s untimely death sent shockwaves throughout the industry, prompting an outpour of grief from fans and fellow artists.

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June 21, 1994: Hip-hop is introduced to Bone Thugz-N-Harmony.

bone thugs n harmony performs during halftime of a game
Source: Getty Images

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony performs during halftime of a game

A year after Bone Thugz-N-Harmony formed, the group released their debut studio album, Creepin on ah Come Up. The album introduced listeners to the group’s unique blend of harmonies, rapid-fire delivery, and gritty storytelling.

Bone Thugs has since become one of the most celebrity acts in hip-hop history, with two Billboard No. 1 albums and a string of awards.

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June 25, 2009: The death of Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson performs in concert circa 1986.
Source: Getty Images

Michael Jackson performs in concert circa 1986.

While not exclusively a hip-hop event, the passing of Michael Jackson profoundly impacted the genre. Jackson's influence on hip-hop culture runs deep, with artists frequently sampling his music and emulating his dance style.

Artists like Offset and Chris Brown have openly discussed the influence the singer has on their music. Kanye West, MC Lyte, and Big Sean have all sampled the King of Pop's work.

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June 27, 2000: Nelly drops ‘Country Grammar’ and it takes over the Summer.

nelly wearing a red hat
Source: Getty Images

Nelly during 2nd Annual BET Awards Radio & Talent Gift Room wearing his signature bandaid on his cheek.

Nelly had the music industry in a chokehold in the early 2000s following the success of his debut album, Country Grammar. The project, which featured tracks like “Country Grammar” and “Ride Wit Me,” topped the Billboard 200 chart and has since been certified diamond by the RIAA.

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