PUBLISHED BY BANDINI •AUGUST 28, 2017
Twenty years ago, Hip-Hop was in crosswinds. Microphones were grabbed by emerging voices from across the landscape, geographically, stylistically, and regarding content. As the genre collected itself following the sudden and tragic killings of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, it wanted new sounds, messages, and conversations.
No one could have predicted the significance when DMX, Mos Def (nka Yasiin Bey), Big Pun, Canibus, Mic Geronimo, Fugees affiliate John Forté, and author/journalist Touré sat together for a cypher and nearly hour-long chat on December 18, 1997. One year later, X had not one—but two #1 albums, Pun’s Capital Punishment debut marked the first Latin solo MC to go platinum, Mos Def dazzled the masses as one-half of Black Star, and Canibus dropped his own gold-certified debut. Over drinks in Match Café, the future looked bright.