1986: The Beastie Boys burst onto the scene with (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!) the first single from their breakthrough album, Licensed to Ill. The track reaches No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and later is among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll).
1986: Run-DMC cover Aerosmith's hard rock classic Walk This Way and the single propels Raising Hell to become one of the best-selling rap albums of all time. The song and video are one of the biggest hits of the '80s, cement Run-DMC's crossover status, and resurrect Aerosmith for a new generation of fans.
1988: London-born American Hip Hop artist Slick Rick releases Children's Story. The groundbreaking single is uniquely constructed as one long verse and is often interpreted as a condemnation of violence and greed. Children's Story lyrics have since been sampled and re-incorporated in myriad Hip Hop songs.
1989: Public Enemy's Fight the Power energizes the soundtrack of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. In 1990 the group includes an extended version on their third album, Fear of a Black Planet. The song has largely served as the political statement of purpose for the group.