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Gangsta rap - music and censorship

Seminar ListAbstract • PreparationMain Text


A style of rap whose texts emphasize the violence of street life. In the mid-1970s hip hop had reacted against the prevailing gang violence of the time by deflecting the territorialism of New York's street gangs into a less destructive verbal rivalry. As the music began to assert its independence against pacifying influences from the music industry, rappers increasingly exploited the imagery of gang warfare in order to 'dis' (disrespect) other competing groups. Baltimore rapper Schooly D's Gangster Boogie (1984), Boogie Down Productions' 9mm Goes Bang as well as Ice-T's Colors, recorded for the 1987 film of the same title, were indications that lyrics based on territorial gang wars and shootings could become a sub-genre of hip hop. Ice-T's debut album, Rhyme Pays, Too Short's Born to Mack, Eazy-E's Eazy-Duz-It and NWA's Straight Outta Compton established California as the home of this new approach. Dr Dre's 1992 solo album, The Chronic, produced after his departure from NWA, defined this style with slow, bass-heavy grooves based on samples from Isaac Hayes and George Clinton. Featured rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg became a major star in his own right but was soon embroiled in a shooting charge; similar problems affected other gangsta rap artists, including Da Lench Mob and Tupac Shakur. Art and life became indistinguishable as bitter rivalry between Los Angeles gangsta rap and New York hip hop climaxed with the fatal shootings of Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.




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