The emergence of Gangster Rap or as some call it “Gangsta
Rap” led to a new emergence of culture & challenges to the values and
understandings of this genre of music in more ways than one. As someone who was
born in the 90’s I saw the change within the culture of rap but more
importantly in gangster rap; something which challenged the message behind the
song’s lyrics and really changed the movement because of the usage of words
which were deemed to be inappropriate in past ages. Gangster rap made it easy
to transparently recognize derogatory terms such as the “N Word” and phrases
such as “calling women the B word” were used towards different races, ethnicities
and more importantly towards people of colored skin. For some Gangster Rap was
a means of expression and really gave a clear picture of what they really
believed in regardless of the backlash it received. According to an Article by Eithne
Quinn “Who’s the Mack?”: The
Performativity and Politics of the Pimp Figure in Gangsta Rap” the article states
on Page 120 ” gangsta—because of its non-prescribed and offensive lyrics,
coupled with its emergence in the 1980s at a time of acute focus on language
and identity politics..”(Quinn 120). A time where social media was nonexistent
and most forms of media were through radio & television the youth of the
80s and 90s were being exposed to gangster music which promoted the use of
drugs, violence and sexual behavior. Led by a Group known as NWA which began the
act of sending the message of violence towards law enforcement and the acceptance
of drug use and violence with the lyrics of the songs.

            Gangster Rap had an immediate effect on the followers of
music because it bought light to all the things that previous generations had
frowned down upon. The music echoed the profound changes that this music was
promoting to listeners of the change that was occurring in society. This was so
much so that it even began an emergence of political issues because of the
rejection of lyrics or songs of this nature. For Instance, “Ice-T Looks Back on ‘Cop Killer” (Radio) talks about how Ice T
being one of the founders of gangster rap & how when his song “Cop Killer”
was released it reached to a point of the President at the time reaching out to
the public since law enforcement was being targeted. Additionally, Gangster rap
was also picking up popularity in suburbs a location where music like gangster
rap was very uncommon. Because of this new emergence of this genre of music
many new artists could freely express themselves & led to a big tension of
racial issues. Gangster Music also offered to what many were expecting that
being the lyrics pertaining to drugs, sex and weapons. It gave many an escape from
the true reality which many were accustomed too. It also offered a negative
image for African Americans as they were the prime consumers for this type of music,
no positive message was being spread from this music to influence otherwise. If
a study were to be done regarding the influence rap music has on the listeners I
think it has a direct effect. If you see entertainers and rappers promoting
violence drugs and sex it might be deemed as acceptable for others to perform
the same actions without the consequences. Gangster rap also for some was a way
to demonstrate the conditions in which they grew up in many working their way
out of violence and poverty. However, with all this said gangster rap is still
very well prevalent to the issues today. Social Media has help spread this with
great quickness. While it is just another genre of music gangster rap is
significantly important to the issues that pertain to certain cities
neighborhood and socio-economic problems such as housing, poverty and lack of

            I believe that even if gangster rap were to be censored
it still would not make a difference to the listeners because of the message it
sends in its entirety. With Social Media so widely spread today the drugs, guns
and sex reach far beyond music as it is in books, television, movies etc. It is
up to one to decide whether music or gangster rap can directly effect a person
additionally educating one another behind why those words were said or why that
artist has written a song in such manner would help offset the notion of
gangster rap and the negative image that it carries.

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