History of Gangster Rap

Essay by pipsi_59High School, 11th gradeA-, May 2006

download word file, 2 pages 4.0

Gangster rap has been an influential form of music since its origin. During the mid-1980s, rap moved from the fringes to the mainstream of the music industry as white musicians began to embrace this new style. By 1986 rap had reached the Top 10 on the Billboard pop charts and has not ceased in its assent to the top of the music world. Gangster rap has always had something to say, whether it be for the better or for worse.

Thought there are many different styles of rap, gangster rap is what seems to be the most influential to our culture today. Gangster rap is noted for attempting to depict an outlaw style of sex drugs and gang violence in inner-city America. In 1988, an album released by the Southern California rap group, Niggaz with Attitude (NWA), is well known as the first major album of gangster rap. Some songs from this album created an outstanding amount of controversy about the violent images portrayed by the lyrics.

This inspired a number of protests from many different organizations including the FBI. However, these attempts to censor gangster rap only increased the appeal of both black and white youths to this new style of music. NWA became a platform for launching the solo careers of some of the most influential rappers and rap producers of the gangster style, including Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Easy-E.

In every form of music there is usually a message within the lyrics. Gangster rap has been severely criticized for lyrics that many people interpret as glorifying to the most violent and misogynistic (woman-hating) imagery in the history of popular music. The style's popularity with middle-class whites has been attacked as vicarious thrill-seeking of the most insidious sort. Critics note that violence has been more than just...