Gangsta Rap Research Paper

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Gangsta Rap’s Popularity in the United States
The rise of “gangsta rap” in the late 1980s and early 1990s is the result of many different factors. The reasons for its popularity are obvious in urban, mostly black areas. It is hard to understand the attraction to this hard rap style by the inhabitants of middle-class, suburban neighborhoods; yet, these places are where most of the young consumers of rap live (Gold). This is nothing new; non-black people have appreciated and appropriated black culture and music for hundreds of years. It can be argued that it is not necessary to fully understand music to enjoy it. Different groups of people may hear the same words but comprehend them in many different ways. Alexander Riley puts this phenomenon into words here, “other audiences might bring different symbolic tools to bear in deciphering the music” (300).
Disc jockeys in 1970s New York are said to be the first hip-hop artists (De Genova 105). Their music was derived from many styles of traditionally black music. These styles varied, ranging from ragtime and jazz to reggae (Best and Kellner 1). Kool Dj Herc, a dj from the South Bronx whose first gig was a party for his sister, has been christened the creator of hip hop (Blanchard 1). He is also credited with creating the
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The first of these factors is the censorship of rap music by “concerned citizens.” Two separate music videos were often made for gangsta rap songs, one with guns and one without guns, only the latter could be played on MTV (“Rare Eazy-E Video”). The condemnation of music, and other forms of entertainment, only increases popularity, principally in teenagers (Richardson and Scott 177). The same people who bought Dr. Dre’s albums also bought Guns n’ Roses records (Gold 1). Nick De Genova called these people a “white middle-class listenership with questionable motives”
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