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West Coast Hip Hop Analysis

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In the early 1990’s, the hip-hop and rap genre was largely dominated by sounds originating in the West Coast, specifically the South Central Los Angeles area. Artists such as Niggas with Attitudes (N.W.A), Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg were associated with the rap scene to a strong extent. A major reason as to why West Coast hip-hop was a more popular subculture than East Coast hip-hop was its use of G-Funk and party style beats, creating grooves that were easy to dance too (Brackett 483). Despite its beats however, West Coast hip-hop had a very distinct and controversial lyrical style to it. A major component of its lyrical style was the artist’s sociopolitical oppositions and their “criticism of social institutions” (Brackett 471), specifically those associated with police brutality against African-American men.…show more content…
In The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader, David Brackett States that “mainstream media coverage of hip-hop almost single-mindedly conveyed a sense of moral outrage and panic” (472). In stating this Brackett is emphasizing the idea that although artists in the West Coast hip-hop scene may convey valid points, their use of “vulgar,” “aggressive,” and “hard-edged” (471) language was a key component in the media concluding “that rap music was neither ‘music’ nor ‘black’” (Samuels 24). The West Coast hip-hop scene was popular in the sense that it had great beats and conveyed a significant message, however the artists aggressive style of delivering these messages unintentionally caused public outcry and critical disapproval of rap as music. These negative ideas surrounding rap began to change dramatically and in a positive manner through the emergence of the East Coast rap scene in the mid-1990’s and the release of Christopher Wallace’s debut album Ready to
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