At the end of the 1980s, when the black teen demographic reached its peak, gangsta rap became an anachronism. By 1993, when the movie gangsta rap began in earnest, the gangsta-rap phenomenon had largely disappeared from American life.
Why is the music so compelling?
Gangsta rap was made as a form of expression, a way of expressing oneself.
In a word, yes. From a young age, young listeners could feel the energy and passion in gangsta rap, and they responded by taking to the streets in droves. Gangsta rap represented a new cultural mode, a way to express themselves that wasn’t limited to urban settings.
Why do Gangsta rappers have such a deep connection with the African-American community?
It is this unique and powerful voice, and the ability to tell stories through songs that are both lyrically and sonically complex, that is responsible for gangsta rap having remained so popular.
We’ve been here before — how many artists have had such a profound impact on their musical development as rap?
We could go back to the days of gangsta disco, and rap music was a musical vehicle rather than a popular art form.
What do the lyrics mean?
Gangsta rappers use lyrical imagery as a vehicle for expressing their emotions and their thoughts. The words may be simple and clear, but the emotions they express are complex and unpredictable.
Gangsta rappers often use imagery to express their feelings.
Gangsta rappers were not only expressing emotions with song lyrics. They also used imagery to convey complex ideas and thoughts, which is why Gangsta rap has been called “deeply meaningful,” as poet and critic David Wertheim told NPR in 2015.
What’s up with all these different elements?
There are two main ways to listen to Gangsta rap. There’s the first-person perspective, the singer’s perspective. And if you listen to an image or a scene from the film Gangsta Rap, you’re seeing these people’s everyday lives, and hearing them use words and imagery to describe their own personal struggle and inner turmoil.
The second, and much more accessible, option is to experience the lyrics on your iPod or laptop, where a video of the lyrics can be played when you’re on the go or at home, watching or reading a book or watching a television show or movie.
What advice would you give to