Boom, boom! Boom, boom! The kind of bass that drains batteries and the kind of lyrics that unload clips, these are the sounds that rap music produces. I chose this topic because I am extremely interested in rap music and I want to explore the violent aspect of the industry. I have never had a chance to look at the violent side of it and I plan to find answers to questions I have in my search. Tupac Shakur is one of my favorite artists and when he was shot and killed I really started to take notice of the violence. People were getting killed because of an image that was being set. What I really want to know, however, is why rappers feel compelled to graphically describe the violence.
In my search I plan to find out reasons behind the deaths of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. Was there some kind of connection between both of their deaths? I believe that rap music was never violent until "gangsta" rap came about. What sparked this change and who was behind it? I want to explore "gangsta" rap from the beginning until now. I want to research the major players in the rap game, who they are and what some of their lyrics are saying.
Today our society is bursting at the seams with violence. There is fighting in other countries like Kosovo, shootings in schools, and violence on television. In my opinion, though, nothing has a greater effect on the youth of America than rap music. However, this isn’t a new issue, there has been violence in rap music for years. Such as, gang violence, references to drive-by shootings and homicides in songs. Since this is such a broad topic I will explore the violent side and history of the industry, the lyrics, as well as the artists.
In 1986 an unknown rap group came "Straight Outta Compton" and they called themselves N.W.A ( Niggaz With Attitudes). Eazy-E (Eric Wright) started this group along with four friends Dr. Dre (Andre Young), MC Ren (Geronimo Pratt), Ice Cube ( O’ Shea Jackson) and DJ Yella and they soon became the most controversial group ever to hit the industry. In 1989 they released the album, Straight Outta Compton, and a wave of fear was sent over the country, it was an instant classic. With disturbing song titles ranging from "F*ck Tha Police" to "Gangsta, gangsta" caused the FBI and the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) to investigate them. Hopping on the anti-gangsta rap bandwagon politicians began to show interest in the rap industry, but not in a positive way. Hip-hop wasn’t a new form of music in 1989, in fact it started in 1982 with Run DMC, but nobody was ready for this form. The police and politicians didn’t like what N.W.A was saying in their lyrics, but all of the things they were rapping about were things that were going on around them on a daily basis. They were seeing people being shot, drug deals going down, and women being called b*tch*s. "I remember when Straight Outta Compton came out, where I...