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Gangsta rap


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Gangsta rap

  1. 1. Rhetorical CriticismSummary: Gangsta RapMorgan PalmerChapter 7Monday, June 3, 2013
  2. 2. Why is hip-hop important?Its popularity alone gives it a large cultural influence in oursociety.Although there are many different types of hip-hop, all ofthem have important “social and politicalmeanings” (Brummet 236).The insights that this type of music can provide to a wideaudience are what make hip-hop and all of its sub-genres,including gangsta rap, into a cultural phenomenon.Monday, June 3, 2013
  3. 3. What is gangsta rap?The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states that gangsta rap is“rap music with lyrics explicitly portraying the violence anddrug use of urban gang life and typically expressing hostilitytoward whites, women, and civil authority”.This genre of hip-hop has been predominately filled withAfrican American stars. Although there has been a few whiterappers (i.e. Eminem), the industry still has a majority ofAfrican American stars.Monday, June 3, 2013
  4. 4. What is the point of gangsta rap?There are several reasons why this genre of music is sopopular in our culture among all races.It is its own voice; gangsta rap speaks for those who don’tfeel comfortable talking about subjects that they feel theyshouldn’t (i.e illegal activity, using the “n” word, racism).Although gangsta rap is often times violent, it can stand asan opponent against racism, oppression and brutality.Monday, June 3, 2013
  5. 5. Who is gangsta rap about?Gangsta rap is almost always about African Americans, butdespite that it can still provide insights for our society.A key component of gangsta rap is the frequent use of the“n” word. At this point, it is usually only culturallyacceptable for African Americans to use this term.This word alone shows that this type of rap is mainly createdby and for one group of people.Monday, June 3, 2013
  6. 6. What are the negatives of gangsta rap?Gangsta rap can perpetuate racist ideologies towards AfricanAmericans, as well as sexism towards women andresentment towards authority.As the book states, not all the claims made in these rapsongs can be true, as not all African Americans are gun-slinging criminals who disrespect women and the law.Monday, June 3, 2013
  7. 7. Examples of Gangsta RapHere are some lyrical examples of songs that have provided an insight of issues that are common to ourculture:“F****** with me causeI’m a teenager, with a littlebit of gold and a pager,searching my car, lookingfor the product, thinkingevery n**** is sellingnarcotics”-NWA“I see no changes, all I see isracist faces, misplaced hatemakes disgrace to races. Weunder, I wonder what it takes tomake this one better place, toerase the wasted.”-TupacMonday, June 3, 2013
  8. 8. What Do These Lyrics Mean?The two examples provided are by two of the most commonlyknown gangsta rappers of all time.This shows the rhetoric of gangsta rap-it is a tool used toconvey injustices in our culture while urging listeners to dosomething about it.Despite its sometimes violent nature, gangsta rap has aoverwhelming theme of change.Monday, June 3, 2013
  9. 9. What does gangsta rap say about AfricanAmericans?African American culture is violent.African American culture is overly sexual.African American culture is crassly materialistic.The book states that gangsta rap can create stigmas against AfricanAmerican culture, and these are:Monday, June 3, 2013
  10. 10. Are these claims true?The fact is that gangsta rappers are often times not even“gangstas” and their accounts of the life that they live, whichoften includes guns, drugs and illegal activity is not a trueaccount of the typical African American’s life.History has shown that violence is typically against AfricanAmericans (i.e slavery) rather than the other way around.Monday, June 3, 2013
  11. 11. Continued...To say that gangsta rap is overly sexual is a defensivemechanism against the fact that African American womenhave not been the subject of sexual exploitation forcenturies.Materialistic images and texts run rampant in our society,and this genre of rap is certainly not the only source.Monday, June 3, 2013
  12. 12. Images & Artists That Exemplify Gangsta RapMonday, June 3, 2013
  13. 13. Continued...Monday, June 3, 2013
  14. 14. Continued...Monday, June 3, 2013
  15. 15. What do these images mean?These images all have a strong message to the public, whichis that these rappers should be feared.In addition to this, these rappers are trying to portray thatthey are tough, often by showing their guns or havingartwork that promotes illegal activity.For example, the NWA album is used to look like the rappersare on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. The reason behind this isto promote the ideology that these men are thugs.Monday, June 3, 2013
  16. 16. Analysis:Gangsta rap can be compared to queer theory, in the waythat it is a group of people attempting to turn an offensiveword like the “n” word or queer into positive andempowering word.Evaluating gangsta rap through a feminist perspective,however, can lead to a more negative view of this genre. Thewords “ho” and “bitch” are very common in this genre andcan promote the mistreatment of women.Monday, June 3, 2013
  17. 17. Analysis:Rhetoric theories state that “texts influence people to thinkand act in certain ways” (Brummet 78). This is no differentin the case of gangsta rap.This type of rap can influence racist thoughts towards AfricanAmericans, negative views against women and authorityfigures.If evaluated through a Marxist perspective, gangsta rappromotes a lot of the materialism that Marxist critics believeto be a defining component of our entire culture.Monday, June 3, 2013
  18. 18. Analysis:It is clear that gangsta rap is an overwhelming complexcomponent of popular culture.The rhetoric in these raps can persuade the audience toparticipate in illegal activity and to disrespect women, butmany raps also have an opposing message that strives forchange and acceptance of the African American race.Because of this, it is hard to pinpoint the exact effect ofgangsta rap on popular culture because the text in this casealways varies.Monday, June 3, 2013
  19. 19. Sources:Brummet, Barry. Rhetoric in Popular Culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2006. Print.“Changes Lyrics.” 2PAC lyrics. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 June 2013.“Fuck Tha Police Lyrics” By N.W.A. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 June 2013.“Gangsta Rap.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 03 June 2013.Notorious B.I.G. Photograph. Rap is Read. Web. 03 June 2013. <>Rick Ross. Photograph. Hip Hop is Dream. Web. 03 June 2013. <>The N.W.A. Photograph. Respect the Next. Web. 03 June 2013. <>Tupac. Photograph. The Music World. Web. 03 June 2013. <>Young Buck. N.d. Photograph. Rap Wallpapers. Web. 03 June 2013. <>50 Cent. Photograph. Videokeman. Web. 03 June 2013. <>Monday, June 3, 2013