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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hip Hop and Gangs

"Gangsta rap is one aspect of hip hop culture. Hip hop has given youth in the ghettoes a new identity, one that has arisen in opposition to mainstream culture. This hip hop identity is now a world-wide phenomena, the cutting edge of global youth culture. The 'gangsta' identity both represents the drama of the steets, but also the 'merchandizing of the rhymes of violence' by profit hungry media companies. As KRS-1 and others tell it, the media companies promote the most outrageous stereotypes of 'violent, vicious' Black youth while ignoring the rappers who represent the positive and political side of ghetto life....

"...NWA was the first 'gangsta rap' group and they were performers, not gangsters in real life. The graphic violence of NWA sold and the media companies were quick to pick up on a way to make big bucks off rap.

"...Like mainstream artists, many rappers sell out and 'keep their mind on their money and their money on their mind.'"

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Booker T. Washington said:

"There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs....There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who do not want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public."

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