Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gangsta rap is a subgenre of hip-hop music which emerged in South Central Los Angeles and Compton during the 1980s. N.W.A., Ice-T, DJ Quik, and others rapped about urban poverty, police brutality, unemployment, gang violence, drugs, prostitution, and other social problems in the inner city. Today, gangsta rap has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry and has become a part of popular culture. At the same time, opponents of gangsta rap also grew in numbers and influence. Several critics have argued that gangsta rap celebrates violence and misogyny, initiating a debate over its merits and consequences that still continues. It is important to understand the broader social conditions from which gangsta rap emerged. During the 1980s, inner-city communities were devastated by deindustrialization and the rise of a service sector economy. Many working-class blacks lost their jobs and could not find employment when manufacturing plants closed. These trends were particularly visible in ...