Gangsta rap or Gangster rap is a style of hip hop characterized by themes and lyrics that generally emphasize the "gangsta" lifestyle. The genre evolved from hard rap into a distinct form, pioneered in the mid-1980s by rappers such as Schoolly D and Ice-T, and was popularized in the later part of the 1980s by groups like N.W.A.
After the national attention that Ice-T and N.W.A attracted in the late 1980s and early 1990s, gangsta rap became the most commercially lucrative subgenre of hip hop. Many (if not most) gangsta rap artists openly boast of their associations with various active street gangs as part of their artistic image, with the Bloods and Crips being the most commonly represented. Gangsta rap parallels other indigenous gang and crime-oriented forms of music, such as the narcocorrido genre of northern Mexico.
Hip-hop has arguably been the best genre of music in the past two decades. As hip-hop maintains its title, a lot has changed about the genre, such as the lyrics. Hip-hop has two phases, old school and new school each of which give off a different vibe.
Old School “Hip-Hop” has music based prevalently on African American culture. Artists such as Tupac, Biggie Smalls, and Eazy-E often rap about the struggles of growing up in a racialized environment and the work they put in to get where they are today.
In popular songs such as “Changes” by Tupac and “Juicy” by Biggie Smalls, the artists explain how they went from “negative to positive” as Biggie put it.
Old school hip-hop is still popular today and is regarded as “classic” by many hip-hop fans.
“New school” hip-hop has different types of lyrics. Rappers from today’s generation sing typically about girls, money, and cars they have. Some even sing about how they do dr*gs, drink alc*h*l, and party which sets a bad example for some listeners. Some of these rappers today did not have it as hard as rappers back in the old days. Also Hip-hop artists now are racially diverse, so African American culture is not necessarily found in music today.
People who grew up listening to Tupac, Biggie, Eazy-E, and so on typically do not enjoy hip-hop in today’s era. Songs written when rap was introduced were lyrically better because rappers were able to tell a story using words that rhyme and flow.
Some songs are also more appealing to fans because they can relate to the struggles their favorite rappers faced.
Because of new artists in hip-hop, many lessen known artists are rarely noticed. These artists are said to be “underground.” Underground rappers usually do not make it big because they have music related to the messages embodied by old school hip-hop artists would say.
People of this generation are used to listening to new school hip-hop which is the most played genre on the radio. These same fans reject old school Hip-Hop as a part of the music genre. There are even rappers who know nothing about the most influential Hip-Hop artists.
Growing up listening to Eminem has caused me to fall in love with him as an artist. He introduced me to Hip-Hop. But I noticed a change in the music industry. Artists wanted to be part of the mainstream industry and they had to change their music to fit into the mainstream category.
Some people think old school Hip-Hop is better than new school Hip-Hop. And there are many people who prefer underground Hip-Hop to mainstream Hip-Hop. What do you think?