Gangsta Rap 101
With this assignment we begin our second textbook, Eithne Quinn’s Nuthin’ but a “g” thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap.
- Quinn, 1-40
- Bird in the Hand (Ice Cube 1991)
- St. Ides commercial (Ice Cube 1993)
- St. Ides commercial (Ice Cube and EPMD 1991)
- St. Ides commercial (Notorious B.I.G. 19??)
- Boyz in the Hood excerpt (John Singleton 1991)
- Niggaz for Life (NWA 1991)
“The general thrust of this study is that gangsta’s very real political energies lay in the struggle to come to terms with an age in which there was a dramatic decline in popular protest politics, precisely for a community that had a vital protest history” (Quinn 30).
Chapter 2: Gangsta’s Rap,” is subdivided. A great study technique is to summarize in your own words the major ideas presented in each section:
- “Gangsta and the Burden of Representation” (19)
- The Rap on Gangsta: History and Poetics” (22)
- The Rap on Gangsta: Politics and Culture” (27)
- Gangsta’s Rap: “Why do I Call Myself a ‘Nigga’?” (32)
- Gangsta’s Rap: “Vernacular Theory” (38)
Please don’t try to answer all of these questions in your first posting. Instead, use them as a way into your own thoughts about the reading and the music.
- In what ways does 1990s gangsta rap continue to influence contemporary hip hop?
- Are gangsta rap and/or its descendants valuable? Why?
- Which of the four approaches outlined by Quinn is closest to your own ways of thinking about the music (19-20)?