Is gangsta rap a genre? – Learn Spanish Grand Rapids Mi


I don’t think so. For most rappers who get that label, it’s because they’re still influenced by a certain aesthetic that is rooted in the era of urban music. Gangsta rap’s popularity peaked in the ’70s and ’80s with a certain aesthetic that we’re now seeing on music.

Did that aesthetic take over in the 1980s and early ’90s?

Absolutely. At that time, we had so little exposure to new music. In that era, all that was available was rap music for most. I think that’s why a lot of people called it a genre.

Has hip-hop changed because of the recent success of artists like Meek Mill and 2 Chainz, who have found success on independent levels and who have helped promote artists who may have been considered more mainstream?

I don’t know how to answer that—that could be attributed to how much music music culture has spread to the people in the inner city, but I think the main thing is you got a lot of young kids with a disposable income and they are finding a way to pay the bills on their own. And you know at that time there was nothing to buy at night, no record stores.


You said “rap music had so little to do with my generation.” Isn’t hip-hop an extension of a much wider cultural phenomenon, which is African-American music?

It’s a combination of both. When people talk about hip-hop being a niche music, that’s part of it. But I still think there’s something unique about black culture, African culture, and African-Americans’ relationship to music. Hip-hop is very much rooted in the African-American community, and there just hasn’t been a strong connection between the white and black communities.

What would you like to see change about hip-hop in the years to come?

I don’t know that. If I had to put a number to it, I think the way I would change it is that you have a lot of young guys, and young women, and other subgroups of hip-hop that have never been exposed to hip-hop before, and we have to learn and listen to their music in addition to our own. Right now, it’s more like the reverse. There’s almost not enough black music coming out that white people can relate to because there’s almost not much of it coming out. There’s just not what I would consider mainstream, you know?

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