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Gangsta Gangsta by N.W.A.: Lyrics, Meaning, and Facts

In July 1989, despite its scarce radio play beyond the Los Angeles area,[4] Straight Outta Compton received gangsta rap's first platinum certification, one million copies sold by then.[3] That year, the album peaked at number 9 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and at number 37 on the Billboard 200.[8] Receiving media spotlight, N.W.A's example triggered the rap genre's movement toward hardcore, gangsta rap.[9]

As the 1980s continued, it became increasingly popular to record lyrics on top of electro rap music. The World Class Wreckin' Cru, which included Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, published the West Coast's first rap album to be released under a major record label.[16] Also among LA's rising lyricists was Ice-T. Inspired by Philadelphia rapper Schoolly D's 1985 single "P.S.K. What Does It Mean?"[16][15][19] Ice-T released the track "6 in the Mornin'" in 1986. This song began to pull the Los Angeles scene's attention away from electro rap; it reached gold sales and inaugurated a new rap subgenre, later called "gangsta rap".[16][15]

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Expanding upon Ice-T's model, N.W.A imparted to gangsta rap a signature style that featured "exaggerated descriptions of street life, militant resistance to authority, and outright sexist violence".[22] N.W.A further strove to secure radio play by supplying radio edits of their music to local stations such as KDAY.[4] Despite these efforts, N.W.A's national debut, Straight Outta Compton, saw virtually no radio play; even so, the album was hugely successful, selling one million copies and becoming the first gangsta rap album to be certified platinum.[16][23] As rap fans, even from afar, sought more from Compton and South Central,[24] local rappers, like MC Eiht of Compton's Most Wanted, met the call.[25] The Los Angeles rap scene rapidly moved from party rap to hardcore rap.[16]

On the global stage, N.W.A towered as gangsta rap's icons. The group's profane, unrelentingly violent lyrics led to backlash from law enforcement and other groups: an FBI agent sent the record label a warning letter, MTV banned the "Straight Outta Compton" video, some venues banned N.W.A performance, and some police officers refused to work security at N.W.A shows elsewhere.[3][23][26] The controversy served to further bolster N.W.A's anti-establishment image, and so the rappers would highlight it themselves in later tracks.[3][27]

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Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Players (IYKYK Edit), Fallin'/PSA/Party Life (FNJ-031), American Gangster/American Dreamin' (FNJ-030), Ignorant Shit (FNJ-029), King Kong Riddim (Flipout Speak Ya Clout Edit), Clipse Comin' Thru b/w Happy With Co.Kane (FNJ-026), SCENARIO REMIX (FLIPOUT EDITS), Castaways (Flipout Isley Edit), and 8 more. , and , . Purchasable with gift card Buy Digital Discography $81 CAD or more (10% OFF) Send as Gift Share / Embed 1. American Gangster (N.W.A. Edit) 03:36 buy track 2. American Dreamin' (The D.O.C. Edit) 03:38 buy track about The Answer To The Question: What would Jay-Z sound like if he dropped in the late 80's? Jay Z talking that gangsta shit over "Gangsta Gangsta" N.W.A. sounds like it was meant to be! But the B-side... where Jay-Z's "American Dreamin'" was originally over a Marvin Gaye sample, keeps that vibe but taking it back to 1989 with the monumental Dr Dre & The D.O.C. pairing on the beat "The Formula" which also features a Marvin Gaye sample. CLASSIC!!! $(".tralbum-about").last().bcTruncate(TruncateProfile.get("tralbum_about"), "more", "less"); credits released October 7, 2022 Edits by Flipout and Jay SwingMix by KemoMastered by StuntmanPhotos by Timothy WhiteCover art by MikeceeAdditional Layout by RHEK $(".tralbum-credits").last().bcTruncate(TruncateProfile.get("tralbum_long"), "more", "less"); license all rights reserved tags Tags djs hip hop hip-hop hip-hop/rap rap soul b-boy funk Vancouver Shopping cart subtotal USD taxes calculated at checkout Check out about Flipout Vancouver, British Columbia

I am no expert in black masculinity. As a white female from a small, predominantly white town, I cannot claim to understand what it is like to grow up as a black man in America. However, I believe that I, and many others, can come closer to understanding some of today's complex black masculine identities through the history of constructions and conscious (re)constructions of images of black masculinity. There are countless routes that could have been taken, and admittedly, so much more that could be said about countless images of black masculinity, including those I have represented. The few constructions that I have chosen I believe are representative of the most popularly white-consumed images of masculinity of the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries. An entire book could be written on the representations of black masculinity, and it still may never be defined. But that is what makes it interesting - the ways in which it has transformed over time, sometimes in compliance with and sometimes in reaction to white perceptions of black men. In studying selected instances of restrictive, white-constructed representations of black masculinity such as the "Uncle Tom" and the "minstrel," the "Real Nigga" who rejects white society and retaliates by expressing his power and prowess can be more deeply understood. Looking at Staples's and Lamar's criticisms of gangsta rap reveals some of the downfalls of N.W.A's "Real Nigga" identity, which, although revolutionary, was in many ways a performance of minstrelsy that satiated the American fantasy of the young black "gangsta" as the brute. The more self-aware identities that Staples and Lamar represent provide an insight to the ways that black men are viewed by modern society. They demonstrate the ways in which their ever-shifting identities influence and are influenced by the communities in which they live and the outside world's perceptions of them.


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