Gangsta Rap Fights Back

Peter McLaren, a professor in the division of urban schooling, stated “that moral custodians of U.S. culture have denounced gangsta rappers as prime instigators of juvenile delinquency” (Mahiri, Connor 123) And after analyzing and researching all the articles about rap that appeared in popular magazines including Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News & World Report between 1983 and 1992, he concluded that these main stream magazines “reinforced a link between rap and specific negative themes”(Mahiri, Connor 123). The negative conjunction between rap and youth violence produced by the media was created to reinforce dominant ideologies in US culture. Gangsta rappers in the early 1990’s were deviating from the social norms of society and they faced backlash for exercising their constitutional rights.


Rap artists make their music with the intent to express their artistic capabilities while also informing their listeners about problems in the inner-city that all should consider and think about. Even though some may consider their lyrics to be too graphic and explicit, it’s important to get the message out that many inner-city black people face poverty and oppression on a day-to-day basis to educate America. Alonzo Westbrook, author of a hip-hop dictionary comments on the matter saying, "We conceal ourselves and our pain in our art. Hip-hop allows us to release it, to get it off our chests"(“Gangster rap under arrest” 3). Ultimately the censorship of gangsta rap was an abomination to our right of free speech and the knowledge of this has lead to gangsta rap still being played in the main stream media. Even with Senator Carol Moseley Braun and Representative Cardiss holding hearings against the “menace” of gangsta rap and activists like Delores Tucker encouraging a regulation by congress for censoring explicit music gangsta rap has remained in popular culture (Kurtz, 48).