Gangsta Rap Analysis

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Another more popular stereotype today is the image of black youth as prone to violence and crime. This is constantly being referenced to negative influences of popular culture, often rap music and hip-hop culture. This is highly visible in electronic media, despite the fact that commercialized hip-hop is not representative of the entire genre (Mahiri et al, 2003). This stereotype particularly emerged through the creation of ‘gangsta rap.’ It is very common that there are moral panics surrounding popular music. ‘Gangsta rap’ with its ‘often violent and misogynistic overtones of its lyrics, has instilled a form of moral panic among the white middle classes’ Bennett 2000, p.135). There have also been attempts by white institutions such as the …show more content…
This article focuses on the negative impacts and the violent lyrics of ‘grime music,’ a hybrid genre created with the infusion of rap music and UK garage. I am particularly interested in how the article articulates the negative issues surrounding grime and rap music through the clever use of language. ‘Language forms a useful method of examining ideology. Sometimes ‘The Sun’s’ point of view is manifested very blatantly’ (Clack 1992, p.208). For example take the headline of this article. ‘After 12 Hours of Gangsta Rap I Could Have Knifed Someone.’ For a lot of readers, the headline of an article will sell the story; the dominant message in the headline would be reflected on the reader’s mind throughout the article. Referring to the headline of this article, straight away it conveys the message of gangsta rap making an impact on knife crime in Britain. The clever use of language in the headline has already summed up this particular newspaper’s ideology on rap music in one short blow. Not only does this headline portray ‘The Sun’s’ ideology but gives the newspaper the perfect opportunity to relate gangsta rap music with the more current moral panic related to knife crime and teenage murders. Throughout the article itself, language has been used very carefully, intelligently and often subtly but on some occasions blatantly covey the message in the news story. Adebayo notes …show more content…
Adebayo uses this, by briefly exploring the history of black music to reinforce the image of the more current genre, rap music, as being outrageous. ‘In the late eighties, LA group NWA brought ‘gangsta rap’ to the mainstream. Since then the easiest way to succeed in rap has been to talk about guns and killings’ (Adebayo 2008). What we need to talk into account when reflecting on this quote is that, do rappers talk about such topics to gain commercial success, or is mainstream popularity gained from record labels deciding what should be popular? It is the media that makes this music genre so popular, yet the media decides to represent rap music so negatively. When contrasting between rap music and popular black music from the past, Adebayo has failed to point out that a lot of black music from the past had also been represented negatively. This is why creating a contrast between the past and the present works so effectively, as rap music will always appear to be increasingly negative when compared to popular black music from the past. Although ‘The Sun’ tends to be blatant when putting its ideologies across in this article, ‘language is used to convey blame subtly, with the motivating value system only subliminally present’ (Clark 1992, p.208) Adebayo has subtly hinted to his readers that it is solely the black community that are portraying

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