Rap”Mr. Officer, I want to see you layin’ in a coffin, sir,” from TheChronic and “F— the police,” from N.W.A., are few lyrics from themusic genre “gangsta rap.” This kind of music is being sold to youngchildren without any thought of concern.
When many children listen to this kindof music they think that was being said in the songs is not wrong or against thelaw. The lyrics in many songs contain violent and explicit lyrics that usuallytalk about killing someone along with sounds of gunshots in the background. Itis also music that refers to women as “bitches,” “whores”and sex-dispensing “hos”(Saunders B29). “Gangsta rap ” hasbeen criticized and debated over for its graphic sexual content, violent imageryand misogyny. When rappers were asked why they refer to women as bitches and hostheir replies were similar.
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“Snoop” says, “that it is just forthe women who are like that and if you’re a real women, you’re classy andelegant. Those lyrics wouldnt necessarily affect you. Youd just groove tothe music” (Farley 78).
Richard Shaw, Bushwick Bill, says: “I callwomen bitches and hos because all the women I’ve met since I’ve been out hereare bitches and hos.” When asked, at the National Association of BlackJournalists convention, what he calls his mother he says, “I call her a’woman’, but I’m not f—ing my mother. If I was f—ing you, you’d be abitch.” He then apologized for what he said to the reporter. (RaspberryA21) “If you don’t give a f— about a bitch/ Then you’re rolling with therow”, are lyrics from Doggystyle. If all people were to think like thiswhat respect would women have. Some say, “if we don’t have respect for ourwomen, why should anyone else?” (Raspberry A21). Do these rappers thinkthat they own women and can treat them any way they want to.
If this is the waysome people think, that the own women and can dis respect them then whatfootsteps are the children going to follow in. Young children and adults, 14, 15and 16 years of age, who listen and memorize these rap songs think that it isacceptable behavior. “Gangsta rap” is hardly the only source ofviolence, but it is a potent one. Not only is the music violent but the rapperslifestyle is also. Many rappers have rap sheets and young people see that andsay, “hey, their rich and money talks.” Today most young people thinkthat if a person is rich and famous they can get away with anything. Not allrappers have run-ins with the law, but the ones that do are very well known.Tupac Shakur, who recently was murdered this year, has had many run-ins with thelaw.
Shakur was arrested for aggravated assault, charged with shooting two offduty police officers in Atlanta in 1993, but the charges were later dropped. Hewas accused of beating a limousine driver in Los Angeles and found guilty ofthreatening a fellow rapper with a baseball bat in Michigan. He was also foundguilty of sexual abuse in 1994 and was serving time up to 4 ½ years inprison (Sims E3). In some raps he glamorized the life of a gangster and fungunplay. He lived the life tattooed on his stomach, “Thug Life,” anddied doing it. “Gangsta Rap” has attracted a high-profile of enemies andno one may ever know who really killed Tupak. The police are still not sure ofwho shot and killed Tupak, but they think that it may have been linked to DeathRow Record’s ties with rival gangs.
There are no witnesses who can identify thedriver or shooter in the Cadillac that pulled up next to Tupak and driver,Marion Knight. Calvin Broadus, better known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, was arrested in1993 on murder-conspiracy charges. He pleaded not guilty and was acquitted. Healso has a police file that Hawkins 3 identifies him as a member of Long BeachInsane Crips, a notorious street gang (Cheevers A1). He was also a drug dealerand user.
His music also glorifies violence and demeans women. Andre Young,a.k.a. Dr.
Dre, served five months in a halfway house in 1993 for violating hisprobation for breaking another rap producers jaw in 1992. He was also convictedof hitting a New Orleans police officer in a hotel brawl and of slamming a TVtalk-show host into a wall at a Hollywood club