Gangsta rap

mafioso rapgangstagangster rapRapgangsta-rapmafiosogangsta rapperGangsta hip hopgangster rappergangstas
Gangsta rap or gangster rap is a style of hip hop characterized by themes and lyrics that generally emphasize the "gangsta", "O.G" and "Thug-Life" lifestyle.wikipedia
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Ice-T

Ice TTracy Lauren MarrowTracy Marrow
The genre evolved from hardcore rap into a distinct form, pioneered in the mid-1980s by rappers such as Ice-T and popularized in the later part of the 1980s by rap groups like N.W.A. In 1986, Ice-T released "6 in the Mornin'", which is often regarded as the first gangsta rap song.
Ice-T received further inspiration as an artist from Schoolly D's gangsta rap single "P.S.K. What Does It Mean?", which he heard in a club.

Criminal Minded

9mm Goes Bang
At the same time my single came out, Boogie Down Productions hit with Criminal Minded, which was a gangster-based album.
It is considered a highly influential hip hop album and one of the first in the gangsta rap genre.

Eazy-E

Eazy EEric WrightEric "Eazy-E" Wright
Schoolly D's debut album, Schoolly D, and especially the song "P.S.K. What Does It Mean?", would heavily influence not only Ice-T, but also Eazy-E and N.W.A (most notably in the song "Boyz-n-the-Hood") as well as the Beastie Boys on their seminal hardcore hip hop inspired album Licensed to Ill (1986).
Dubbed the "Godfather of Gangsta Rap", he gained prominence for his work with N.W.A, where he has been credited for pushing the boundaries of lyrical and visual content in mainstream popular music.

Schoolly D

Schooly DJesse "Schoolly D" Weaver JrJesse Bonds Weaver, Jr.
Ice-T had been MCing since the early '80s, but first turned to gangsta rap themes after being influenced by Philadelphia rapper Schoolly D and his 1985 album Schoolly D.
His lyrics reflected urban realism, violence, and sexual bravado, making Schoolly D the first gangsta rapper (see below).

Niggaz4Life

Efil4zagginAppetite For Destructionfinal album
N.W.A's second album, Efil4zaggin (1991) (released after Ice Cube's departure from the group), broke ground as the first gangsta rap album to reach #1 on the Billboard pop charts. Above the Law also played an important role in the gangsta rap movement, as their 1990 debut album Livin' Like Hustlers, as well as their guest appearance on N.W.A's 1991 Efil4zaggin, foreshadowing the dominance of the genre in 1990s starting with Dr. Dre's The Chronic.
Niggaz4Life (also known as Efil4zaggin) is the second and final studio album by gangsta rap group N.W.A, released on May 28, 1991.

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton: 20th Anniversary EditionStraight Outtathe same name
The first blockbuster gangsta rap album was N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton, released in 1988.
The album has been viewed as the pioneering record of gangsta rap with its pervasive graphic profanity and violent lyrics.

6 in the Mornin'

6 In the Morning6 'N the MorningDog'n the Wax"/"6 'n the Mornin
In 1986, Ice-T released "6 in the Mornin'", which is often regarded as the first gangsta rap song.
Released in 1986 as the B-side of "Dog 'N the Wax (Ya Don't Quit-Part II)", the song is considered to be one of the defining tracks of the gangsta rap genre.

Kool G Rap

Kool G. RapKool G Rap & DJ PoloKool G. Rap & DJ Polo
East Coast hardcore rappers like Rakim, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, LL Cool J, and EPMD also reflected the trend in hip-hop music in the late 1980s towards hard-hitting, angry, aggressive, and politically conscious lyrics, revolving around crime, violence, poverty, war and gunplay.
He is often cited as one of the most influential and skilled MCs of all time, and a pioneer of mafioso rap/street/hardcore content and multisyllabic rhyming.

P.S.K. What Does It Mean?

P.S.K.P.S.K. (What Does It Mean?)P.S.K.! What Does It Mean?
Schoolly D's debut album, Schoolly D, and especially the song "P.S.K. What Does It Mean?", would heavily influence not only Ice-T, but also Eazy-E and N.W.A (most notably in the song "Boyz-n-the-Hood") as well as the Beastie Boys on their seminal hardcore hip hop inspired album Licensed to Ill (1986).
It would be critical to the rise of West Coast gangsta rap when the street hustler, gang member and upcoming rapper by the name of Ice-T released his hardcore anthem "6 in the Mornin'" that he has said in interviews was written after he heard Schoolly D's "P.S.K."

Boogie Down Productions

BDPHarmony
At the same time my single came out, Boogie Down Productions hit with Criminal Minded, which was a gangster-based album.
The group pioneered the fusion of dancehall reggae and hip hop music and their debut LP Criminal Minded contained frank descriptions of life in the South Bronx during the late 1980s, thus setting the stage for what would eventually become gangsta rap.

The Chronic

ChronicLil' Ghetto BoyDeez Nuts' skit
Above the Law also played an important role in the gangsta rap movement, as their 1990 debut album Livin' Like Hustlers, as well as their guest appearance on N.W.A's 1991 Efil4zaggin, foreshadowing the dominance of the genre in 1990s starting with Dr. Dre's The Chronic. In 1992, former N.W.A member Dr. Dre released The Chronic, a massive seller (eventually going triple platinum) which showed that explicit gangsta rap could hold mass commercial appeal just like more pop-oriented rappers such as MC Hammer, The Fresh Prince, and Tone Lōc.
Dr. Dre's production has been noted for popularizing the G-funk subgenre within gangsta rap.

West Coast hip hop

West CoastWest Coast rapWest Coast hip-hop
As a teenager, he moved to Los Angeles where he rose to prominence in the West Coast hip hop scene.
In the mid-1980s, Mixmaster Spade defined an early form of gangsta rap with his Compton Posse.

Horrorcore

death rapgothic rapperhorror-rap
Furthermore, the Geto Boys, along with Jam Master J's and Erick Sermon's group Flatlinerz and Prince Paul's and RZA's group Gravediggaz, are often cited as pioneers of "horrorcore" rap, a transgressive and abrasive subgenre of hardcore rap or gangsta rap which focuses on common horror themes, such as the supernatural and the occult, often with gothic or macabre lyrics, satanic imagery, and slasher film or splatter film-like violence.
Its origins derived from certain hardcore hip hop and gangsta rap artists, such as the Geto Boys, which began to incorporate supernatural, occult, or psychological horror themes into their lyrics and, unlike most hardcore and gangsta rap artists, horrorcore artists often push the violent content and imagery in their lyrics beyond the realm of realistic urban violence to the point where the violent lyrics became gruesome, ghoulish, unsettling, or slasher film- or splatter film-esque.

Dr. Dre

Andre YoungDr DreDre
In 1992, former N.W.A member Dr. Dre released The Chronic, a massive seller (eventually going triple platinum) which showed that explicit gangsta rap could hold mass commercial appeal just like more pop-oriented rappers such as MC Hammer, The Fresh Prince, and Tone Lōc.
Dr. Dre began his career as a member of the World Class Wreckin' Cru in 1985, but found fame with the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A, which popularized explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life.

Rhyme Pays

Ice-T continued to release gangsta albums for the remainder of the 1980s: Rhyme Pays in 1987, Power in 1988, and The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech...Just Watch What You Say in 1989.
The album, especially tracks like "6 'N the Morning", is considered to have defined the gangsta rap genre.

It Was a Good Day

1992 solo singleToday Was A Good Day“Today Was A Good Day.”
It sold over 5 million copies and was #1 in the charts, propelled by the hit single "It Was a Good Day", despite the fact that Ice Cube was not a Death Row artist.
"It Was a Good Day" (also known as "Today Was a Good Day") is a song by American gangsta rapper Ice Cube.

Gravediggaz

The GravediggazDJ Diamond
Furthermore, the Geto Boys, along with Jam Master J's and Erick Sermon's group Flatlinerz and Prince Paul's and RZA's group Gravediggaz, are often cited as pioneers of "horrorcore" rap, a transgressive and abrasive subgenre of hardcore rap or gangsta rap which focuses on common horror themes, such as the supernatural and the occult, often with gothic or macabre lyrics, satanic imagery, and slasher film or splatter film-like violence.
Gravediggaz blended hardcore hip hop, gangsta rap and heavy metal with horror elements to pioneer the hip-hop subgenre of horrorcore.

Political hip hop

conscious hip hopconscious rappolitical rap
While it contained gangsta elements, it was his most political album to date.
Early gangsta rap often showed significant overlap with political and conscious rap.

Oakland, California

OaklandOakland, CACity of Oakland
Aside from N.W.A and Ice T, Too Short (from Oakland, California), Kid Frost, and the South Gate-based Latino group Cypress Hill were pioneering West Coast rappers with gangsta rap songs and themes.
Historically a focal point of the West Coast blues and jazz scenes, Oakland is also home to musicians representing such genres as rhythm and blues, gospel, funk, punk, heavy metal, Rap/Gangsta rap, and hip hop.

Flatlinerz

66ix: Chapter 26ix: Chapter 1Definitive Creepy Collection
Furthermore, the Geto Boys, along with Jam Master J's and Erick Sermon's group Flatlinerz and Prince Paul's and RZA's group Gravediggaz, are often cited as pioneers of "horrorcore" rap, a transgressive and abrasive subgenre of hardcore rap or gangsta rap which focuses on common horror themes, such as the supernatural and the occult, often with gothic or macabre lyrics, satanic imagery, and slasher film or splatter film-like violence.
Def Jam targeted the Flatlinerz as an alternative to Gangsta Rap, which was dominating hip hop music at that time.

Doggystyle

Doggy StyleherePump Pump
One of the genre's biggest crossover stars was Dre's protégé Snoop Doggy Dogg (Doggystyle), whose exuberant, party-oriented themes made songs such as "Gin and Juice" club anthems and top hits nationwide.
The Chronic expanded gangsta rap with profanity, anti-authoritarian lyrics and multi-layered samples taken from 1970's P-Funk records.

Geto Boys

Ghetto BoysScarfaceThe Geto Boys
The Houston-based group known as the Geto Boys came out around the late 1980s and made songs containing both gangsta themes of crime and violence and sociopolitical commentary.
In the early 1990s, several American politicians attacked rap artists associated with the subgenre gangsta rap, including the Geto Boys.

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Doggy DoggCalvin BroadusSnoop Lion
One of the genre's biggest crossover stars was Dre's protégé Snoop Doggy Dogg (Doggystyle), whose exuberant, party-oriented themes made songs such as "Gin and Juice" club anthems and top hits nationwide.
Gangsta rap became the center of arguments about censorship and labeling, with Snoop Dogg often used as an example of violent and misogynistic musicians.

Warren G

Warren Griffin IIIWarren Griffin IIWarren G" Griffin III
Warren G was another G-funk musician along with the now deceased Nate Dogg.
After his release, he began producing music after being taught and encouraged by his stepbrother Dr. Dre, who, by that time, was already a successful rapper and producer with the gangsta rap group N.W.A.

Raekwon

Corey WoodsC. WoodsChef Raekwon
Though the genre died down for several years, it re-emerged in 1995 when Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon released his critically acclaimed solo album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx....
Raekwon has been cited as a pioneer of mafioso rap.