Ever since Schoolly dropped 'P.S.K. What Does It Mean?' back in about '86 and Ice T heard it and called him up to come over to the west coast to show him, Eazy and Dre how he made that gangsta sound, "Gangsta Rap" or "Reality Rap" was born. Ice T recorded '6 'N The Morning' and Eazy made 'Eazy-Duz-It' which although wasn't the first gangsta track recorded, it was the first gangsta album made and was followed by the incredibly successful 'Straight Outta Compton'. N.W.A.'s album gave every gangsta in L.A. and a heap of fake gangstas the hope and idea to make their own record. Some like MC Eiht and Quik actually could rap and produce quality beats while plenty were just N.W.A. clones. Over on the East coast Schoolly was still keeping it hard along with the legendary Mob$tyle from Harlem and some Kool G Rap & DJ Polo tracks, some Just Ice tracks and also P.H.D. (Poet & Hot Day).
Back on the west though things went crazy when the movie 'Colors' came out and showed the rest of America and the world what Crips and Bloods were all about. Even though gangs were always somehow involved in hip hop from the very beginning with all the hard New York gangs like the Black Spades etc and oldschool artist Afrika Bambaataa coming out of the 70's gang era, it wasn't until 'Straight Outta Compton' and 'Colors' that Gangsta Rap was a huge part of the scene. With all the gang violence going around the Boogie Down Productions released the track 'Stop The Violence', shortly after this a Self Destruction' 12" featuring a bunch of east coast kings at the time like Moe Dee, Stetsasonic and D Nice etc which was on the stop the violence theme. The west coast came out with their very own version called 'We're All In The Same Gang' that featured Ice T, MC Hammer, CPO and Cubeless NWA amongst others. A dope video came out for it as well as an entire compilation on 'Grand Jury' records that featured artists like the Latin Kings.
O.F.T.B. - Slangin' Dope (Video)
Every parent group and politician in America blamed the music for every murder and driveby in the late 80's and early 90's which caused incredible publicity for any rapper with a gun on the cover. Many artists themselves pointed the finger at gangsta rappers claiming they're ruining the culture. In about '92 / '93 things got real heated after the four cops got let off after beating down Rodney King which caused the LA riots that saw LA gangs terrorize streets like Crenshaw BLVD. Other movies came out like 'Boyz N Tha Hood', 'Menace II Society', 'CB4' and 'Fear Of A Black Hat'.
Somehow in '92/'93 some sets of both Crips & Bloods had a truce which led to tracks like 'Peace Treaty' by Kam and 'Gotta Lotta Love' by Ice T. Around this time Kelly Park Crip, Tweedy Bird Loc and Ronnie Ron brought out the Bloods & Crips 'Bangin On Wax' compilations, the 'RIP Ridas' albums and the 'Damu Ridas' albums. These got dissed by alot of Bloods & Crips claiming they were sellouts for appearing on record with oppisite sets and colors. As well as having some first time rappers show they got skills on the mic some slightly experienced rappers like Nini X (Under World Connection) who was known as Bloody Mary (R.I.P.) and Domino who was known as Genuine Draft also featured on the project, as well as rappers like B Brazy, Green Eyes, Lil' Stretch, Red Rag, Blu Rag and Fo' Clips amongst plenty of others. Since the Bloods & Crips project came out, alot of them have been killed. Of course while everyone was going on about the Crips ans Bloods people forgot all about Surenos and Nortenos and Latins who run alot of the west coast.
KAM - Peace treaty (Video)
Hip hop is filled with gangstas that rap, former gangstas that now rap or rappers that pretend they were or are gangstas to sell records (like the fairy tale gangsta O'Shea), Although the whole crips & Bloods part of hip hop has pretty much faded out of the scene they are still aroung both on and off the mic. It's just unfortunate that alot of hip hop fans and artists try and knock down this part of the culture, just because they don't like it and wish it didn't exist doesn't mean it's not hip hop. Hip hop started in the ghettos and has emerged into a world wide culture of millions of people rapping about THEIR background, upbringing and life experiences. So, if artists like South Central Cartel rapped about anything other than gangs and gangstas they'll be just as fake as someone from a nice neighbourhood trying to act like a gangsta. Fuck anyone that tries to disregard 'Gangsta Rap' or 'Reality Rap' as not being hip hop, if you don't like it don't listen. For those that do, here is a few gangsta tracks I hope you enjoy.
I didn't put any of the Bloods & Crips stuff up because I'm going to do a 'Dangerous Records' post soon. Nailing this post down to just a handful of tracks was near impossible, missing out Schoolly's 'PSK' Ice T's '6 N The Morning' and 'Colors' and Eazy's 'Boyz N Tha Hood' which are all pioneering gangsta rap tracks was hard but I thought everyone would already have them. Even so, there are so many incredible gangsta tracks that I think I might just put up 5 at a time every now and then for the fuck of it.
*Stop The Violence Movement - Self Destruction
*West Coast Rap Allstars - We're All In The Same Gang
KMC - Gangsters
Ice T - Gotta Lotta Love
Gregory D - Gangsta Life
*Featuring - KRS One, MC Delight, Kool Moe Dee, MC Lyte, Daddy-O, Wise, D-Nice, Ms Melodie, Doug E Fresh, Just Ice, Heavy D, Fruitkwan, Chuck D & Flavor Flav.
*Featuring - King Tee, Body & Soul, Def Jef, Michel'le, Tone Loc, Above The Law, Ice T, DR Dre & MC Ren, JJ Fad, Young MC Digital Underground, Oaktown 357, MC Hammer & Eazy E.
(Rap Pages April '93 - Click To Enlarge)
* If anyone's after Bloody Mary's 'Day Of Resurection' album or other dope gangsta abums check out Pimpin' On Wax. This guy's got some dope shit and has given us nothing but respect for a fuckin' long time now. Check his blog out, bookmark it or link it...... and get some nice beats.