Focusing on the artists Ice Cube, Dr Dre, the Geto Boys, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur, Quinn explores the origins, development, and immense popularity of gangsta rap. Including detailed readings in urban geography, neoconservative politics, subcultural formations, black cultural debates, and music industry conditions, this book explains how and why this music genre emerged.
Since the days of N.W.A. in the late 1980s, gangsta rap has played a critical role in the culture of hip-hop. Quinn (American studies, Univ. of Manchester, U.K.) has written an impressive academic study of gangsta rap's music and culture that traces its roots to antebellum days, through toasting and the legends of the badman and the trickster. Quinn shows that gangsta was a logical progression in the development of urban culture, exploring its meaning in the black community, including its impact on fans, artists, and others involved in creating the music. The biggest flaw is that limited personal insight is given about those behind the music (e.g., Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg). Besides a final chapter on Tupac Shakur, not much is revealed about the lives or motivations of the artists discussed. An interesting, if dry, study of the gangsta culture; recommended for music and cultural studies collections in academic or larger public libraries.-Craig Shufelt, Lane P.L., Oxford, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.