“Seeds Are Sown”

  June 8th, 2010, newcomer YG from Compton releases “Toot it and Boot it”.  A pop club influenced song becomes a smash hit and the start of his prominent career.  If you listened to the rest of YG‘s “4 Fingaz Mixtape” you soon realized that he has more to offer than just catchy radio hits.  The project is driven by “Westcoast” sounds and stories to match, that detail day-to-day life in mid-2000s Compton.

On the flip side, you had another couple of young men in Los Angeles put on in their own ways. Nipsey Hussle and his new The Marathon brand.  The two other young hungry MC’s, one from Nickerson Gardens, Watts, known as Jay Rock and the other from Compton that went by K.dot (now Kendrick Lamar) were releasing the “No Sleep Til NYC” mixtape. Over the next few years, these artists created some of the biggest waves in Hip-Hop, Kendrick Lamar noticeably running away from the pack, with a pro-black hybrid-styled rap that’s full of social and political subject manner that reminds you of N.W.A’s own style.

“Spreading Out”

March 11th, 2012 Chicago rapper Chief Keef releases “I Don’t Like” Feat. Lil Reese, a hardcore drum anthem that had all the characteristics of a great song in the genre.  Energy, enemies, and lots of overhyped violence, the song would mark the start of drill music, a bass-heavy offshoot of “gangsta rap” with its origins deeply rooted in the streets of Southside and Westside of Chicago or as some call it “Chiraq”.  With the rising tide of Chief Keef and his Glory Gang associates like Fredo Santana and Lil Durk came broadening competition with fellow drill music and the ever-growing scene.

While the genre had transformed into “drill” music in Chicago, it merged with “Crunk” and “Snap” music.  In Atlanta and became “Trap”.  A sound formed in the streets about street life, “Trap” music’s explosion took the rap world by storm boasting such notable acts as Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane, T.I. , Future, and The Migos.  The stories from these artists mirrored those of earlier generations in “gangsta rap”.  Gangs, drugs, violence, poverty and the list goes on.  Connecting with a new generation of listeners through common struggles was easy for this new era of “gangsta rappers”.



“The gangs filled a void in society, and the void was the absence of family life. The gang became a family. For some of those guys in the gang that was the only family they knew”
Drexel Deal, The Fight of My Life is Wrapped in My Father

For young men of color who grow, or grew up in an impoverished environment, rap became one of the only legal ways to make it out of that life.  Rapping about the life they know could only come naturally. “gangsta rap” always had detractors, those who thought it was just violence for the sake of violence, not delving into a larger discussion about why the need for this outlet exists.  Or why fans relate to the music and lifestyle.


“Pt.3 Sunday, August 5th “