Fortress Los Angeles

  • African American Migrants move and bring stories, southern blues, and laid back attitude

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  • As LA grew, there was emergence of racial segregation





  • Contain people with different viewpoints

Homeowners Association/Gated Communities 89-90



  • Role in Maintaining White Wealth

  • Demolishing and not replacing thousands of units of existing affordable housing in poor black communities

  • What you can and can’t do in a community and who has the right to be there

  • Cameras are placed on streets in LA in colored places

  • Rules and guidelines on who could be there- space with a wall around it

-LAPD ; African Americans (Rodney King) 48-49 (1991)



  • Failed to address the roots of the problem and barely distinguished between drug dealers and communities as a whole

  • Housing Projects equipped with police substations and black males were picked up for potential gang activity

  • Higher punishment for black crack users and dealers than cocaine

  • Spark after already feeling injustice

  • He was speeding and drunk and didn’t want to be arrested but then was beaten because of resistance

  • Police officers say that they were afraid, so they win on an all white courthouse

  • Sadness and anger in the rest of the country as they see the reality

Drug Wars 80s

  • War on the communities that bore the brunt of the drug crisis

  • Focuses on Criminalization rather than Rehabilitation

-Rap 2-5,15-17, 243-246, 2-3



  • Represented street criminal icons in a musically compelling way

  • White consumers wanted gangsta-oriented rap music

  • New interest in gangsta rap as a mainstream profit stream moved swiftly into a multitude of markets and related products

”Boyz in the Hood”- Easy E (1987)



  • Being strong and able to protect oneself from pain and hardship

  • Defines masculinity

“Straight Outta Compton”- NWA (1988)



  • Police doing sweeps in neighborhoods and they are always a part of the story

  • Making oneself known/heard

“It was a good day”- Ice Cube (1992)



  • Looking for normalcy

  • Gangstas want to live their lives and be themselves but they are always bound by containment culture

“Trapped”- Tupac (1991)

  • Came from politically active family, educated but not richm learned how to bring in voices to tell stories

  • Brought attention to the mass incarceration of African Americans

  • Product of their experiences

  • Appealing to white men so they can see a different culture that they will never experience

How was gangsta rap then critiqued by other musicians or political figures.




  • Black teenagers have smuggled sexism and homophobia into American culture, bringing them in like unauthorized imports

  • Fosters negative interactions and exploitative relations between young black men and women in ways that degrade women

  • Few music videos depict gay men or women at all

  • Homophobia helps obscure the fundamental connections among patriarchal masculinity, femininity and homophobia

  • Gay men are weak and real masculinity is heterosexual and aggressive

Busta Rhymes and Homophobia 237

  • Become quiet and uncomfortable and close down conversation

  • What he represents culturally

Nelly “Tip Drill” – Misogyny 3,6,13,75-77,115,159,188



Rarely speak about need to prevent discrimination against black women

-Viewing women as sex objects at the BET Spring Fling



  • The way they dress

  • Its the truth

  • Females also blame women

Young Aspiring Rappers and Violence/Drugs

  • Raping Bitches and shooting people

  • No one wants to hear about alternative futures or consequences of choices

  • Doing whatever they can to get there, no one raps about the positives

  • Truth from the streets and the black ghetto

-Fat Joe- Masculinity and Hardness 154.107-108..117-120



  • Violent behavior is, in fact, at the heart of American Value system

  • Violence was added to mainstream visions of manhood

  • Bush suggests that gang-invested kids are operating outside the bounds of acceptable male american culture that “respects” a woman

    • Imply hip hop and young black men represent the decline of civility, honor and good manhood

  • Gun makes a real man

  • Everyone wants to be hard, we can’t walk and smile at eachother if we are competing for something

  • Hip-hop is ego driven, want respect