N.W.A Didn’t Kill Hip Hop or the Black Community

Share with your friends


Straight Outta Compton, the movie documenting the rise and fall of gangster rap groupN.W.A, came out this weekend to much success. Round about numbers suggest that the movie made somewhere between 40-50 million dollars (or even more than that). I went to see the movie myself. Being that I grew up in the height of N.W.A’s popularity, a lot of the story line was pretty familiar territory. Many people went to see the movie for the sake of nostalgia and entertainment.


n.w.a-straight-outta-compton_1_660xYet, there are going to be detractors to movies that has central characters of a more infamous nature. Sadiki Kambon called for the boycott of the film over a year ago. Truth Minista Paul Scott notes that the group is totally misogynistic, the music industry is corrupt, and Jerry Heller is a “war criminal who should be brought up on charges of war crimes against the African American community for his role in our genocide.” Oh, and don’t forget the Black-man-hater supreme Christelyn Karazin even had to make a video about it all. So yes, people aren’t going to want this movie to be successful.

My response to this: yawn.

These people are boring and there is a reason why nobody listened and nobody cared.

N.W.A and the Negativity

I mean, let’s get real: N.W.A did make music with a lot of negative situations. If you ever took the time to listen to tracks like “Findum, Fuckem, and Flee” and “I’d Rather Fuck You”, anyone would see the wild sexuality and misogyny dripping from the rap canvas. And I don’t even have to make an account of the songs that were violent and harsh against anybody that stood in their way. Your proof: “Appetite for Destruction” is enough to see the issues that people had with their music. The negativity of the music is there and not much search is needed.

N.W.A Still Catches a Bad Rap

While nobody is really trying to make any euphemistic picture of what N.W.A’s music was all about, I do actually see a lot of people wanting to blame the music and not the conditions. And to me, this is laughable at best. Especially when many don’t note that N.W.A came out during a time of apparent diversity in rap music.

N.W.A 1

One problem with blaming N.W.A, and any other negativity highlighted in music, is that no one actually approaches any real causes. It is almost as if Black people weren’t dealing with crime, violence, or the mistreatment of (Black) women before gangster rap. Yet, there was violence during the 1960’s and ‘70’s when most popular music was about love. Also, Franklin Zimring of the University of California, Berkeley, found that crime rates across all major cities declined in the “gangsta rap” 1990s to levels more closely resembling those of the big-band era. Let us not forget the issues that plague inner cities (poverty, lack of resources, schools under trepidation, etc.). So, is N.W.A the real cause of the issues we had back then and even today?

Another problem is that, even in the legal sense, it would be hard to blame music for the cause of violence. There has been quite a few court cases where rap music was used as a scapegoat for someone’s criminal actions. Hell, they failed at using 2Pac “Soulja’s Story” as a scapegoat for Ronald Howard’s killing of Officer Billy Davidson in Texas back in 1992. In truth, the only time music was successfully used against a rapper was when it was their own music highlighting their own crimes. As such, the only legal use of music being a cause for violence happens when the rapper is the criminal.

N.W.A vs. Everybody

How can we honestly keep trying to pin the blame on music when the reality existed beforehand? As much as life imitates art, art actually imitates life even more. Blaming rap music for the ills of inner city society has been tried and true for decades. However, whatever protesting and disagreement put out in the world hasn’t done much. And it hasn’t done much because the focus is on the byproduct of the real problems. In the end, blaming N.W.A for situations that existed before them (and they talked about) is scapegoating at its best; at worst, its ignoring problems that existed before and after their influence.

It is always wise to find the cause of a problem instead of blaming the byproduct.


[Originally posted at Chocolate Covered Lies]

Share The News
Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends

Read More
Actor Bill Cosby speaks at the National Action Network's 20th annual Keepers of the Dream Awards gala in New York April 6, 2011.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT) - RTR2KWH7

Bill Cosby: Rape Culture in July of 2015

July 9, 2015 • Entertainment, Gender • Views: 6260

Rape culture, the epidemic that never wavers, has felt a surge this week. Not that rape culture ever takes a break. In fact, it actually “works” harder than the multiple occupation-holding Jamaicans parodied on In Living Color. However, the cases that presented themselves waver between the

Activist, Bree Newsome, arrested after removing Confederate Flag from grounds of South Carolina's State House.

Bree Newsome: Black Women are Heroes

July 6, 2015 • Education, Gender • Views: 6040

Being a middle school teacher, I have a tendency to tease my male students. A lot of times, there may be some discrepancy that I need for them to “get together”. At many points, it would be one of my female students that was there to get them together. After the fact, I will always ...


Consuming The Other: Rachel Dolezal’s Charade Bulldozes Black Womanhood

June 16, 2015 • Culture, Gender • Views: 5912

By now, you’ve probably heard the sordid and bewildering story of world class Decepticon, Rachel Dolezal, explode across your social media timelines. Each day since her cover was blown Rachel’s alternate reality shatters in a million little pieces, as more information is revealed about her


Dr. Umar Johnson and The Power of the Punani

June 16, 2015 • Education, Gender • Views: 9569

I am noticing more and more mentioned indiscretions with men and their “insignificant others”. If these men aren’t caught up with their side pieces, then they are having too many baby mommas. I promise you that Magic Johnson didn’t get caught up for all of these young men to keep repeating


Thank God! Bruce Jenner Still Has a Penis!!!!

April 25, 2015 • Gender • Views: 4682

So, about this Diane Sawyer interview with Bruce Jenner, did “he” really say that he’s 100% heterosexual? I mean, he is transgender, right? He identifies as a woman, but he says he isn’t attracted to men sexually. So, like, is he a fake lesbian now? Bruce Jenner was once


SB 101: How Indiana Turned Back the Clock on the Gays

March 28, 2015 • Culture, Gender, Politics • Views: 5461

A few months back, the Hobby Lobby decision was made that actually sent situations spiraling out of control. The Hobby Lobby decision I am referring to is Burrell vs. Hobby Lobby, Inc. This final decision was in favor of Hobby Lobby. This decision allows “for-profit corporations to be exempt from


Empire: Reimagining Cookie Lyon as a 21st Century Jezebel

February 23, 2015 • Culture, Gender, Media • Views: 6548

I just watched the latest episode of Fox’s breakout mid-season show “Empire” and as the show’s central character Cookie Lyon’s took the podium that was indeed acting as a Jezebel–Queen Jezebel that is. The name Jezebel is the English transliteration from the Hebrew Bible of the wife of


Detroit Man Who Walked 21 Miles to Work Fears for His Life

February 23, 2015 • Culture, Gender • Views: 7787

Detroit Resident Walking 21 Miles to Work James Robertson made the headlines a few weeks back when it was revealed the Detroiter was walking 21 miles to work because he had no transportation and could not afford to acquire any with what he made as a welder. People were touched by his story and a



January 31, 2015 • Gender, Politics • Views: 9852

  STACY DASH & SARAH PALIN have treated us this past week to exercises in “How to Excel in Inanity and Ignorance While Making a Profit.” These traits, which they both have become known for having exceeded their 15 minutes of fame long ago. Stacy Dash may win this round however with her



December 7, 2014 • Culture, Entertainment, Gender • Views: 7865

  In the current popular discourse on so many topics one has stood out profoundly for me. I have repeatedly refrained from speaking much on the topic of Bill Cosby and the current allegations against him involving allegations of rape going back over twenty years. The topic itself has been the


Stop Effeminate Black Men (Pt. 1)

November 10, 2014 • Entertainment, Gender • Views: 5218

When I think of a man being effeminate, I think of a man being the total opposite of manly. Actually, I consider him taking on all those things that should be relegated to womanhood. Some of the more “soft” actions that are happening now should not be accepted. Yet, here we are (in the 21st ...


Family Secrets: Domestic Violence, Generational Abuse

October 16, 2014 • Culture, Gender • Views: 5494

As an adoptee On my own personal journey to healing, I sat down and wrote an Open Letter to My Birth Mother with the intention of releasing and or venting my own pain and frustration as a result of what I felt were HER choices vs. me having no choice.. Growing up as an only child ...


Raven Symone, Labels, & Idealism

October 8, 2014 • Entertainment, Gender, Race • Views: 6723

Raven Symone does not want to be referred to as “African American” or “gay”. When I first heard these statements, they did/didn’t surprise me one bit. One side of me thought it was denial. The other part of me realized that Raven Symone didn’t want to be boxed in. Still, her statements


Ray Rice, Domestic Violence: The Video – Sensationalizing and Racializing a Social Problem

September 13, 2014 • Entertainment, Gender • Views: 5285

Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice, or rather ex-football player Ray Rice, has been let go following the release of a horrific video of him knocking out and dragging his then-fiancée, now-wife Janay Palmer-Rice. The event occurred months ago. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a suspension