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Who Made You Do It?

December 1, 2015

 

Ice Cube, now a well-known actor and former member of highly successful rap group N.W.A, created a song in 2008 called “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It.” Just within the first few seconds, the direction of the music video and song is set. The public reflection of rap is not always seen in a positive light, and Ice Cube knows this well. Being from a group that made raps about police brutality and the issues of racial profiling, Ice Cube understands the backlash rap attracts. Especially considering the raps of real life of confused as words of excessive violence and obscenity. Seeing how he made this rap in 2008, not a lot has changed. Especially the idea that with an increase in violence or any negative behavior has direct correlation with gangsta rap. Ice Cube drills into the listener's head that any bad choices made is because “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It.” This shows the listener that because there is a scapegoat for a problem, the excuse can be used repetitively—even if the action does not match the reason. The beginning of the music video display classroom full of children being taught the dangers of gangsta rap music, and because of how said music was created, Compton is now dangerous. The team who planned out the music video knows exactly what is the problem. There are so many issue in America that have come about just because of racial discrimination, but parents and adult figures alike assume the problem arises with the black community who make music that relate to the consequences of racial discrimination. The video uses various clips of crime such as: Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine High School shooting, Virginia Tech shooting, and so on and so fourth. All of these help display the common message that society has grown use to making gangsta rap a scapegoat. If the blame shifts to gangsta rap music, than poor behavior can because excused by blaming gangsta rap music as well. Just pointing blame does not address not problem, and Ice Cube is making note of it. Background information to the what Compton is known to be is the police department of Oakland lack of care for the black community. Ultimately, the community's solution was to form the Black Panthers, and eventually the Black Panthers formed in LA. However, once the Black Panthers were losing form in LA, gangs heavily dominated the community. So if anyone wants to blame someone, then why not the cops who failed to protect all constituents of America? Now when the little boy ask the man about the status of Compton before the creation of gangsta rap and the man's response is how Compton was a nature reverse, you know Ice Cube is ready to call out the people who believe that gangsta rap is the problem. These songs are only reflections of real life struggles within this community, not a justification as for why America is facing so many problems. Focusing on the lyrics of the song, there is a progression in what gangsta rap is responsible for. Starting off with “I can say what I want to say ain't nothing to it gangsta rap made me do it” to “If I fuck up the planet ain't nothing to it gangsta rap made me do it” shows that the argument that music influences poor behavior is nonsensical. The lyrics for most rap songs are misinterpreted and just directly seen as obscene and violent. The problem of misinterpreting the lyrics comes from the lack of acknowledgment between the inequality between black and white people. This section of the song proves a point: “I keep it gangsta and why should change that fuck you all you motherfuckers trying to change rap But aren't you the same cat that sat back when they brought cocaine back I'm trying to get me a Maybach how you motherfuckers gonna tell me don't say that you the ones that we learned it from I heard nigga back in 1971” Gangsta rap music is part of the black community, it has done justice in telling the struggles and pain of those who lived in this type of environment. In this section there is a heavy implication that the lyrics are talking about white people. He comments on the attempts to censor or change the way of rap to make the music more family oriented. He continues on to say that even the n-word is not something that roots from the black community, but rather the inequality of racial groups. This is a word they had to reclaim in order to change the derogatory meaning, and here are the white people assuming the issue of the word being used is because of gangsta rap music. When looking at previous song Ice Cube has made when apart of N.W.A such as “Fuck The Police”, there is an important idea to note that “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It” defends the song and any other song with similar subjects. They are misinterpreted and quickly shunned, and there is an denial for the inequality that inspires the songs. By using poor examples, Ice Cube points out the flaw of assuming gangsta rap influences poor behavior rather than gangsta rap talking about them.

 

 

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