Wednesday, April 29, 2009

N.W.A and The Game

Like I posted in my other blog, I wasn’t impressed by N.W.A when I first listened to their album. They just sounded like the same ol’ rappers rapping about the same ol’ things. However, just to explore the possibilities I asked my boyfriend about them since he is more knowledgeable about rap in general. He said “I don’t even want to explain N.W.A to you ‘cause you won’t understand. They were the real O.G’s.”

By this he meant that the group members in N.W.A were “real” and what they rapped about they meant and probably had done—unlike most of the rappers today. They were drug dealers in Compton, and not just the kind that sell weed here and there. Basically, they were legit. Knowing that, I can see the value of studying their songs more now. They weren’t rapping about topics that sold, they were expressing their world or at least how they saw it (like Sam commented on my blog). Their raps are a way of reasserting their power—the cops might have the law on their side, but they have the freedom to disregard the law and are willing to suffer the consequences of it. Catchy lyrics like “Everwhere we go they say [damn!]/N W A's fuckin' up tha program” says two things to me: They realized they were rapping about taboo subjects and they played by their own rules. N.W.A’s group members were fearless of the law and it’s consequences. If someone disrespected them and broke their rules, their solution was simple—kill or seriously hurt that person. (“The police are gonna hafta come and get meOff yo ass, that's how I'm goin out”) And even if they did get caught, they wouldn’t be held down for long. (“And if I ever get caught I make bail”) I’m not sure how many people they actually killed, but that’s the message they send. And, they sent this message through catchy songs that had even the white middle class listening to them. Using the police and the illegal activities that they do as topics for their songs is the ultimate slap in the face for the law. It’s almost like they tease the law by confessing to their crimes, knowing that the police wouldn’t be able to arrest them for it. In this sense, N.W.A played by their own rules and won “the game.”

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