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NCJ Number: 199861 Find in a Library
Title: Chicano Music and Latino Rap and Its Influence on Gang Violence and Culture
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:10  Issue:2  Dated:Winter 2003  Pages:55-63
Author(s): Gabe Morales
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 9
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the messages of Chicano/Latino gangster rappers in their music and examines whether the music is gang-related.
Abstract: Rap is part of the hip-hop culture that started on the East Coast in the mid-seventies with such groups as the Sugarhill Gang, Curtis Blow, and Grandmaster Flash. It is a diverse music style, and one subgroup could be classified as "Gangster Rappers." For years, record companies capitalized on the violent gangster image; however, when Ice-T released "Body Count," the backlash against the album's glorification of violence against police officers resulted in Time Warner severing his contract. Gangster rap music has historically included elements of gang-related violence in lyrics. Much of the media focus has been on Black rap artists; however, music has played a historical role with Latino gangs, and popular Latino artists have been influenced by the gang culture as well. Oldies and Rap continue to be popular with the gang members of this decade. Many rappers are not gangsters; they are considered softcore and even mainstream, but there are some Latino rappers who may have criminal connections. The gang lifestyle has influenced the songs of many Latino singers and bands who grew up in gang-infested neighborhoods. This music, in turn, may influence the behavior of the younger gang member/listener, but is not necessarily indicative of gang involvement. Professionals who work with gang members should be aware of the role that music has historically played in the gang culture, as well as the increasing use of music by gangs to gain members and support for their gang. The increasing portrayal of violence in the lyrics of these songs indicates a trend toward the willingness to use violence against police officers.
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Gang violence; Hispanic gangs; Juvenile delinquency factors
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