Rapper Special Ed recently made, what many have found to be, a controversial statement regarding legendary and controversial rap group, NWA. Special Ed was on Drink Champs and when asked to pick between rap groups Wu Tang or NWA he segued and made the controversial statement that “NWA brought destruction to hip hop culture.”
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NWA AND GANGSTA RAP
As many of us know NWA was among the first in hip hop to popularize the subgenre of rap music, gangsta rap. Music that essentially is based on alleged experiences of its founding members and also on factual occurrences in Los Angeles. Some of these experiences include racism and police brutality.
The group’s disdain for racism and police brutality is clearly expressed in their songs, respectively, Express Yourself and F**k The Police.
However, Special Ed clearly sees another side of the coin when it comes to NWA being a pillar of popularizing gangsta rap.
He states that NWA popularizing gangsta rap was, quote, “Genius for them and they made millions of dollars off of it, but look at what It caused” end quote.
And according to Special Ed what NWA caused was the, quote, “NWA brought the age of destruction to our children and our culture.”
Special Ed makes it clear that he has nothing personal against NWA and its members. He goes on to say, “I respect all of them as men, but as the art form, and you want me to speak on the art form…that’s where the agenda started and that’s where the destruction began.”
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IS NWA REALLY TO BE BLAMED
In NWA’s defense, many would state that they were street reporters. A group of young men fed up with racism and police brutality in their community and through music they found a way to report the injustice in their communities to the masses.
And though NWA may have been the most popular of the gangsta rap sub genre there were other rappers speaking in violent tones prior to NWA. Not to mention that NWA could not carry their gangsta music to the masses without their labels backing them by investing millions of dollars to promote them.
STREET REPORTERS OR INSTIGATORS
But the debate can be made if bringing racism, violence and police brutality to the forefront like NWA did was the most productive way of doing so. Because other rap groups were making social issues and priority and doing so without being, “destructive.” Some of those groups include Public Enemy, X-Clan and Ghetto Boys.
What are your thoughts on the NWA comments made by Special Ed. Do you agree with him or was NWA simply making music that already reflected what was going on in Los Angeles for an incalculable time?
And how much can the record labels that promoted NWA’s music be held accountable for any of the destruction that Special Ed refers to.
And as always we like to close with a saying, quote or adage and today’s is from Special Ed: TO PREACH IS TO PASS ON KNOWLEDGE. BE MINDFUL OF THAT PART. CHILDREN LIVE WHAT THEY LEARN.
Now, go forth and change the game!