What Is Gangsta Rap?:
Gangsta rap is a genre of hip-hop that reflects the violent lifestyles of inner-city youth. The genre was pioneered around 1983 by Ice T with songs like "Cold Winter Madness" and "Body Rock/Killers." Gangsta rap was popularized by illustrious rap groups like NWA and Boogie Down Productions in the late 80s.
Elements & Style:
Gangsta rap revolves around aggressive lyrics and trunk-heavy beats. Despite its huge acceptance in the early 90s, gangsta rap has been condemned for its violent themes. Rappers often defend themselves by saying that they're only depicting actual inner-city struggles, not promoting it.
Gangsta Rap + Commercial Beats = Success:
Gangsta rap gained commercial momentum after the release of Notorious B.I.G's Ready To Die. B.I.G. and his producer, Puff Daddy, meshed gritty narratives with polished pop beats entirely designed with clubs and pop charts in mind. Since then, the same blueprint has been reproduced over and over by today's rap artists.