Original Gangstas: Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and the Birth of West Coast Rap (Paperback)Ben Westhoff (author)
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In the late 80s, a group of high school dropouts, drug dealers, and ex-cons spoke out against racial injustice and police brutality. They did it through hip-hop. Their explosive popularity put their Los Angeles neighborhood of Compton on the map. They gave a voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Their names remain as popular as ever--Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur.
Music journalist Ben Westhoff shows how this group of artists shifted the balance of hip-hop from New York to Los Angeles. He shows how N.W.A.'s shocking success lead to rivalries between members, record labels, and eventually an all-out war between East Coast and West Coast rappers. In the process, hip-hop burst into mainstream America at a time of immense social change, and became the most dominant musical movement of the last thirty years. At gangsta rap's peak, two of its biggest names--Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls--would be murdered, and the surviving superstars would have to make peace before their music collapsed in its own violence.
Exhaustively reported and masterfully written, ORIGINAL GANGSTAS is a monumental work of music history that will offer news-making stories about a legendary group of artists, some living, some dead.
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Number of pages: 320
Dimensions: 156 x 229 x 30 mm
[Adds] fresh detail to the oft-told stories ...[A] history that won't settle for easy heroes or villains. * Rolling Stone *
[A] captivating chronicle... Central to Westhoff's research are original interviews with key figures balanced with the author's efforts to frame the music as a piece with the surrounding social and political upheaval... He doesn't flinch in providing a rounded picture of the history of the genre, in which the danger wasn't confined to the music * Library Journal *
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