By Geoff Harkness


On September four, 2012, Joseph Coleman, an eighteen-year-old aspiring gangsta rapper, was once gunned down within the Englewood local of Chicago. Police instantly begun investigating the connections among Coleman’s homicide and a web confrontation and tune he was once having with one other Chicago rapper in a rival gang. In Chicago Hustle and Flow, Geoff Harkness issues out how universal this kind of incident may be while rap teams shape as extensions of gangs. Gangs and rap tune, he argues, could be a lethal combination.


Set in a single of the most important underground track scenes within the kingdom, this booklet takes readers into the center of gangsta rap tradition in Chicago. From the electrical buzz of nightclubs to the points of interest and sounds of bed room recording studios, Harkness provides gripping debts of the lives, ideals, and targets of the crowd contributors and rappers with whom he spent six years. A tune style captivated with authenticity, gangsta rap promised these from crime-infested neighborhoods a price ticket out of poverty. yet whereas firsthand stories with gangs and crime gave rappers a leg up, it additionally intended sporting guns and touring jointly for protection.


Street gangs function a fan base and supply defense to rappers who herald source of revenue and support to recruit for the crowd. In interpreting this symbiotic courting, Chicago Hustle and move ultimately illustrates how classification stratification creates and continues inequalities, even on the point of a neighborhood rap-music scene.


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Additional info for Chicago hustle and flow : gangs, gangsta rap, and social class

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Slowly, and without much fanfare, he got better. While rapping in the exercise yard one day, Habit’s freestyles caught the attention of a young man with cappuccino skin and crimped hair that flowed halfway down his back. Tattoos of every variety adorned a physique sculpted from a daily routine of heavy weights, and his cocked eyebrow split the difference between threatening and playful. Even in drab prison blues, he had a hustler’s swagger. His name was Bleek and he rapped, too. Bleek Bleek was born in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago’s North Side.

Comparatively, the gangstas had grandiose ambitions that included chart-topping albums and sold-out stadiums. The high aspirations of the gangsta rappers, combined with their position at the bottom rungs of the hegemonic class structure, resulted in a different relationship to commercialization than backpackers. The gangstas typically had no problem commercializing their lyrics, sound, or image in order to appeal to the masses. Selling out or going commercial was a nonissue; it was the goal. Getting signed to a major label — perhaps the ultimate sign of selling out, to a backpacker — served as an indicator of success to gangsta rappers.

And us being in prison, that’s all we had to do. When we’d come back in from school and working out, it’s writing. For hours. That’s all it was: WHO SHOT YA?   write, write, write, write, write. If I hadn’t started writing every day and doing what I was doing, trying to better myself as an artist while I was in there, I’d be back in the penitentiary. That ain’t no secret. That or a nigga slump me over or something. Music is what saved me. It keeps me focused. Something to live for, something to chase; my dream.

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