Crime and Risk Management in the Rap Game
This chapter analyzes the fierce competition in Chicago’s rap underground as a winner-take-all environment and talks about the gang members involved in Chicago’s gangsta-rap microscene. It outlines the problems gang membership creates, such as exposure to arrest, delinquency, and violence. According to criminologist Mike Tapia, delinquency rates are significantly higher for gang members, and being in a gang heightens the chances of arrest. Gang membership limits the interactions with musicians and fans from rival gangs, reducing opportunities for networking, collaboration, and building an audience. The chapter also observes the atmosphere of arbitrary violence that pervaded Chicago’s gangsta-rap microscene, which resulted in a sense of despair for some rappers who were also gang members.
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