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Chicago Hustle and FlowGangs, Gangsta Rap, and Social Class$
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Geoff Harkness

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816692286

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816692286.001.0001

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Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment

Crime and Risk Management in the Rap Game

(p.167) 5 Capital Punishment
Chicago Hustle and Flow

Geoff Harkness

University of Minnesota Press

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.

Keywords:   rap underground, gang membership, gangsta-rap microscene, Chicago, Mike Tapia, delinquency, gang members, violence

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