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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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Rap Hustlers or Sucker MCs?

Rap Hustlers or Sucker MCs?

Chapter:
(p.191) Conclusion Rap Hustlers or Sucker MCs?
Source:
Chicago Hustle and Flow
Author(s):

Geoff Harkness

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816692286.003.0007

This chapter covers the microscenes perspective that differentiates Chicago’s underground rap music scene from backpackers. At the corporate tier of the rap music industry, backpacker rap is less commercially viable than gangsta rap. While there are people who opt for the less commercial backpacker music, who earn respect for having artistic purity, the corporate music industry tends to focus its efforts on gangsta rap. However, gangsta rappers have fewer career options than backpackers. Outside the microscene, the stigma attached to the gangsta persona and its behavioral and performative requirements make it difficult for gangstas to attend school or obtain traditional employment. With low levels of education and few prospects, the gang members viewed rap as their only legitimate ticket to achieving upward mobility.

Keywords:   Chicago, rap music scene, backpackers, rap music industry, corporate music industry, gangsta rap, microscene

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