In the 1990s, rap music dominated the music industry. While some rap songs got radio play, the more volatile form, known as “gangsta rap” was at its strongest with artists such as Snoop Dogg and The Notorious B.I.G.
After the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur (aka 2Pac) in 1996, and the collapse of West Coast Rap Giant “Death Row Records,” West Coast gangsta rap took a downturn. Newer West Coast artists, such as Game, have tried to breathe life back into the genre, but to no avail.
Released on Oct. 22, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” is new West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut under Aftermath, Top Dawg and Interscope Records. With the debut of this album, under executive producer Dr. Dre (Andre Yong), hope is restored in the almost forgotten genre.
Born in Compton, Calif. in 1987, Lamar got his first taste of gangsta rap when he witnessed 2Pac and fellow rapper Dr. Dre filming for their single “California Love. In 2003, Lamar released his first mixtape, which gained enough attention for him to be signed to Top Dawg Entertainment. Lamar caught Dr. Dre’s attention after the release of his fifth mix tape, “Overly Dedicated” in 2010.