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Gangsta Rap MTV News Special w Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Eazy E + more / Abbie Kearse Co-ProducerAdd to Queue

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  • Date posted : Jan 01, 1970

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Int'l TV Programming Bronze Award for Best News Special - "Gangsta Rap: An MTV News Special Report" 1994 Abbie Kearse: Creator / Co-Producer / Narrator New York Times review from May 25, 1994: MTV Debates Gangsta Rap By JOHN J. O'CONNOR Tonight MTV devotes 24 minutes to the incredibly complex phenomenon of "Gangsta Rap." The essay seems aimed less at MTV's regular audience, who will find most of the material overly familiar, than at those of us who wouldn't spend two minutes listening to this music but ignore its existence perhaps at our peril. The popularity of gangster rap (let's drop the cute comic-book spelling), with its sometimes violent and sexist content, has reached the point where, as in Congress this year, hand-wringing public hearings abound. Unlike mainstream rap, which is based in the hip-hop street culture of largely black neighborhoods, gangster rap, like the baggy fashions inspired by prison uniforms, explicitly celebrates the world of the criminal, complete with its slang. It reflects the rage of the jobless and the addicted, of those who grew up in welfare hotels and on mean streets. As one young man puts it: "Get it right. We ain't standing for this no more. Nobody cares about me. Why should I care about you?" Yes, one young fan admits, the waving of guns and drugs, not to mention the constant degrading references to women, could very well have a "kind of negative" effect on children and adolescents. But there's another exquisitely ironic aspect: gangster-rap recordings have been extremely successful. One practitioner notes, "That stuff is selling." Another says, "I'm here to make money." It's the capitalist dream containing what could be the seeds of its own destruction. Snoop Doggy Dogg, whose stardom has been dimmed by run-ins with the law, says critics of the form are "only trying to take away jobs." Glorifying violence, or telling it like it is? This MTV documentary, searingly assembled by two producers, Ivano Leoncavallo and Abbie Kearse, hits on all the right questions but is wary of answers. Gangster rap is, after all, a problem for MTV, which, as is noted, has rules on gratuitous sex and violence. But the significance of gangster rap is not artistic. Unlike Tony Bennett with his repertory, for instance, Snoop Doggy Dogg will not be charming audiences 40 years from now with his hostile lyrics. They do, however, have sociological significance at the moment. Bill Stephney, a creator of the group Public Enemy, hears an alarm going off, "an alarm for us to do something." No argument here. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/25/arts/review-television-mtv-debates-gangsta-rap.html?scp=1&sq=gangsta%20rap%20mtv&st=cse (reel is for demonstration and non profit educational proposes only) Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use"? for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

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