N.W.A (N##### Wit Attitudes) shocked the system in the late 1980s with their provocative lyrics about police brutality, street life and drug dealing. Did the group have a direct impact on spreading the gangsta lifestyle? N.W.A’s Ice Cube addressed that question.
On September 25, Ice Cube requested that his X followers ask him questions on the platform. One user wanted to know if N.W.A. played a role in destroying “conscious rap” and promoting sex, violence and gangster behavior to young people.
Another person on X replied, “Crack and [heroin] flooded every economically challenged part of the country, but you want to blame music?” That comment led to someone else posting, “Unfortunately music did play a part with the crack being pumped into our Black and Latino neighborhoods.”
Ice Cube eventually saw the exchange taking place in his replies and decided to add his own response to the conversation. The founder of the Big3 basketball league quote-tweeted the @DocNice70 account and called their opinion nonsense.
“B#######,” Cube fired back. “Crack was in the neighborhoods a decade before Gangsta Rap. In the 70s, they called it freebase. So was [heroin], weed, Mollys, gangbanging, drive-bys, pimping and [hoeing], dropping out of school, young girls getting pregnant, cussing and the using the word N####. It was all here before N.W.A.”
The AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted album creator continued to debate the topic. At one point, Cube pointed out crime-themed movies from the 1970s such as The Godfather and The Mack. He also pushed back on the idea that Gangsta Rap or Drill Rap influences violent actions.
“Violence was there before Drill Rap. If it was no Gangsta Rap or Drill Rap, the violence would still be there. We understand right from wrong at the very early age. Some grow up and choose violence. Been that way for centuries,” tweeted Ice Cube.
Additionally, the rapper/actor pointed out that Gangsta Rap “developed many new Black businesses in entertainment.” Cube then touched on how the Hip-Hop sub-genre created jobs for Black workers and provided global opportunities for many Black individuals.