15 November 2010
To gaze into the lyrics of both Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur is like living in the ghettos of New York City where violence never stops. Both of these artists grew up seeing and living a life filled with violence. Gunshots and drive-byes, death and murder were a daily occurrence. Although the lyrics of both artists are simply telling their life stories and how hard it was to grow up in their “hoods” they contain vulgar, hateful, and sexual verses that send the wrong message to their listeners. Whether these listeners are teens or adults, white or black, they are continually sending notions of hatred and fear through their lyrics and actions. Ultimately, their lyrics, actions, and creation of the East coast West coast rivalry began promoting violence to whoever hears, listens, or watches them.
As both of these rappers grew as artists, they also sent the wrong messages through their lyrics. Biggie Smalls and Tupac both continually wrote about selling drugs, having sex, and using their guns to scare not only their rival gang, but also the law enforcement. This black masculinity is sending the wrong messages to kids and adults. As said by Lindsay Johns, “Heterosexual black masculinity, as a social construction in the twenty-first century, is at best deeply problematic.” (173) Not only do they send wrong messages to kids, but also their uproar of violent lyrics led to violent acts by young kids wanting to be the “gangsta” on their block. These kids start to carry guns in their bags like in Biggies lyric “…Now I got a Mac in my knapsack/ Loungin' black, smoking sacks up in acts…” and from Tupac’s song titles Violence, “But I looked up, and all I saw was blue lights/If I die tonight, I'm dying in a gunfight/I grabbed the AK, my homie took the 12 gauge/Load em up quick, it's time for us to spray.” The violence of their lyrics did not lead to relaxation and stability; they only lead to...