Tag Archives: hip hop

Straight Outta L.A.

Straight Outta L.A. is an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary directed and narrated by Ice Cube. It’s about the Los Angeles Raiders and the rise of gangster rap in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. This was a tumultuous time in L.A. The crack epidemic was going on, police brutality was common, gangs and violence were rampant. The Raiders were a team that was a little rough around the edges and played a little dirty, but they won games and the city of Los Angeles quickly adopted them as their own. Among those fans was a young Ice Cube and the other founding members of NWA. They were pioneers in hip-hop and brought a new, raw style of rapping that came to be called gangster rap.

Ice Cube and the rest of NWA chose to use Raiders gear as part as their image. The iconic pirate logo and powerful silver and black colors became synonymous with gangster rap, and the two became linked for better or for worse. Ice Cube’s film features interviews with Raiders legends like Al Davis, Howie Long, and Marcus Allen as well as hip-hop legends like Ice T and Snoop Dogg to tell the story of how the Raiders influenced rap music and a city, changing the world in the process.

I know a few Raiders fans. I respect them a lot more after watching this documentary.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Straight-Outta-LA

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Rap God by Eminem

“Rap God” is the latest single from Eminem and it seals his legacy as one of the best rappers of all time. It is his magnum opus, his masterpiece. It’s distinctly Eminem. It has a dope beat, a catchy hook, pop culture references, witty lyrics, and sound effects. He uses some rhymes that he’s used before, but he gets away with it. Eminem can rap like Tupac, but Tupac can’t rap like Eminem. Nobody can. That’s not an insult to Tupac or Biggie or Chuck D. Eminem is just capable of doing things that nobody else can do and he proves it in this song. He changes pitch and tempo and has a way of making rhyme that shouldn’t rhyme. He spits out rhymes so fast that you can’t even hear what he is saying, but you still know that he is saying it. He might be pretentious and full of himself, but he’s earned it at this point. This is already one of his the best songs in his library. Even someone who doesn’t like rap can appreciate his skills.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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