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Rap war


Shots ring out in South Central Los Angeles. A man screams in horror. 
This man has been shot in a heated gang war. This is everyday life for 
gang members. Gang members are used to cold blooded murder and most 
attend at least 5 funerals a week. Similar situations occur in Harlem, 
New York and in other places around the country. 

 Why is this happening? Many people think that rap music is making kids 
more violent. They think that rap music is just a glorification of 
violence. All rap music is doing is to show how horrible and inhuman 
life is in the ghettos across the country. This is what's really 
happening out there. It's not fake. 

 Right now, there is a major conflict between West Coast and East Coast 
rappers. East and West are fighting in a vicious battle that leaves 
hundreds of poor, helpless people dead in the street. There's no reason 
for this to be going on. 

 Back in the early '90's, when rap was beginning to become popular, the 
East/West war wasn't quite there yet but it was slowly becoming more and 
more obvious that there was a conflict between rappers. Part of the 
reason that the war started was that West Coast rap dominated and nobody 
questioned their supremecy. Ice Cube, Ice T, and Eazy E were the rappers 
of the moment. The war slowly worsened when East Coast rappers began to 
get more publicity. West Coast rappers were upset that they weren't 100% 
in the spotlight so they started to make fun of East rappers in their 
music proclaiming that East Coast rap was fake and couldn't top West 
Coast. Then, East Coast rappers fired back obscenities at West Coast 
rappers and it kept up like that until someone decided that the other 
coast had gone too far.

 In 1993, Sean Combs started Bad Boy Entertainment in New York and for 
the first time ever, East Coast sales surpassed West Coast rap sales. 
Suddenly, as if out of nowhere came the peak of the West/East feud. 
Smaller gangs in cities took the example of the "big playaz" and 
followed what they said. Before, local gangs killed for affiliation 
whether you were a Blood or a Crip. Now, gangs were killing for West and 
East. In some cities it was so bad that you could be killed for living 
on the wrong side of the neighborhood. 

 The war went on for awhile and started getting worse. The big feud was 
West Coast Death Row Records against East Coast Bad Boy Entertainment. 
Their were some personal feuds though. West rapper Tupac Shakur had a 
personal problem with East rap mogul The Notorious B.I.G. They often 
rapped about each other and were very personal. In one song Tupac 
claimed to have slept with Biggie's wife and the Notorious B.I.G. 
retaliated in his music by saying "Stupid niggaz mess wit Big Poppa, 
motherfuckers get roasted if you fuck wit B.I.G. These words became 
extremely important later.

 Then, on September 7, 1996 West rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur was shot to 
death in a drive by shooting in Las Vegas. His murder remains unsolved 
and will probably never be solved. There were over 100 possible 
witnesses but only 1 agreed to testify. Many gang members believe that 
the police can't do anything so they refuse to cooperate. And, after the 
funeral the gang members settle the score themselves. And almost always 
it is bloody. Members of Tupac's entourage thought the only way to make 
things better was to kill an East rapper. And in my opinion, that's 
exactly what they did. 

 On March 3, 1997 East rapper Christopher Wallace aka Notorious B.I.G. 
was shot to death. Sound familiar? It should because that's the same 
thing that happened to Tupac Shakur six months earlier. Both murders are 
unsolved so no one except the killers know why these senseless deaths 

 Sadly, life goes on and many people in the ghetto think there is only 
one answer to these problems: retaliation. 

 Now in 1998, the feud is somewhat better. No Limit Records, which is 
the number one West label after Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight got 
nine years for probation violations is doing fine and remarkably without 
violence. There are still blatant attacks on East rappers in the music 
but for now their have not been any more rap murders. 

 Rap is a way of expressing how life is on the streets and yes there is 
violence in the streets. But, the violence can be stopped. We are all 
human beings and there's no reason for us to hurt each other. 

 I dedicate this report to Tupac and Biggie in hopes that the violence 
in rap will end. We should all be able to live together. In Peace......


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