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by Mosi Reeves

February 23, 2012

Radio: Classic Gangsta Rap

by Mosi Reeves  |  February 23, 2012

When you think of classic gangsta rap, a specific image comes to mind: the smoked-out G-funk of Los Angeles. As a result, our Classic Gangsta Rap station is heavy on West Coast vibes and the hits of MC Eiht's Compton's Most Wanted, DJ Quik, Ice Cube and, of course, Dr. Dre. It includes plenty of Yay Area sounds, too, from E-40 and Too Short. Though the South initially wasn't as viable a gangsta rap territory, Geto Boys, UGK, OutKast and others quickly established it on the map. These two regions (along with Midwest thugs like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony) used a consistent funk-oriented sound for much of the 1990s; as the decade wore on, the South developed its own identity with bounce, booty bass and crunk. The East Coast had its share of thugs too, but they mostly stuck to the dusty loops and crate-digging aesthetic of vintage boom-bap. One major exception was the late Notorious B.I.G., who used funk and R&B loops for his breakout hits "Juicy," "Big Poppa" and "One More Chance."

The Classic Gangsta Rap station spans the late '80s and a sprinkling of classics from Eazy-E and NWA to the late '90s and the rise of the Cash Money Millionaires and the No Limit Soldiers. Wherever the music comes from, it's got to be funky.

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