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Gangsta: Merchandizing the Rhymes of Violence

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2000

    Incredibly Literary Work

    Each page of Ronin Ro's first book is tight, well-written, clearly ahead of its time. Unlike his many imitators in books and music magazines, Ronin Ro has a good handle on the material, draws upon classic literary traditions for inspiration and elevates the hip-hop journalism genre he helped create during the early 1990s to a new plateau. In this first book, which St. Martin's Press should reprint, readers see Ronin create the slang that has became the cornerstone for rap magazines Vibe, The Source, and XXl ('laced,' 'streetlevel,' 'ditty,' and 'singsong' are among the terms he created ). We see the earliest use of the first person narrative style he dropped once others tried to use it. We see a side of Ronin noticeably absent from his Death Row book (save for a few choice passages in that behemoth)-- him backing pathological liars into a corner by relentlessly presenting them with the facts. Before every dolt with a computer jumped on the bandwagon with inferior rap books, Gangsta laid out the blueprint they all continue to follow-- that is, until Ronin presents yet another approach with a new work. Gangsta is often imitated but never quite duplicated and I for one hope Ronin Ro's next work marks a return to the literary style he used in his first, and in my opinion, most powerful work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2010

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