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Activism/Acts of Resistance

Activism/Acts of Resistance. Music acts as a significant form of human expression through which social evolution can be achieved. Musicians use song titles, lyrics and melodies to express social and political messages. Music has been used successfully in the past to influence politics, fight for equality and resist violence, war and discrimination. The United States has had extraordinary musicians who have brought about social and political revolution with songs carrying social and political messages (Martin). One such group is the N.W.A (Niggaz Wit Attitudes) rap group. N.W.A is considered as one of the most significant and influential music group in the history of rap music.

To begin with, N.W.A is among the earliest and most influential music group in the United States. N.W.A was a hip hop group from Los Angeles, California. The group was formed in 1986 and consisted of Dr. Dre, Arabian Prince, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella (Barco). The artists were influenced by their own experiences of excessive policing, drugs, crime and racism when making the lyrics. The group’s music was labeled gangsta rap because of their controversial lyrics. N.W.A was active from the year 1986 to 1991. The group was banned from many local radio stations for sparking controversy.

Activism/Acts of Resistance

Additionally, N.W.A music intended to provoke the police system. The attitudes of the rap group were shaped by their experiences in Compton city, Los Angeles. The city had a reputation for crime, drugs, gangs and high murder rates (Barco). The people of Compton city had experienced racial profiling and harassment from the police. In an attempt to defy the police, the rap group composed songs that showed defiance in music studios, music videos and on live concerts. Through their lyrics, the artists expressed their deep hatred for the police. Through their music, N.W.A demonstrated resistance against police brutality.

Further, N.W.A rap music carried political messages targeting the political class. The rap music composed by N.W.A forced the political class to confront the issues in the inner cities. In the mid 1980’s, people living in the inner cities encountered numerous challenges. The discriminatory housing policies and rapid urbanization contributed to the poverty and overpopulation witnessed in the inner cities where the rap group members resided (Laurence). As a result, the minority groups living in these cities suffered from massive unemployment. N.W.A’s music lyrics captured these experiences in an attempt to fight the discrimination. The experiences of people in the inner cities were presented so clearly in the music forcing the politicians to act.

Lastly, N.W.A music brought about social revolution. In mid 1980s, the streets of Compton city were full of police operations targeting drug peddlers and street gangs. The police officers were predominantly Caucasian who harassed black youths in the streets. To resist the racial profiling, the rap group created a new form of music that documented the experiences of the minority groups in the inner cities (The Telegraph). The social observations made by the artists focused on racial discrimination and police brutality. The music moved the angry young African American fans who were tired of racial discrimination.

Although the N.W.A rap group was banned in 1991, it remains one of the most influential rap music groups. Their lyrics let a lasting legacy decades after the group was banned. Through their music, N.W.A resisted police brutality, racial profiling, racial discrimination and violence in the cities. The music group expressed their opinion and narrated about their experiences through lyrics and melodies. The music influenced the police system, the political class and social interactions between civilians.

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