Thank God for gangsta rap


What’s the best type of music to ease a broken heart? Acoustic singer-songwriters, indie pop, emo, sadcore, 80s goth, dream pop? Hell no, none of that shit. It’s aggressive and boastful gangsta rap from the late 80s and early 90s.

I haven’t been able to listen to a certain kind of emotional music, with yearning and melancholic melodies, since the breakup. It just makes me sad. That’s unfortunate in a way because I love such songs. With a few exceptions, I have been able to enjoy all types of music in the past. I believe that a good song always is a good song, regardless of its genre.

The music that has meant the world to me, however, is the music I can identify with: music that says something about my life, my dreams, my thoughts, my endeavors and feelings. But the opposite can be very refreshing.

Gangsta rap doesn’t evoke any feelings of sadness or love. It doesn’t remind me of relationships or heartbreak. You know the Audioslave song Doesn’t Remind Me? Chris Cornell sings about things he likes because they don’t remind him of anything. That’s one of the reasons why I love Straight Outta Compton: it doesn’t remind me of anything.

Sure, the lyrics are often misogynistic, macho and violent and other things I don’t agree with or can relate to. That’s the beauty of it, though. The actual music is often catchy, captivating and the stuff they sing about provides a glimpse into a completely different way of life. But foremost, gangsta rap helps me cope and it gives me energy and a bit of “fuck you” attitude.

Red House Painters, Elliott Smith, Damien Rice, Mason Jennings and The Shins would only make me miserable. I can still listen to grunge and most other types of angry rock (and a few clinical Radiohead songs, actually).

However, nothing beats gangsta rap and the king of the hill is N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton from 1988. It’s a great album and this summer it has helped me more than any emotional record about heartbreak, loss and loneliness ever could.