Various This is Gangsta Rap

I’m still deciding whether a CD title like This is Gangsta Rap is a supreme insult to my sensibilities or more a reminder of the world that we live in. Has the free-wheeling subgenre that is "gangsta rap” helped or hindered the progress of hip-hop? The compilation manages to mash together tracks from Nas, 2Pac, Method Man, DukeDaGod and Mobb Deep. When it comes to the actual song selection, there’s a fine line between "underground” and "obscure” and this CD manages to straddle it. While I’m sure that hardcore aficionados of gangsta rap aren’t really checking for a neatly packaged double CD box set, the package will no doubt appeal to overzealous music lovers seeking a vicarious thrill. (Champion City)