Are you a gangster… or a gangsta?
There’s definitely a difference. And it’s no secret that most of these gangsta rappers idolize the gangsters that are portrayed as glorified murderers all over the news, TV and the silver screen:
“Scarface.” “Goodfellas.” Lucky Luciano. Al Capone. “The Godfather.” Murder, Inc. The 5 families. John Gotti. Every single one of these real-life individuals, syndicates, fictional characters and stories have been used and reused amongst the hip-hop community. Even stick-up kids like the original 50 Cent and drug kingpins like the real Rick Ross have had their names jacked and their persona imitated through the rappers who pretend to have lived their lives.
In the wake of the on-going battle between the fake Rick Ross and the real Ricky, I thought I’d take a look at the most popular faux gangstas:
50 Cent: He stole his name from the notorious, late stick-up kid from Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Yeah, Curtis Jackson was shot 9 times and probably sold some crack; after all, he IS from Jamaica, Queens. What hoodrat over there hasn’t been either shot, shot at, dodged a bullet, and/or sold some drugs? Stop it, Fif. You were never a hardcore gangsta like the stories you depict in your music. You were just another fatherless thug from the streets of New York– there are hundreds of thousands just like you. In fact, they comprise half of The Bronx’s male population.
You’re not special.
Jim Jones: Stolen name. Soft in real life. Once got stopped by the cops and got so scared he sputtered in terror: “YO! YOU KNOW ME! I’M JIM JONES… YOU KNOW MY SONG? ‘BALLIIIIIIIIIIIIN!’ COME ON! I DON’T WANNA GO TO JAIL!”
Don’t call me a liar, ’cause I can’t make shit like this up. Yes. It really happened.
“Niggers are having a good time.. up in Harlem,” said Sonny in “The Godfather.”
Yeah, that’s what you all are to the Italian mafia: Niggers. Yet you still use their names, idolize their Hollywood stories, and aspire to be like these dudes.
And Al Capone is a popular idol amongst black America. Get real, ignorant fucks. Capone was born in 1899. You think he gave a fuck about black niggas?
Nah. He didn’t. In fact, he probably hated them, and is rolling over in his grave every time a wanna-be thug inserts his stories into their music.
Murder, Inc: Irv Gotti— because, of course he looked up to John— is really black and Dominican. And Murder Inc. was a 1930s organization run by Jewish gangster Lepke, who hired hitmen. Many of them came from Brooklyn–known as the Brownsville Boys. Now, with that said, where do cornballs like Ja Rule, who was slapped around by another fake gangsta and dethroned from rap music, fit in this equation? Ja couldn’t even stop 50 from knocking him out of the “TRL” and “106 and Park” countdowns, but we’re supposed to buy into this “black gangsters” bullshit?
Rick Ross used to be a correctional officer and even has
a college level GED an *Associates degree. While many COs are crooked, I can’t picture this dude doing anything illegal… other than stealing peoples’ food from out of the break room fridge and stuffing packs of steak and fish under his fat flaps at the supermarket. But, he assumes the name and life of the real Rick Ross. And consumers buy into it.
Drake: Old money. Even had a bar mitzvah, but somehow “started from the bottom” and emulates “new money antics” by covering the floor with thousands of dollars while “making it rain” at the strip club. Oh– and he dates skrippers.
Leave him on “Degrassi” for a couple more seasons and today he’d be just another childhood actor-turned cokehead.
The list of wanksters are infinite. If I don’t end this now, I’ll be writing all day.