Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Multimedia Communication (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Shana Bridges


This research paper provides historical background into the evolution of Hip Hop culture and further investigation into the evolution and foundation of Gangsta Rap music. Throughout this investigation, five recurring fundamental themes are recognized through patterns presented by its pioneers. The five themes that are addressed within this subgenre include: (1) masculinity, (2) respect, (3) violence and retaliation, (4) misogyny, and (5) wealth. As Gangsta Rap emerged into popular culture, it became socially acceptable to exploit issues and limitations experienced within African American communities. In turn, Gangsta rappers overcame limitations typically experienced by black males. In what follows I will provide origins and characteristics of Gangsta Rap. I will discuss the emergence of Trap music from Gangsta Rap. In addition to the five themes above, Trap music remains distinctive through the introduction of a sixth theme, drugs. Furthermore, this paper not only elucidates the foundations of these genres, but it also supports them as creative forms of communication.