Serving as two of the most visible African American cultural movements, blaxploitation cinema and gangsta rap played essential roles in giving African American artists an outlet to establish a new black identity for mainstream audiences. After exploring the similarities between the cultural and economic conditions that spawned both movements, this essay examines the parallel techniques by which the preeminent entries in both genres established themselves as culturally relevant for African American audiences. These techniques included a reliance on place and space to establish authenticity, as well as employing African American myths and folklore such as the Signifying Monkey and the badman. By establishing themselves as mainstream representations of black identity, the harshest critics and staunchest defenders of both movements came from within the African American community, a clear indication of the important role each would play in establishing a new era of black representation in popular culture.
© The Journal
"Baadassss Gangstas: The Parallel Influences, Characteristics and Criticisms of the Blaxploitation Cinema and Gangsta Rap Movements,"
Journal of Hip Hop Studies: Vol. 1
, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jhhs/vol1/iss1/7