Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Norman S. Greer


There has been much controversy associated with "gangsta rap" music over the 1990's decade. This manuscript takes a closer look at "gangsta rap" music through a descriptive analysis, exploring these topics: social construction of reality, sexism, violence, community actions, and their possible negative influences on societal values. The positive and negative implications involving "gangsta rap" music are compared using lyrics from artists whose music has been in question in the past. Using a semantic differential survey and focus group interviews, "gangsta rap" music is analyzed, examining its exposure to people, possible promotion and communication of negative societal values. The study involved one hundred-twenty students for the semantic differential survey at a medium sized mid-western university. The results indicated that African-Americans had a higher exposure rate to "gangsta rap" music after hearing fifteen-second clips than Euro-Americans. Pretests indicated significant differences between African-Americans and Euro-Americans regarding exposure to "gangsta rap" music and musical selection. It was also determined from two focus group interviews that seven variables were in common between the factor analysis test and the focus group interviews involved in the study.