Over the last few decades, rap has certainly propelled itself towards being one of the most popular genres of music. A relatively new style of music, it was only 1979 when The Sugarhill Gang released Rappers Delight which is the first rap song that broke into the top 40 in the U.S. singles charts. Despite taking the music from the Chic song, Good Times, this release has made far more of an impression on the music industry than the original. Even bettors playing online at sites such as netticasino couldn’t have predicted the steady progress that has been made in recent times.
Nowadays, rap is everywhere and number 1 singles are commonplace. Rappers themselves are very famous and influential people, with some having millions of followers on their social media accounts. Seemingly spanning all aspects of entertainment and willing to have their voices heard outside the rap game, these artists are here to stay. There are many avenues where their talents have kept them in the minds of the public other than the race to sell singles.
Rappers hit the big screen
Boyz in the Hood was released in 1991 starring one of rap’s biggest stars at the time, Ice Cube. Portraying a group of kids growing up in a neighborhood in Los Angeles, it is a hard-hitting story of the problems and violence they experienced. This was not Ice Cube’s first movie but is probably the one he received the most acclaim for as he performed flawlessly. While starring in a few movies, Dr. Dre, undoubtedly one of the biggest names in rap, never really got involved in acting as much as Ice Cube due to his continuing success in the music game.
The movie Straight Outta Compton gave the world a direct insight into the rap group N.W.A., one of the pioneering champions of the genre during their formative years. 8 Mile, starring Eminem, probably the most famous white rapper ever, was a movie loosely based around his own life which intrigued people as they sought to get some idea of the scale of his rags to riches story. A successful music and acting career combined can set these people up for life.
Of course, playing video games is a very popular pastime for people of all ages and backgrounds. The level of technology is now so high competitions take place involving people all over the world. Obviously, rappers like to play these games and in 1994 Notorious BIG famously word dropped Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, two of the top game consoles at the time and competing fiercely against each other on his hugely successful song Juicy. Rap music eventually progressed to being incorporated into the games itself.
Def Jam Vendetta which was released in 2003 is widely credited as being the first game to feature many rap artists and songs. While this may have provided a breakthrough, the real game-changer was the game Grand Theft Auto, available to play on Sony Playstation or Xbox. Involving a lot of driving play in the game, options became available to choose different radio stations while cruising around. With each version of the game released, the rap music stations became wildly popular leading to a great selection being available.
Glitz and Glamor Lifestyle
The biggest rappers these days are generally quite wealthy characters. No longer always associated with gangs or violence they are just at home attending award ceremonies, movie premieres, or sports events. At the big boxing matches in Las Vegas, you can usually see rappers in the crowd, drawn to the gambling capital of America. Hits from these stars can sometimes be played as the walkout song for the fighters. In some cases, they may even accompany them to the ring. Some rappers have been known to place massive bets on the outcome of these matches.
As for casino games, when playing online slots, along with selections such as rock n’ roll and jazz, it’s possible to listen to rap music while playing. However, poker tends to be the most popular choice for rappers, with high stake games taking place between celebrities or indeed even charity events. Even though these stars have a lot of money, they still have to be careful as the urge to bet can spiral out of control. 50 Cent and Nelly being two famous examples of gambling rappers who have claimed bankruptcy in recent years.
Nowadays the internet makes these artists easy to find. What they look like, discography, probably even what they like for dinner. It wasn’t always like that and I guess many people have fond memories of watching satellite channels like MTV or VH1 growing up. Radio stations were not reliable signal reception-wise and in some cases either didn’t want to play rap hits or simply refused to play these songs. Music videos gave the fans a glimpse at the styles and lives of these gangster rappers.
And of course, these videos rarely tended to disappoint. Images of rappers sitting around drinking, smoking joints, and playing cards gave you an idea of what they liked to do. Driving around their towns in flashy cars, covered in jewelry and of course surrounded by beautiful women made most kids dream of becoming a rapper. All of this sounds appealing and the music only adds to this. Amazing houses and stacks of cash indicate what is possible if you hit the big time.
It’s hard not to appreciate how far rap has come over the last few decades. Originally receiving such bad press and negativity due to the drugs, gangs, and violence, it seems to have cleaned up its act massively to be now commonly accepted as a massive player on the world music scene. Eminem certainly brought the genre to a much wider audience which has resulted in huge numbers of album sales throughout his career.
So, what the future holds for rap is hard to say. As legends grow old, followers hark back to a return to the old days of rapping styles as opposed to today where everything now seems so clean-cut. Rappers hitting the casino reminds people that they too are only human with a penchant to have a bet like the rest of us. Top-quality tracks make computer games only more fun to play. Movies give us a look at rappers’ skills off the mic. While highly unlikely to usurp pop music as the number 1 musical genre in the world, rap music has come a long way in a short period of time and broadened its horizons into other markets very quickly and efficiently.