How To Become A Gangsta Rapper - The TwistedEdge Guide
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How To Become A Gangsta Rapper - The TwistedEdge Guide

Whassup bitches?

According to our data 57.45% of the people who read our green, shitty little website fall firmly in to the Weed Smoking Student demographic, which goes some way to explaining how we're still around after all this time*. This means that, statistically speaking, most of the people reading this are not only blitzed off their tits on psychotropic substances, but also unemployed, poor, and possessing of much free time. What most of these people won't have realised, however, is that they already have half the qualifications needed for a successful career in the noble art of Gangsta Rap.

Let's face it, the standard of Rap music these days is so low that now pretty much anyone with vocal chords and a beatbox can join in. With Hip Hop music sales falling like a manic-depressive lemming on crack, the business is pretty much an open market. Why not exploit the masses, bukkake the world with your musical 'talent' and cash in? Every fucker else has.

With a few notable exceptions, the world of Gangsta Rap hasn't had any new ideas since it first came to prominence in 1988, back when N.W.A shoved their massive musical cocks down the throats of the world. Back then, in the age of ghetto blasters and jheri-curls, their songs about guns, killings, gangs, drugs, death and violence seemed gritty and fresh. 20+ years later rappers are still shouting about the exact same shit, hollering it over and over and over again like a retarded parrot with Tourette's. Never in the history of music has there been so much money made from so little talent. Why not join the orgy and hump a few dollars out of the tepid corpse of the Rap music industry before the bottom falls out completely?

However, it may not be as easy to break into the Rap game as it sounds. Gangsta Rap has evolved its own retarded subculture, and breaking in to the scene requires finesse. Rappers are territorial creatures, after all, and imposters are often shot, stabbed, flayed and raped (in that order) for getting the small details wrong.

Fortunately for you, we wise old sages at TwistedEdge have kindly compiled a how-to guide on how even a smelly, borderline-illiterate scumbag such as yourself can make it big as a Gansta Rapper. Want your ugly ass up there on MTV with all the rest? Follow our handy little tips, and watch the cash come flowing in...


Fo' Shizzle

First and foremost is this nugget...

Get shot as many times as possible (a.k.a turning lead into gold).

Hey kids, ever hear of 50 Cent? You know, that guy who got shot 9 times in the back, survived, and occasionally makes Rap records? The guy who proved that talent is by no means a pre-requisite to musical superstardom, but getting badly wounded is? Sure, it must suck to be less famous or important than an old injury, but who cares so long as the cash is flowing?

Ever since big names like 2Pac (shot 5 times), Biggie Smalls (4 times) and 50 Cent (9 times) hit the scene, it's near-impossible to get the credibility you need without first encountering some asshole with a pistol. It doesn't matter what your message is, how sweet your delivery, how catchy your hook - without enough gunshot wounds to make the NRA's legal department commit ritual suicide, you may well have to do the unthinkable and get a real job.

Being partially murdered really is important. We cannot state this enough. Heck, there's even league tables for this shit.
Ice T
Case in point: Ice T. Despite literally being a mass-murdering pimp, was never stupid enough to get shot. As a result was rendered obsolete in 1994. Further tragedy struck when he was forced into 'acting' as a result...

If people stopped to think about the situation for a minute, they'd realise just how jaw-droppingly fucking stupid the whole situation is. Getting shot makes you a badass, right? But surely the biggest Gangstas would be the ones who never got shot? Surely if these rappers were as untouchable as they make out in their songs, they wouldn't be stupid enough to let some random dickhead with a cannon shoot them like fish in a barrel?

50 Cent, as mentioned earlier, was shot 9 times in the back. From this we can reasonably observe the following points:

1.) The fact he was shot in the back means he was running away like a frightened pussy. That's just fuckin' hardcore!

2.) Despite hanging around dangerous, violent neighbourhoods, Mr Cent was clearly too stupid to think of Kevlar.

3.) 9 times?? His attackers clearly couldn't shoot for shit, managing to miss every vital organ despite firing enough shots to satisfy a small African war. Lucky for Fiddy the assassins left their glasses at home, eh?

4.) 9 times?!?! 50 Cent's survival would therefore indicate his attackers must have used the lowest caliber ammo known to man. A .22 perhaps (known on the streets as the dreaded 'Faggot Pistol'). Or maybe a pellet gun.

Surely it would make more sense for the record labels to sign the people who did the shooting, rather than the clown who got shot? Or is that too logical?

50 Cent, by the way, made more than $38,000,000 in 2006 alone. Yes, really.

Don't let the idiocy of the situation deter you - if lyrics are to be believed, many rappers are signed from A&E hospital wards rather than the mean streets. It doesn't matter how or why you were shot - be it a drug deal gone bad, a random hit, a botched mugging of an old lady, accidental shotgun discharge via anal insertion, whatever - just so long as you've got lead in you, that's all that counts. Rumour has it that label executives have taken to shooting their own artists during rehearsals, just to stay on top.

Yes, it defies logic as to why war heroes fresh from Iraq haven't decided to cash in on the action (integrity, perhaps?) Maybe this is a gap in the market you could exploit? Afghanistan has many ghettos. I'm sure the 'hoods in downtown Basra are pretty mean. 'Comin' Straight Outta Bagdhad' has a pretty nice ring to it...

If you're serious about making a name for yourself in the decaying Hip Hop market, then bleeding for dollars is your only way in. We'd recommend getting shot at least 10 times though, because more is always better. A smart idea would be to get shot inside a hospital, possibly while chatting to a surgeon, as only established artists get paid after being dead.

Fuck taste. Wear bling.

So, you've finally emerged from hospital after paying your buddies to shoot you repeatedly, at close range, with handgun more closely resembling a potato cannon. The surgery videos are on YouTube. The X-Rays are on Facebook. Reebok are in talks to have you as the face of their new line of shoes (because nothing says 'sport' like a near-crippled crime victim). The record labels swooned and your adoring public is just waiting to drop to its knees and lick the salty, swollen balls of your newfound musical prowess. But what next?

You're a young, up-and-coming Rapper. Naturally, 90% of your rhymes are stories of how you came from the poor streets, raised in poverty, forced to 'sling crack' just to make ends meet. Your ghetto roots define who you are, grounding you in the hardened, crime-filled reality of the slums. Your only excuse for the many crimes you claim to have committed was to afford to put food on the table, and hearing your tales of humble hardship brings a tear to the eye. You mention your 'hood in every Rap, and dedicate every song to the struggle of your homeboys back in the ghetto - those who still have to hustle and struggle just to survive. Their plight reminds you of where you're from - it's not just your mantra, it's your identity.

How best to show this love? By wearing a $50,000 diamond-studded chain and by driving a car with an engine big enough to burn out a medium-sized sun, of course! Smoke cigars that would make South American dictators wince with envy. Do enough drugs to make even the likes of George Jung look like pussy little lightweights by comparison. Have photos taken of you sitting on a throne made of cash too, for good measure. It might not be the right way, but it's the Rap way. Hip Hop artists have been pulling this shit for years - who the hell are you to buck the trend?

Bad taste? You bet. Hypocritical? Hells yes. Borderline retarded? Fo' shizzle. Anything less would be an insult to your peers, forcing them to retreat in sorrow to their mansions to wipe away the tears with $100 bills. This is the Rap game after all. And nobody got to the top in this business without being an egomaniacal, wealth-squandering jackass. Conform to the stereotype - you're a beacon of Hip Hop now and you have the image of a money-hungry whore to uphold. Don't just work the image - live it.

When it comes to bling, subtlety is key. Allow us to illustrate:

2Pac
Yes.
Mr T
No.
Flava FlavOh fucking hell no.

What's the point in becoming incredibly rich and famous if you can't rub your wealth in people's faces? Your fans will appreciate knowing you spend more money on one piece of jewelry than they ever could on their own children's education. What's the point of being a star if you can't be shiny? You're the man, you're in charge now, and nothing says "I've made it" quite like having the name of your poor, starving childhood friends written across your chest in blood diamonds.

Being "Gangsta" means that any item of bling worth less than the entire neighborhood you claim you grew up in just isn't worth your time. Don't take "no" for an answer - buy your own diamond mine if that's what it takes to adequately display your riches, and thereby your humble love for the ghetto - it's in the name of musical expression after all, and who could possibly stand in the way of your art?

How much bling should one rapper own? Think in terms of the Queen of England. Double it, sprinkle some more on top, then move on.

As well as carrying the wealth of a small African nation around your neck at all times, you can also accessorise. Diversification is hot these days, and while hilariously large gold chains are the Rap industry standard, there's other subtle ways of parading your obnoxious wealth to the millions who go hungry just to buy your albums. Items of obscene avarice du jour include...

Gold Teeth
Solid gold teeth.
Gold Cell Phones
Solid gold cell phones.
Gold Goblets
Solid gold erm... goblet... thingys?
Gold Cars
Solid gold cars (preferably fueled by the blood of endangered species)
Gold Tampons
Solid gold tampons. Just because.


Gold Toilets
A solid gold shitter. (Whoever said metaphors can't be shiny?
)

The key words here are obviously "solid" and "gold". Some modern rappers have taken to wearing platinum instead, which is a mistake. Yes, platinum is worth a lot more than gold. But since when did numbers matter to a rapper? Math is hard, damnit! The problem with platinum is that many uneducated observers might mistaken it for silver (a.k.a Peasant Metal). Such an oversight would be more dangerous than a rapist at a children's birthday party.

Clothes play an important role too. Want an example? Try this on for size...

Appearing on MTV Cribs recently, Rap superstar Nelly recently admitted that he only wears a pair of sneakers once, and has over five hundred pairs in his closet, just in case. The entire economy of Malaysia is linked directly to his clothes budget. Yes, really. Delighted sweat shop operators are even having to steal extra children in order to facilitate demand, just to ensure that Nelly always has clean footwear on before hitting "da club". If any kind of dirt or scuff mark stains Nelly's sainted shoes, he has them destroyed immediately and, rumour has it, has an incinerator on stand-by for this very occasion.

That's a decent benchmark, but as an aspiring rapper you should aim higher - as well as having the offending sneakers burned, you should also set fire to the guy who sold them to you too, just to be on the safe side. And the store they were bought in. And the factory they were made in too. Shit, why not? Everyone loves a good bonfire! And history proves that nobody messes with the guy starting all the fires...

This is the kind of jaw-dropping level you must attain if you're truly going to make it big in the Rap game. Sure, the music you'll squeeze out may be instantly forgettable, but legendarily reckless self-indulgence like that is remembered forever.

During our extensive three minutes of research for this article, we uncovered some places where you too can bling up like a shiny Monte Carlo whore - Bling Bling Online is still the standard here in the UK, with King Ice being the snazzy Yankee alternative. Word is that the bitches froth over Iced Out Gear too.

And, as far as bling goes, that's us done with pretending to care.

Beef up security: every successful rapper needs their own battalion of hired goons.

Everybody needs a friend... or sixty

An important tip - always hire security. Be as ostentatious as possible here - the bigger and more pointless your entourage, the bigger your likely success. Nothing says you mean business like storming the MTV Music Awards with a platoon of 50 trained ninjas at your beck and call. Nothing says "I've made it" like having a personal army bigger than Iran's. Arm them with knives, guns, tazers, numchucks and knuckle dusters too, to save you from any pesky thieves / journalists / fans that might be after you.

It's around this time that you need to start referring to yourself in the third person, lest someone see your massive security force and mistaken you for the President of the United States or the Pope. Don't let anyone talk directly to you either - you need to remind those around you who is king (that's you, by the way). Feel free to remind people of this while stood behind your hefty new security. Buy yourself a crown to illustrate your point if need be.

Get ahead of the curve - wear a fuck load of hats.
Ironically, despite the fact that (with a few exceptions) Hip Hop has been basically the same since 1988, being seen as an 'innovator' is very important. You need to be seen as bringing something new to the Rap game, even if you're really just re-hashing the same washed up bullshit as the schmucks before you.

Kanye West for example is seen as a genius the likes of which haven't been encountered since Leonardo Da Vinci walked the earth. Why? Because he was seen wearing those weird, shitty-looking glasses with the horizontal plastic bits across the front. You know the ones I mean - 'Shutter Shades' is what the cool kids call them. 'Ridiculous Plastic Bullshit' to the rest of us. Kanye is seen as a fashion icon now because he bought some tacky 80's bullshit Shutter Shades from the bargain bin of his local car wash, probably while stoned off his tits on grass and PCP, stumbled onto stage with those monstrosities still strapped to his face, and accidentally caused an overnight sensation. Kids worldwide saw this 'innovative' and 'fresh' new look, loaded up on sheep mentality and did somersaults onto the bandwagon. Who gives a shit that a guy called Alain Mikli invented them, not Kanye? He's seen as an Icon now, all because of that one fashion choice.

You must do the same. But how? What fashion trend will sweep the world's youth? How can you tell which remarkable fashion craze will take off, and which will make you look the biggest social retard since MC Hammer? Well... erm... fucked if we know the answer, to be honest. We are to fashion what Jessica Simpson is to nuclear physics.

However, two bottles of Jack Daniels and half a case of beer have lead us to conclude that the answer is definitely hats. Yes, hats. The more the merrier. There's logic to this, honest...

This is what Redman would look like had he shared our genius.
This is what Redman would look like had he shared our genius.

1977: The Watts Prophets amongst with other experimental groups like the Lost Poets are credited by many as having been the inventors of Hip Hop. They were innovative, groundbreaking even, and brandished the kind of raw political message that shocked listeners into action. Truly important stuff about race relations, pride in oneself, identity and kicking the shit out of the police. But nobody's heard of them. Why? No hats. Yes they had huge, impressive, magnificent afros. But no hats.

1988: Niggaz With Attitude (N.W.A) burst onto the scene, with a similarly loud and powerful message - albeit with all that complex stuff about race, the black struggle and The Man left out, and 'bitches' thrown in instead. Millions of albums sold, to the point where even dweeby white folk were buying copies. Yes their sound was seen as groundbreaking compared to the diluted, kiddie-friendly garbage that was filling the airwaves at the time. Yes, the aggressive rapping style of Ice Cube, mixed with the cutting edge production of Dr Dre gave them the kind of beats that were more addictive than chocolate flavoured heroin. But none of that is what really got them fame. As you can see from the weblink - there's one thing they all had in common. Hats. Many hats. One each in fact. See where I'm going with this?

2003: 50 Cent explodes onto the scene with his mega-selling album Get Rich Or Die Tryin' - sells so many copies that the economy literally melts in on itself overnight. Sure, some say its success was due to the metronome vocal delivery, the thug image, or the fact he has so much lead in him he's practically a giant human pencil (shot 9 times, remember?) Others say his massive success was down to his ability to fit more gunshot noises into one track than you'd fit in a whole season of CSI: New York. No, the secret of his success? He didn't wear just one hat. Oh no. This guy wasn't content with the one-hat mediocrity that his peers has settled in to. "No" he screamed, his fist raised triumphantly in the air, "I'm not gonna settle for just one hat. I'm gonna shock the world. Forget fashion, forget common sense, forget all aspects of practical reasoning, forget how impossibly warm it makes my head... I'm gonna wear two hats. TWO. Two hats! You hear that, bitches? TWO MOTHERFUCKING HATS FOR THIS GANSTA!"
Or something to that effect. We're paraphrasing here. His version probably rhymed, had a shit load more 'N Words' in it and the sound of at least 5 police helicopters in there too. But we digress. Fiddy made his money not because of his Rapping, the near-psychotic level of mass marketing, or any of that - the real reason for his fame is the fact that he wore twice as many hats as anyone before him. Thus he became twice as rich, twice as famous. See? It's logic.

So I guess what we're saying here is that to make zillions in the Rap game you've got to go where no artist has had the balls to go before. More hats = more success. But in this hungry, frenzied day and age a mere three hats wouldn't cut it. You could try the 50 Cent method of doubling the previous record number of hats, but four wouldn't do it either. You need to make a statement. Fashion sense and practicality are out - shock and awe are in. You need to throw caution to the wind. I'm talking five hats here. Yes, FIVE.

Yes it's extreme. Yes it's bold. And yes it's really fucking stupid. But this is Hip Hop. Why let the ridiculous stop you from achieving your dreams? Don't do six hats though. That would be a step too far. Six hats would cause a tear in the very fabric of reality, causing the space / time continuum to fold inward upon itself, dooming the very universe. Five is the answer. Because five is more. See?

In conclusion...

So you've got all the hints and tips anyone could ever need to break in to the rabid killing fields of Hip Hop. We hope you enjoyed our funky little guide, and when the millions come raining in, just spare a thought for your dear ol' friends at TwistedEdge who slaved away to give you your success. All we ask is a couple of million, maybe a few Ferraris, a swimming pool filled with champagne - nothing too fancy.

Oh, and before anyone bothers to ask, Tupac > Biggie.

And yes, we were fucking hammered out of our skulls when we wrote this. Quit bitching already.


*It also explains how we inadvertantly became the world's foremost source on Midget Throwing, and how our article on it has been read by enough people to fill Yankee Stadium nearly thrice over.


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How To Become A Gangsta Rapper - The TwistedEdge Guide
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