New Book About Gangsta Rap Written By Soren Baker (Release: October, 3rd)


The Author

Soren Baker has more than 10 books under his belt, as well being one of The Source’s main editors for over 6 years. If that’s not enough he’s had over 3500 articles published in major newspaper across America and Soren has even written album liner notes for 2Pac, Ice Cube, Gang Starr, N.W.A., and others. Now he’s set for the release of a new book on October 3rd, The History Of Gangster Rap: From Schoolly D to Kendrick Lamar, the Rise of a Great American Art Form.

The Background

Back in the 80’s, gangsta rap didn’t have a name yet, still, everybody who heard it could instantly feel it’s potency. Rappers like Schooly D, Ice-T, N.W.A., Boogie Down Productions created a new style of rap which was far more explicit and street-oriented. The rhymes were first-person x-rated stories of violence, crime, and sex. Gangsta rap was born during a time when crack and gang violence were peeking in the urban areas. Gangsta rap was the soundtrack.

The Book

The History of Gangster Rap is divided into sixteen chapters which in chronological order examine the evolution of gangsta rap as well as the culture in which the music arose. Baker has an insider’s perspective and uses his critical eye to cover all the most important albums, singles, and projects. His approach reveals how the early music led to the next generation and so on.

The Details

The book is filled with interviews by major gangsta rap contributors like Snoop Dogg, Ice-T and dozens more. Full of cool features like sidebars, bios of notorious characters, lists, charts and more, this book has it all. The History of Gangster Rap by Soren Baker is an essential book that puts gangsta rap into the context of our culture.

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Check out Retro Hip Hop Blog’s article on L.A. Gang Fashion from the 80’s & 90’s

The Reviews

"Respect to Soren Baker for documenting the history of gangster rap in these pages. Some hate it. Some love it. But you can’t deny its brutal, hardcore honesty."


"History has so often been written by the victors, that you very rarely ever get the real story behind anything. So it’s really important to hear from the people that were there, which is exactly what Soren Baker shares in this book. He writes about it and he’s honest about it."

(The D.O.C.)

"Hip-hop changed the world. Gangster rap changed the narrative and then changed the world again. Soren Baker has been a very integral part of documenting hip-hop on the West Coast for as long as I can remember. I don’t think anybody is more qualified to write this book."


"Soren Baker has changed the perspective of gangster rap by putting his pen to paper. He has given hip-hop power, proven its potential, and made non-believers contemplate all of its possibilities. The truth in his writing leaves no stone unturned, something he's done again with The History of Gangster Rap. Soren doesn’t just champion hip-hop. He also reveals its flaws and its truths."

(Leslie “Big Lez” Segar)

Alexander Ramalho