Rap video vault: We’re All in the Same Gang

thevaultFor an oh-so-brief period in the nascent days of hip hop, rappers actually developed a social conscience and spoke out about black-on-black crime, which resulted in two of the greatest posse cuts put on wax. The first, 1989’s “Self Destruction,” is probably the most well known, given the litany of East Coast heavyweights who participated on the track.

In 1990, the West Coast responded with “We’re All in the Same Gang,” a song that not only made a strong statement against the gang violence that was crippling L.A. at the time, but was also downright catchy. Usually, these kinds of songs sound awkward, with different kinds of flows jammed together. Here, everyone comes correct, with perhaps the exception of J.J. Fad (who were only on the track due to their Dr. Dre connections).

The rest of the lineup is a Who’s Who of West Coast rap, and a time capsule of what was hot back in 90. It’s funny that the people considered to be “weak” or “commercial” rappers (Young MC, MC Hammer) deliver two of the best verses. Can you imagine some of today’s knuckleheads being able to come up with 16 bars for a song like this? 

The video trims some of the verses (the song was over seven minutes long), but you get the point. We won’t see anything like this again.

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~ by Elliott on June 30, 2009.

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