Rap music won’t have the color that it has today without the autobiographical nature of the art which has rappers telling stories about how they grew up in the hood.
A big part of rap music involves rappers talking about their difficult upbringing, how they survived in the streets, made it to where they are now and how they’re going to remain the top dawgs in the hood.
Basically, without “the hood” rap music would be missing a little something. But the hood is not the place most of us would love to be no matter how well rappers try to glamourise living in them.
Many of these hoods are crawling with gangsters and drug peddlers, as crime is the norm in their streets. Essentially, when we’re talking about the hood in hip hop, we’re talking about some big-time dangerous areas.
If you’re a rap fan, then you’d already know some of these notorious hoods. But if you don’t, we’d be giving you the load down in this video. Here are 6 of the most dangerous hoods in hip hop.
Number 6 – 8 Mile, Detroit, Michigan
Technically speaking, 8 Mile is not a neighborhood but it makes our list nonetheless, because of its infamy in hip hop thanks to none other than Eminem himself, one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Eminem mentions 8 Mile in a host of his songs, which is how most of us got to know about the place in Detroit. But it was the 2002 semi-autobiographical movie, 8-Mile, which starred Eminem as himself, that gave us a vivid picture of what this neighborhood looks like.
The movie depicts Eminem’s struggle to escape from poverty while growing up on the south side of 8 Mile. And it was responsible for making this neighborhood one of the most popular pop-cultural neighborhoods in the early 2000s.
8 Mile refers to a portion of Michigan’s M102 highway that is 8 miles long, which is where the region gets its name. 8 Mile serves as a dividing line between the wealthy and the poor neighborhoods of Michigan which makes it a haven for crime.
Number 5 – Crenshaw, Los Angeles California
When you talk of rap and hip hop, Los Angeles is one of the most important cities in this music genre. And Crenshaw is, without a doubt, one of the most infamous hip hop hoods in LA.
The hood is home to a slew of well-known rappers. The likes of Ice Cube, Ice-T, and Nipsey Hustle all hailed from Crenshaw.
Crenshaw was the basis of the neighborhood in the popular hip hop movie Boyz in the Hood. And it has been referenced repeatedly by a host of rappers including The Game and Dr Dre.
Being one of the most popular neighborhoods in hip hop, it’s no surprise that Crenshaw is also a hot spot for crime and that’s largely due to the very heavy gang presence within the neighborhood. Robberies, drug trades, and even homicides are not uncommon in Crenshaw.
The late Nipsey Hustle did his best to bring some positivity into the crime-ridden LA neighborhood using his clothing store “The Marathon”. But he wasn’t just there for business and awareness.
The rapper was using the proceeds from his store and his rap career to fund social activities within the communities in Crenshaw with an objective to reduce gang violence in the area. Unfortunately, Nipsey became a victim of the violent crime activities he sought to put an end to when he died in 2019 – a sobering reminder of how dangerous Crenshaw can be.
Number 4 – Zone 6, Atlanta, Georgia
You can’t talk about the hip hop neighborhoods in Atlanta without mentioning Zone 6. Zone 6 is widely regarded as the capital of all hip hop neighborhoods in Atlanta. And for good reason.
The neighborhood played a critical role in defining the sound of Atlanta’s rap music, and as a result, the hood has produced a long list of successful and highly influential rap artists like Gucci Mane, Future, and 21 Savage. The neighborhood has also become the capital of modern-day trap music.
However, this neighborhood is a hotbed of criminal activities. And the police have struggled to keep crime under control in Zone 6.
One particular block of apartment buildings in Zone 6, the Edgewood Court Apartments, is notorious for its heavy gang-related activities.
Number 3 – Compton, Los Angeles, California.
Compton is easily one of hip hop’s most iconic areas. And although it is technically a city and not a neighborhood, the influence and notoriety of this really small area are too huge to ignore.
Compton has produced an incredible list of hugely successful superstars. We’re talking about the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Dr Dre. But, of course, we cannot talk about the immense talent that has come out of Compton without pointing to arguably the most infamous rap group in history, N.W.A.
N.W.A was responsible for taking gangsta rap mainstream. And to date, they remain one of the most iconic and the most successful rap groups of all time. The story of the group was immortalised in the smash hit movie “Straight Out of Compton”.
Most of the lyrics of N.W.A’s songs centered around violence and gang-related activities. The group was so raw in their expression of life on the streets of Compton that they were often censored by mainstream media outfits.
When asked about their obscene lyrics, the members of the group would often explain that they were rapping about their everyday reality, which goes to show just how dangerous Compton is.
The crime rate in Compton is 6 times more than an average American town. The hood is known for its notorious gang activities, murder, and rampant drug trafficking. In the last decade, though, Compton has seen a gradual decline in the rate of crime. But for many years, the neighborhood was widely considered the most dangerous neighborhood in the United States.
Number 2 – O-Block, Chicago, Illinois
Our list won’t be complete without mentioning O-Block, a block of apartments located south of downtown Chicago, on the 4600th Complex Block of South King Drive.
In this region, a gang known as the Black Disciples reign supreme. They are revered by everyone in the neighborhood. And more recently, the gang has been associated with some of the biggest rappers to have emerged from Chicago.
We’re talking about the likes of Lil’ Durk, Lil’ Reese, the late King Von, Chief Keef, and a host of others. But if there’s one person who is associated with this neighborhood and who you’d be surprised to hear, even though she’s not a rapper, it is the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. Oh, yes, she grew up in this area too.
To date, O-Block remains one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago as gang activities appear to be on the rise.
Number 1 – The Bronx, New York
When it comes to dangerous neighborhoods in hip hop, no other city comes close to the Bronx for its violence and reputation as one of the most dangerous places in all of America.
Located in New York and close to the city of Manhattan, the Bronx has gained lots of popularity thanks to its numerous features in thousands of movies and music videos.
Life in New York inspired the lyrics and songs of legendary rap artists like Eminem and Jay Z at the start of their careers.
But while The Bronx has contributed in no small measure to the music and entertainment culture of America, while also producing scores of very successful rap artists, this neighborhood is one of the most dangerous locations in the US.
In the daytime, The Bronx looks like a nice place to be. It even attracts lots of tourists from all over the country. However, at night, the other side of The Bronk comes to the fore as drug trafficking and violent crimes fill up the streets.
The Bronx is also traditionally accepted as the birthplace of rap music. And ever since then, it has maintained its reputation as one of the most dangerous hoods in the country. For that reason, it earns the top spot on our list.
And with that, we’ve come to the end of this video. Thank you for watching till the end and see you next time.