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Has becoming healthy become the new "gangsta" for hip hop music?

Updated on August 27, 2012

The message of health is becoming more prominent in the hip hop community.

Hip hop, gangsta rap, and the mainstream.

Many people in the mainstream have often associated rap and hip hop music with violence. To this day there are still people who feel like hip hop music encourages violence and crime. From the late 80's to the mid 90's, gangster rap music was popular with the youth in America. No matter where you were from, rap artists like: Ice Cube, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, and the Notorious B.I.G. were household names. Teens were drawn to their often violent lyrics and the hardcore images they portrayed. Gangster rap has not totally phased out, as there are still artists today who continue to incorporate hardcore messages in their lyrics. However, there has become a movement in hip hop music that has gained attention in recent years; the health movement. It's a movement that mainstream America doesn't seem to talk about often. The phrase "Healthy is the new gangsta", is becoming more popular. Please read on.

A few of the artists we've lost from health related issues.

The hip hop community has lost a lot of important artists over the years. Many of them have died by the hands of violence, but there have been others who we've lost from health related complications. In the year 2000, New York artist, Big Pun died from a heart attack. Pun battled with his weight his entire life, and was only 28 years old when he died. Most recently the hip hop community lost Heavy D. Heavy D died in November of 2011 from a pulmonary embolism. His death along with Big Pun's death happened suddenly, and were huge shocks to the hip hop community. Other important artists in the hip hop community that left us too soon include: J. Dilla, Nate Dogg, DJ Screw, and Big Moe. All very talented, and gone too soon. In some cases a change of lifestyle could have resulted in them being with us a bit longer.

The "Healthy Is the New Gangsta" movement.

More artists are beginning to join the movement of bringing health to the forefront of the hip hop scene. Many are not only speaking out in interviews and magazines about the importance of health, but they are making albums devoted to health, fitness, and wellness. In 2011, who is one half of the group, Dead Prez released an album titled, "The Workout". The album deals with overcoming hurdles in our lives through health, discipline, and exercise. has started the "RBG Fit Club", and has toured all over the world to spread this message. Other mainstream artists such as: Slim Thug, David Banner, Paul Wall, and Mike Jones have gotten healthy through dieting and exercise. They are sharing their stories on various websites and magazines. Another popular artist, Fat Joe has also joined the movement of getting healthy. Fat Joe has lost over 100 pounds, and claims to have secretly had diabetes and hid it. He claims now that he is free of the disease. Styles P, another New York artist opened up a juice bar in 2011 called "Juices for Life". In the video below he speaks on how getting healthy had influenced him. More and more people in the hip hop community are joining the health movement.

An encouraging message.

It's encouraging to see more artists in the hip hop community spreading the message of health and fitness. It's definitely an important aspect in our communities, and it's great to see these artists that so many listen to and admire bringing this message. Hip hop and rap music has gotten a bad rep for the violence that has been glorified by some. I hope that people can now see that not all hip hop music is negative. Too many of us are dying from diseases and conditions that can be prevented. Many of these artists get a lot of exposure, so hopefully people take heed towards the message of getting healthy. I hope that this movement continues to grows because at the end of the day, our health is all we really have. Thanks for reading.


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    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 6 years ago from Texas

      Thank you so much Doc. I noticed the name change on Facebook. I like it lol.

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      love doctor 6 years ago

      Well-written and interesting. I like snoop dog. I changed my name here on facebook to pearly whites. lol

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 6 years ago from Texas

      Hey there X. I agree with you that it was more hardcore back in it's hay day, and that it's lighten up a bit. Like you, I think it's great when someone famous spreads a positive message since so many people watch and listen to them. Glad to see you read my article. Thanks a lot my friend. Good to hear from you.

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      xakousti 6 years ago

      luv ice cube and Snoooppppp! well, when rap came to be it was hard core in the beginning, but now its more fun and dancable. I didnt know Fat Joe lost 100 pounds..WOW! Its always great when famous people stand up for something positive. thanks for such an entertaining and informative article!

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 6 years ago from Texas

      Hello there. Thank you for taking out the time to read. I appreciate it greatly.

    • Blawger profile image

      Bahin Ameri 6 years ago from California

      Mmm, interesting. I never associated rap with healthy living but you have opened my eyes to this new trend.