Definition of gangsta in English:



  • 1informal A gang member.

    ‘I'm showing there's more to life than being a gangsta and a thug’
    as modifier ‘he raps about the gangsta life’
    • ‘Let's fast-forward from the Vibe Awards to the Source Awards, another show where the thugs, gangstas and pimps made their presence felt.’
    • ‘He's pure street and the real thugs and gangstas on lockdown respect that.’
    • ‘While original gangstas like NWA presented graphic dispatches from LA gang turf where few reporters were brave enough to tread, he has been sold as a GI Joe doll with real bullet holes.’
    • ‘They are supposed to be the epitome of New York gangsta, but they're certainly not the most interesting gangstas in New York.’
    • ‘Potato rustlers have been at their crop, although the farmers suspect the island's affluent residents are helping themselves rather than an organised raid orchestrated by gourmet gangstas.’
    • ‘Like you he hates wannabe gangstas who lie about their history of crime and drugs.’
    • ‘In ‘Black Zombie’, he veers back towards black conscious, deriding the media's stereotypes of African-American as gangstas and hoes, the inequality in the educational system, and black-on-black violence.’
    • ‘The band's strict avoidance of a ‘stereotypical, gangsta-styled’ video speaks for their desire to avoid parody, and they rejected any script that called for them to present themselves as would-be gangstas.’
    • ‘Unlike other rappers who name-drop the hug drug - mostly narrow-minded gangstas turned empathetic M.C.'s - they have never needed psychedelic drugs to tap into their own outré space.’
    • ‘Five 15-year-old boys drop out of school and become wannabe gangstas, exchanging Singapore's fiercely motivational culture of education and career for the depressive nihilism of petty crime.’
    • ‘In the current climate of money-grubbing gangstas, fake rockers and endorsement-laden rap-metalers, this album is like a welcome breath of hate in a world of posers and wannabes.’
    • ‘Over the next two decades the band of gentlemen gangstas would go through many line-ups, with personnel living in diverse corners of the world, but the standard of excellence would never dip.’
    • ‘Scoring drugs in his world is not about exchanging a suitcase of money for a suitcase of cocaine with Colombian gangstas - it is about buying a couple of pills in a nightclub or borrowing hash off a mate to get you through the weekend.’
    • ‘If only all gangstas shared his capitalist (not to mention family-oriented) spirit, they would still be alive.’
    • ‘Usually, American male videos involve either gangstas driving around slowly in a pimped-out car glaring at pensioners, or a boy looking sad in the rain with his shirt off.’
    • ‘While gangstas expend their energy promoting fashion labels or flogging sneakers, even the grimiest rappers are positively buffed by Jamaican standards.’
    • ‘On the other had, the new gangstas, says Coates, are merely romanticizing a largely, and thankfully, bygone era.’
    • ‘The gangstas are too scared cause they don't want to get shot.’
    • ‘A reassuring assortment of hard-bitten men in sportscoats and gold-chained gangstas frowned at the tables.’
    • ‘How many albums can a group of stoned-out gangstas make about weed and killing people?’
  • 2

    (also gangsta rap)
    mass noun A type of rap music featuring aggressive macho lyrics, often with reference to gang violence.

    • ‘While European rap artists may listen to U.S. gangsta rap, their own lyrics are expected to represent their own social environment.’
    • ‘Gangsta rap is differentiable from other rap music in that gangsta rap makes use of images of urban life that are often associated with crime.’
    • ‘From this we can infer that the transgressed boundary in line 1 is indeed that of hip-hop music generally, and probably gangsta rap specifically.’
    • ‘His entry into in the music business is a perfect example of how gangsta rap packages real violence as entertainment.’
    • ‘While the history of gangsta rap music is fairly short, there is a good deal of discourse circulating in popular culture about the treatment of women by men within this genre.’
    • ‘Just as gangsta rap in the US was closely associated with LA gang culture, Rio funk consolidated itself as the soundtrack of organised crime.’
    • ‘When gangsta rap took over in the early '90s, hip-hop's surrealist streak didn't die: it just moved to Britain.’
    • ‘Although it is unusual for country music to be criticised in the same breath as gangsta rap and heavy metal, the researchers found that any violent lyrics can trigger aggression.’
    • ‘Today, instead of fantasy literature, wimpy geeks are totally into gangsta rap, and there is no place in gangsta rap for swords.’
    • ‘He writes about two of the fastest growing musical genres - alternative music and gangsta rap.’
    • ‘The problems with society are increasing seen as cultural ones, which music such as gangsta rap not only reflects, but creates.’
    • ‘Technology has nothing do with the emergence of the explicit lyrics of gangsta rap.’
    • ‘His lyrics are lightweight gangsta rap, telling of the woes of shooting up and living on amphetamines.’
    • ‘Though hip-hop started out in New York and developed its most popular offshoot, gangsta rap, in the Wild West, most post-millennial innovations are occurring down south.’
    • ‘They pushed their own style of gangsta rap into the mainstream, crossing boundaries to introduce white suburban America to unfamiliar subjects.’
    • ‘A decade later, gangsta rap originated in Compton, California.’
    • ‘Though the commentary on each genre is apt and long awaited, his musical poetics crystallize best in his attention to gangsta rap.’
    • ‘There are at least two distinct perspectives on ‘being a lady’ in gangsta rap.’
    • ‘Black commentators offer the most intensive critiques of gangsta rap.’
    • ‘He seems to believe that the answer to school violence is not stopping gun sales but censoring television and gangsta rap lyrics.’


1980s alteration of gangster.