Westsiders: Stories of the Boys in the Hood by William Shaw
The phenomenal success of Los Angelinos like N.W.A, Ice-T, Ice Cube, Coolio, Snoop, Dr.Dre and Warren G. means that every block in Southcentral contains at least one boy who wants to be a rapper. "Westsiders" is a book about seven young men, all of whom are trying to make it in the rap business. It follows the changes in their musical and personal lives as they try and get shows, auditions, record demos in an increasingly shark-filled market-place. A few have been, or are, gang members. Some have straight jobs, others are drug dealers. Some have stable backgrounds, others were raised by grandparents, aunts or single mothers. Some love gangsta rap with a passion, and want to keep faith with it: others want to move on to something more positive. What they all share is the experience of growing up in a place that is far more violent than the one their parents grew up in. They have to navigate the loyalties of neighbourhood and friendship. All have lost close friends or relatives in the violence.