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“Street Kings.”

streetz is out

I have been on a loop, listening to all the stories of the guys who used to be into the streets heavy. I am talking about the men you hear about in well-known rap lyrics. But what is it, what is it about the gangsters in the street that make them so appealing. Why are they so attractive and the everyday hard working man is not so appealing? Could it be that if they want something, they go and get and the everyday man is afraid to get what is coming to him? Or is it the outlaw mentality that people love so much?

outside the law

The appeal of the man in the street initially is the go for it mentality. They say I want this or that, they go get it. And if they can’t get it handed to them, they’ll take what is felt is theirs. But what we really get attracted to when looking at the outlaw is the way they elude the system. There is something for some reason that is so ingratiating about these men eluding the government; a government that makes promises on  daily yet never deliver. So when you have men in the street who can work around the system, you silently cheer, but you also have this fear because you know who they are and their capabilities.

levels in the game

  • The photo below is of the movie The Godfather. It depicts the Italian Mafia which is the highest level of gangsters in American history. They have not only been the topic of films and songs, but have influenced the way men and women dress and talk. Almost every facet of pop culture has a bit of the mafia in its existence.

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  • The picture below is from the movie Colors which depicts street gang violence in Los Angeles. The movie takes us into the lives of two police officers as they patrol gang riddled neighborhoods in the inner city. These group of men (gangs) are attractive to young males and females growing up in inner cities because of that need to belong to something.

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  • The movie below is of the 1970’s film The Mack with head actor Max Julien. The movie explores the life of pimping, profession so many young men glorify. The guy in the movie who is able to have all the women, nice cars, clothes, and the gift of the gab. These types of movies took over in the 1970’s spurring out a generation of young men chasing the pimp dream.

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  • The last movie is of the fictional character Scarface. A megalomaniac drug dealer who sold cocaine; a key figure in so many young men selling drugs in the 1980’s and songs being made in hip hop. The drug dealer has always been glorified, so much so that famous musicians bare the names of some of these men.

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The problem with all the movies that I just named are the downfalls in each film. There is no riding into the sunset at the end, only heartache. You have never heard of a retired drug dealer, gang member, pimp, or mobster. They meet their demise, yet for some reason it never stops people from following in the footsteps. Because we have such deep connection to these lawless men.

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“They play hard, take what they want, and live it up.”

We watch movies about them, documentaries, and even read their life stories. They are the criminal underworld and for whatever reason we have this fascination with them. The most notable would have to be the Italian Mafia. They have been the interest and the inspiration for so many films in mainstream America. But what is it; what is it about these outlaws that intrigue society so much. The mafia is the biggest, there are also drug cartels and bank robbers as well. There is this mystique about them that attracts us to the life. None of us have the guts to live their lives, yet we are attracted to who they are and what they do.

Let’s look at the cast of people starting with the most popular; the American Mafia. No matter if it’s the Italians in New York and Chicago to the Irish in Boston, we are attracted like magnets to the mafia. From the way they dress to their cordial personalities. Even with the gentlemen like qualities, we still know what they are capable of doing under the right circumstance. But Image result for mafianonetheless we are allured by the racketeering, money laundering, loan sharking, gambling, and light weight drug trafficking. They take what they want and if the authorities put pressure on me, then hey, why not pay them off as well. Then once holidays come around, let’s hand out toys and turkeys to the community. It made them infamous with the law and revered with the public.

But what about the drug cartels? Guys like Frank Lucas to Pablo Escobar all the way to today with El Chapo. We hear about them running multi-billion dollar organizations and eluding authorities. Their lifestyles are so over the top with luxury vehicles, expensive jewelry, and palatial real estate. Their Related imagemuscle in how they deal with people leaves us terrified, yet they still have this aura about them that you stand on the sidelines and gawk. They have been immortalized in our pop culture, mainly through hip hop/rap lyrics. But why, what is the real reason we are so attracted to the criminal underworld?

In my opinion, they represent everything that we hate about our government, that the government makes us do. The don’t pay taxes, buy and sell whatever they want, and live over the top lifestyle most of us can only dream about. And when they die, we have these photos that almost serve as shrines making them martyrs. The communities they live in are more protected by them than our law enforcement. Everyone knows who runs the neighborhood and respects who runs the neighborhood. Unlike the judicial system which could allow people to walk free, you don’t break the laws and codes of their world. And that code is the biggest thing we respect. On paper, systematically, there is code in our society, but our politicians break that code and promise at every turn.

In the end, we will always be fascinated with the criminal underworld. Their lives seem to be so much more fascinating than our own lives. Plus, the very representatives that are hired to represent the people, these criminals flip them the finger to. We’re able to look on at how for once politicians are forced to do their jobs to catch these outlaws. The allure to the gangster lifestyle is eternal and will never end. Because as long as there is a law that could potentially be broken, someone will always try to find ways around it. 

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