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The Ten Best Videos From the Gangsta Rap Era

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6) "Let Me Ride"
Dr. Dre

This video works on multiple levels. But it also represents a moment of gangsta rap history. 

Years after he'd left NWA and traded insults with Dre and the rest of the crew, Ice Cube made a surprise cameo in "Let Me Ride." (Just past the five minute mark.) It was an announcement of their truce, and their partnership continues to bear fruit, as they're co-producers on the Straight Outta Compton biopic.

5) "Tha Crossroads"
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony 

"Tha Crossroads" was such a glorious, larger-than-life song, it's hard to imagine a video that could be as powerful and over the top. But with its church setting, funeral motif, and, yes, a hologram, this video comes close.

4) "California Love"
Tupac, featuring Dr. Dre

The Hype Williams-directed "California Love" has to be the most expensive, elaborate music video of the gangsta era.

The sci-fi imagery makes it unlike just about everything else of its time. But seeing Tupac in gladiator gear (or whatever) makes it all worth it.
 
3) "Straight Outta Compton"
NWA

Banned from every major video outlet until the group's momentum got too big to avoid, NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" set the bar for gangsta rap visuals to match the emerging gangsta rap sounds of Schooly D and Ice-T, who came before them.


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Chaz Kangas