"Gangsta" as written by Merrill Martin Garbus and Nathaniel J Brenner....
What's a boy to do if he'll never be a gangsta
Anger in his heart, but he'll never be a gangsta
If you move into his neighborhood, he'll never make a sound

What's a boy to do if he'll never be a rasta
Singin' from his heart, but he'll never be a rasta
If you move into his neighborhood, he'll never make a sound
If you move into his neighborhood

Bang bang bang oh
Ain't never move to my hood
Cause danger is crawling out the wood
(x4)

What's a girl to do if she'll never be a rasta
Singin' from her heart, but she'll never be a rasta
If you move into her neighborhood, she'll never make a sound
If you move into her neighborhood, she'll never make a

If you move into her neighborhood, she'll never make a sound

[Repeat x4]
Bang bang bang oh
Ain't never move to my hood
'Cause danger is crawling out the wood

Hey
(You're going to put that on tape for the sake of posterity)
(You're ruining the tape)

Life in the city (the city)
Makes more sense when Jesus comes

Bang bang bang oh
Ain't never move to

[Repeat x4]
Bang bang bang oh
Ain't never move to my hood
Cause danger is crawling out the wood

Bang Bang Bang


Lyrics submitted by j0nnynoname, edited by andybdrums

"Gangsta" as written by Nathaniel J Brenner Merrill Martin Garbus

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Gangsta song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +3
    Song MeaningThis song is talking about how there are so many people that want to come off like something (gangster or rasta), but their backgrounds make it so they'll never be what they want to be. Merrill then suggests that her neighborhood is actually bad, or these could be the words of the wannabe-gangsters. I see all these white kids in suburban neighborhoods trying to act tough.
    holy_butterscotchon September 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always thought she was saying "rockstar" not "rasta." But you're probably right! For all I know there's a lyric book and you got it from that, so don't take my word for it, lol.
    Aquarius121on June 11, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI listened to an NPR interview with Merrill Garbus and she played and discussed this song on the air. One of the things that I remember from the interview is that she said it's about not being able to be what you want to be, like a gangsta or a rasta. And the lyrics there are definitely rasta, not rockstar, because she said that when she was little she wanted to be Jamaican and rasta, but obviously you can't just make yourself Jamaican. I love her and this group, such a talented group of people!
    cassjackson August 05, 2014   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song is referring to all the people that feel they have something to say or prove, but are too timid to do it.

    What do you do with the "anger in your heart" when you'll never be a "gangsta". A "gangsta" is someone with the confidence/swag/arrogance to draw attention to themselves aka Drake or Kanye (both having middle to upper class childhoods). So for those timid people from all kinds of backgrounds, how do you express your anger/energy/view and get positive attention for it? Tough question.

    The chorus could be Merrill referring to herself as a gangsta, because of where she lives (which couldn't be farther from the truth and also proves and says little). But the chorus is definitely empowering, so in a way Merrill or the audience singing this to themselves are just boosting their own ego. Lying or persuading themselves to feel "gangsta" swag/arrogance, just like anyone else who wants to feel powerful.
    fritogueritoon November 30, 2013   Link

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