The act of staying hard and true in a situation where lesser men would falter. In situations either too mundane or too extreme for the average punk, a true gangsta stays hard and has it his way.

See also: Keeping it real.
That mark thought I would just move out of the way into the right lane when he tailed me in traffic. But I was keepin it gangsta; I brake-checked his ass and almost bent his whip.
by thesultanofscud December 15, 2008
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The origin of the "gansta" credo, which is akin to many resistance movements

that have sprung up around the world is precisely defense of one's own
community. Notions of community sovereignty and self-determination are the core founding principles that uphold the "gangsta" philosophy. Of course,
notions of sovereignty, self-determination, and autonomy are closely tied to the principle of a self-sustaining economy, which in a capitalist context such as the U.S., requires all gangstas to find a way to provide for themselves and for the gangsta unit. The most common resource that is utilized is of course
commerce in contraband: illegal drugs, prostitution, and firearms. Because
illicit commerce requires the gangsta to work outside of the law, a law which
the resisitance movement often does not recognize as legitimate because it
was imposed on them by an outside conquering force, different norms have evolved that regulate transactions and behavior between "gangstas". Among those norms are the "pass" and the requirement that one "keep it real with a brother".

As the gangsta subculture was incorporated into American Pop Culture, and inevitably purchased and reformulated for mass consumption by corporate interests, certain principles were exaggerated in order to sell the danger and excitement of the gangsta lifestyle without giving the public any reference to understand gangstaism as a holistic set of principles. Of course those who have been the poster-boys for mass media consumption of gangsta life or "thug life", often find themselves the target of those who are "true to the game" for "selling out", a phenomenon characterized by the term "player-hater" or "haterism". A sentiment that is astutely summarized by the phrase "don't hate the player, hate the game", an observation on the morally relative position of those who have profited from their assimilation into the popular culture which is the larger game that most gangstas revile, but those who are "true pimps" are currently forcing to "turn tricks" in a manner of speaking.
We them niggas with big guns and big dicks
Fload ya block, and keep it gangsta
We them niggas with big guns and big dicks
Coat Them rocks, and keep it gangsta
We them niggas with big guns and big dicks
Drop the top, and keep it gangsta
We them niggas with big guns and big dicks
Wylin, stylin, and keep it gangsta

--G-Dep and Shyne "Keep It Gangsta"
by El Nacote December 06, 2004
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