The urban youth of today are highly influenced by the lyrics of the music they listen to. This music can be narrowed down to today’s version of hip-hop, or more commonly called rap. The youth are influenced by the lyrics and want to be like the rappers and live their lifestyle. What do these artists specifically talk about that want the youth to act this way? Most rap artists today produce the Images of drug abuse, prostitution, money, and other topics such as drug dealing.
What can be done by parents to stop this widespread urge in youth to become an idol to others? The fact is that with the united States constitution, not much can be done due to our freedom of expression and speech. Also which artists have the largest effect on our youth? These are a questions that not many people or even parents think about before buying an album for the youth without even pondering about that little label that warns them of explicit material.
Should something be done or can something be done to prevent the youth from taking the wrong track in life that is made to look like the glorious life of fame and riches? To answer that question, we have to look to the Congress of the United States and its laws. This idea has been brought to the house panel, but it seems like there is nothing more that can be done than putting a parental advisory label on an album. No such federal ban on lyrics has ever taken place in our society, all they can do Is stop minors from purchasing albums (Holland 1-2).
One extremely controversial album in the late offs was Ermines album the Marshal Matters ALP_ In the Columbia Journalism review, author Michael Hoyt stated that he witnessed a young man at a record store refuse to sell this album to a minor and his mother; and he mother had no idea what content was in the album. It is parents like these who need to stay up to date with the current news and know what and what not to let their children listen to(Hoyt 67). As for the topic of what it is that makes the youth want to act this way, It Is the many topics covered In their lyrics that makes kids want to be “bad” or “tough” and be Like their Idols.
These In fact might be the wrongs Idols that kids need to live a successful life. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had an article of the negative influences of hip-hop, which was mainly directed towards young women. Many girls are shown images of scantily clad women in music videos living life in the riches and Just flaunting their sexuality. This is showing young women that if they act like this they could be rich and live a glamorous life. In reality, this Is prostitution and these woman are Just being paid to provide artists with sexual favors.
The article also states that it is the image that sells to youth. Many famous rappers such as Kenya West have songs that are filled with degrading images and lyrics of women Just being there for the money, which in return subjects them to believing that they are there just for sexual favors and money (Sagging C-1). Today’s rap artists are like anarchists. This is because most lyrics are strictly trying to influence a lifestyle of breaking laws and rebelling against the government. The lifestyle spoken of In the children need to hear in their daily lives to succeed.
Rap music was once used as a form of social protest for African American individuals who wanted to give hope and show a positive side of life for others. Rap used to be about how to get out of the ghettos and succeed, and in fact lyrics now revolve around keeping people in the ghettos and living lives of crime (Grounding). Rap music over the years has embraced black talent and lead many people who lived troubled lives into a life of fame and glory. The problem is as rap music has evolved, the lyrical content has been highly focused around depicting negative images of the urban black community.
It has turned from being positive to now Just describing the life of drugs and riches. Songs range from depicting women as prostitutes, selling drugs such as cocaine and heroine, using drugs to get by in life, and spending excessive amounts of money on expensive cars and Jewelry. Washington Informer writer, Rudy Grounding, brings up a DOD point when she states, “Can we overlook the targeting of young Black women with mean spirited and derogatory words and images that often prevent them from forming successful relationships(Grounding) ? She speaks of how in urban areas it is often overlooked or ignored how degrading the lyrics are and what they are doing. There are many good points as to what rap music could be causing in urban areas but there is no solid proof that rap music causes all to think or act on the music. On the contrary, there are many people that are against censorship and believe that we eave the freedom of speech for a reason. Rappers are after all speaking about their life and their hardships they have went through.
This negativity in current rap music could also teach kids a lesson of how to not live or even shed some light on the poor urban communities. Many rappers argue against their negative lyrics. For instance rapper 50 Cent, who has many controversial lyrics stated “Watch what I do, not what I say,” showing that he wants kid to learn from his actions not his words (Thames- Copeland). There are still rappers who like to put out positive images such as Nas. Nas has many songs with positive lyrics such as the song “l Can,” which was a song directed towards urban children and telling them to let nothing get in their way of what they want to do. Nas encouraged children in his song called, “l Can” by saying, “Ghetto children, do your thing. Hold your head up, little man, you’re a king. Young Princess when you get your wedding ring. Your man is saying “She’s my queen. ” The chorus goes, “l know I can be what I want to be, if I work hard at it, I’ll be where I want to be (Thames-Copeland). The point of this is that not all rap depicts negative images n the urban community, but most of the rappers that make it to the big leagues are the ones that negative and attacking other artists through their lyrics.
Overall it is the parents of the urban children who need to be aware of their children and what they are listening to . Parents need to monitor what their children listen to and make sure that they know it is not the life of money and fame for most youth. They also clearly need to make the point to their young girls that the life of a rappers “girl” is not in fact the way anyone should live and it is also illegal and degrading. Rap artists have he freedom of speech and can say whatever they would like, whether they talk about prostitution, drugs, money, or anything else.
It is the parent’s Job to teach their children how to go about their life the right way. The most that can be done is to show the youth the right way to go about their lives is through education, their mostly accepts musicians of all genres with negative lyrics instead of positive music. There is no stopping of degrading lyrics or their influence on children unless their elders take a stand and teach kids that living that sort of life is not the real way to fame and success.