Rap/Hip-Hop Music and Its effect on Youth Everyday, hundreds-of-thousands of Rap/Help-Hop songs are downloaded and listened to by today’s youth (I-Tunes Top Music). For years now, Lyrics to Rap or HIP- Hop Music have been full of Suggestive Ideas and explicit phrases. The ideas and philosophies that Rap music attempts to bestow upon its listeners are seemingly unavoidable. For example, if somebody were to listen to a completely random Rap song written in the last decade, chances are they will be encouraged to take part in drug usage and/or sexual activity throughout those three-to-four minutes that the Eng Is being played (Mathis).
Of course, this statement Is seen as common knowledge and Is not noted as much of a problem to the majority of people In society. Any issue as to what sort of effect these negative lyrics have on listeners is often overlooked. However despite this common view on the matter, the effects of Rap music on young people should be taken very seriously. Regulation on the lyrics of Rap/Hip-Hop Music is more than necessary because of the extreme negative effect they have on the young people of today.
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Before analyzing the actual effects of suggestive Rap and HIP-HIP music or looking t any alternatives to their destructive lyrics, the actual issue itself must be taken into account. This issue is the fact that Rap and Hip-Hop lyrics are not suitable for today’s youth. Major studies show that a very high percentage of Rap songs promote negative activity. One of the more frightening realities about Rap music is that eighty- five percent of Rap songs written In 2006 promote violence (Renee). This percentage has Increased over the past few years and will only continue to Increase in the future according to current trends.
Another notable piece of data Is that approximately ninety-five percent of the current top one hundred Rap/Hip-Hop albums on I-Tunes contain explicit language and/or phrases promoting drug usage and sexual activity (l- Tunes Top Music). Virtually all of today’s youth are exposed to these Rap songs and the majority of the generation listens to the genre daily (Mathis). Rap and Hip-Hop lyrics are far from suitable for young people. Now that the content of Rap and Hip-Hop lyrics have been addressed, a look at the effects of these lyrics Is necessary.
Though much of society denies any affiliation with Rap lyrics and youth behavior, young people are heavily influenced by the music they sites to and the Rap artists they idealize. Because of the ideas portrayed by many popular Hip-Hop artists, young people constantly walk about dressed as if they are taking part in a twenty-four hour music video. Not only is the appearance of young people heavily Influenced, but the overall behavior Is too. A popular word used In the Rap songs of today Is unfortunately the “N” word.
The “N” word once degraded the African American Race, however due to modern-day Rap lyrics it is now casually used to greet a peer, and not only by African American young men. Hispanics and Caucasians also commonly greet and refer to each other using the “N” word. Other popular slang terms used by young men due to Rap lyrics include referring to women as “Bitched” and “Hoes”. The Ideas expressed in Rap lyrics teaches youth that it’s acceptable to have multiple “Babies’ Mommas,” hustle, or even kill somebody over a young people, but also the portrayal of the Rap artists themselves.
Popular Rappers that youth look up to include self-proclaimed seven-time felon T. L. , Snowman, and Trap or die. The word Snowman refers to “Snow,” which is a reference to the drug Cocaine. Trap or Die means to “Trap”: sell drugs and hustle, or die (Mathis). These Rap artists send out a message that our younger generation takes to heart. Rap artists have control of the 12-19 year old crowd more than their parents in the household (Mathis). Their music is popular because it speaks to a generation that can and wants to identify with what the artist is saying.
The youth are taking someone else’s experiences and making it their own Just for the sake of being cool, being accepted or for the perception of being “hard”. The days of simply acting tough are gone with the wind. Surprisingly it’s not Just young men that are influenced by the yards they are listening to, its also heavily impacting young women. “As I’m growing up, I feel more and more pressured to use sex appeal in my everyday life, and I believe much of that is due to modern-day Rap music,” Columbine High School Sophomore Sarah Martyr stated.
Those contributing to the negative influence on young girls like Sarah include a female trio of Hip-Hop artists named Train, Eve, and Dad Brat who released an album in 2002 named “Scorpion” in which they used examples of violence and Sex to obtain wealth and power (Mathis). What’s more is that in the article titled Is There Really an Increase in Teen Prostitution? Written by Jack Shafer, he says that police officials state they have seen a significant increase in teen prostitution over the past few years, though exact numbers are very difficult to come by.
Today’s Rap/Hip-Hop artists and the lyrics they use are turning a generation of youth more violent, sexually driven, and utterly disrespectful. The fact that Rap/Hip-Hop lyrics have a very negative effect on young people is now established. It’s time to look at the suitable alternative. First off, let’s observe the genre of Rap; is it the offensive lyrics that make the music desirable to listeners? Or an it possibly be the style/rhythm of Rap and Hip-Hop music that makes the genre so popular?
The answer to this question is that the unique style of Rap music has been the main contributor to the genre’s success. A very popular Rap group, Grits, is widely known for providing the public with clean, positive Rap. Grits’ hit single Ooh Ah, hit over 500,000 downloads in October of 2010 and has spent many years at the top of the charts when it comes to popular music (Ooh Aha Finds Unparalleled Success). The song was also recently chosen as the theme song for Mats popular show ‘The Buried Life’ (Ooh Aha Chosen as Theme Song for The Buried Life).
Another great Rap artist supporting clean Rap music is Electra. As a notion to his success, Lease’s new album ‘Rehab: The Overdose’ is currently placed as the number two album on I-tunes top ten lists (I-Tunes Top Music). One more very well known Hip-Hop artist that is a contributor to the world of clean rap is the one and only Will Smith. Will Smith began his Rap career while still in High School with a goal to change the definition of Rap into something more fun and more positive. He was trying to transcend stereotypical Rap into something that more people can respect and relate to.
Just a few of the achievements that Will has achieved during his Rap career are being a millionaire while still in high school, having a disc go ‘Platinum’ Just out of high school, and most importantly, being the first Rap artist to receive a Grammar award. Will Smith has also Film Producer, and Rapper). Now if listeners were drawn to the explicit lyrics in the Rap music rather than the style of the genre, would Grits’ hit single ‘Ooh Aha’ have reached over 500,000 downloads, Leeches’ new album be at number two on the top ten I-tunes charts, and Will smith have been the very first Rap artist to ever receive a Grammar award?
With all of this evidence supporting the claim that Rap and Hip-Hop music’s style and rhythm is what makes the genre so popular, one cannot deny the truth that lies before them. Rap music is not popular because of the modern-day vulgar lyrics and suggestive ideas, but rather the style of the genre itself. There is a very clean and positive alternative available to replace the destructive Rap and Hip- Hop music of today. This alternative will help to reshape a crumbling generation that is desperate for something positive and uplifting to be playing through their headphones, although they may not know it yet.
Rap and Hip-Hop music is seen as part of our modern-day culture. However the lyrics in this music are giving the young generation a bad name. In order to form a safe, secure, and respected generation, some course of action must take place. Regulation on Rap and Hip-Hop lyrics is an absolute necessity if today’s youth are to be molded into loving, respectful, and intellectual people. Think about what the younger generation would be like if Rap music gave a positive and clean message rather than a suggestive and harmful one. Current Rap lyrics are keeping dreams from taking flight, so how about a change?