Music If the average person Is asked to picture an Image of a rapper, images of a man with his body covered In tattoos, wearing gold chains with smoke pouring out of his mouth and swearing to every second word he says would be some of the first things to come to his or her head. If the person Is asked again to describe how they picture a rap music video to be like, her or she would probably describe the video centered on a rapper with the features previously mentioned, surrounded by women with alcohol involved being derogatory and vulgar.
If the person was told that part of the reason the usage of crack cocaine has declined in the united States is because of rappers who have rapped about using it and how it has ruined their career, life and families (“Positive Influences of Rap. “), he or she would have a hard time believing it because it goes against the things he or she is used to seeing in the media about rap music effects. Rap music Is an “American minority artist creation” that originated in the Bronx, New York In the ass (Rhodes, Henry). Rappers first began to rap at local house parties along funky party music that people danced to.
At this time of the music’s evolution, rapping would go on for about fourteen minuets and often times It would be turned into rap battles. Forwarding couple of years, rap music began gained popularity In the media and in the ass it became a “distinct musical genre” (Wood, Joann). The more fame the music got, the more of a controversy it became in the united States. The explicit lyrics, usage of drugs, alcohol, and the violent behaviors that some rappers began to mention in their music became a big target for the media to depict as it was seen as a “negative influence” to the youth.
Nowadays, rap music and the artists behind it is solely depicted and represented in a biased way by the media that the publics main perception of the music is that it’s a nuisance and poisonous to the youth’s mind. Rap music does In fact Influence the youth negatively. There are many researchers who have analyzed the effects of rap music on the youth and concluded many different Impacts It had on the youth’s life. In Gina Wolfhounds study of rap music influences, she analyzed the behavioral changes rap music videos had on 522 female adolescents of the ages of 14-18.
The participants were randomly selected from a rope of volunteers and were contacted for monthly checkups over the course of 12 months. In the study, Winging recorded changes the adolescents had been experiencing in their life like being in “fights, been arrested, used alcohol [and] or drugs”. After, 12 months she concluded: 37. 6% acquired a new sexually transmitted disease hit a teacher reported being arrested 12. 1% 14. 8% had sexual Intercourse with someone other than their steady partner 44. 2% reported using drugs 44. % consumed alcohol Many of the participants were In fact under the Influences of the rap music videos they had been watching. However though, according to Cheryl Keyes, studies the ages of 14-18 the youth are likely to try drugs, start drinking, or engage in sexual activities so it’s hard to say that rap music is to blame for those behaviors. Anyway;says though, in neither of the categories that the adolescents’ behaviors were analyzed, were 100% of the adolescents acting on the influences that rap music video are supposedly promoting.
In a similar study that consisted of one hundred African American males of the ages of 13-25 concluded that the participants were against the idea of Moline against women” that is often displayed in rap music video (Harvey, Bonito). Both studies show that rap music isn’t only a negative influence on the youth which shows the media’s representation of rap music inaccurate. In most cases involving teen violence or shootings, the media associates it with being in relations and an influence of rap music. It is associated with behaviors teens are mimicking from rappers they idealize.
But, as stated on “Does Today’s Music… Our Youth” can Molten lyrics [alone] cause young people to behave violently’? If that were to be true than every teen who has listened to rap music would be in possession of guns and committing crime with it. According to Sullivan, rap music is seen by many adolescent as “life affirming” and many studies has shown that rap music has “empowering qualities that… Can increase critical consciousness and increase resistance to oppressive conditions” (CTD in “Music. “). The form of rap music that centers its lyrics on alcohol, gang violence, drugs and etc. S only a small category of rap music: gangs rap (Rhodes, Henry). This small category of rap music is the focus the media chooses to stereotype the music a negative influence when there are many positive effects of rap music like educating the youth. In 2011, after the rapper Common was invited by Michelle Obama to recital poetry at the White House’s “celebration of American Poetry’, a big uproar stirred up as people were accusing Common of being a “thug” and a Mel rapper” that didn’t deserve the place (Denton, Rudolf). Common’s lyrics are all about bringing positive messages and yet he is faced with all these negative accusations.
According to Carrie Fried, the conflicted reactions are Justified by the fact that the “label of “rap” is likely to affect how people interpret of a given set of lyrics” (CTD. In Denton, Rudolf). Fried as able come to this conclusion by observing three groups of people’s reaction to one particular song. A folk song, “Bad Man’s Blunder” that was about a man who kills a cop. Each group was told the song was of different genre: folk, country, and rap. The groups that believed the song was of folk and country genre had moderate reaction to the song.
However, the group that was under the impression the song was rap claimed the lyrics were more “threatening” when the song wasn’t even rap. Society has gotten used to seeing biased depiction of rap music through the media that their primary assumption of the music is that it’s “threatening”. Rap music is poetry. It gives a person the freedom and space to express their real emotions or feelings. The artists of today are simply warning people of ‘how violent the streets are… [and are] simply stating life as they live it” (“Does Today’s… Our Youth. “).
Even though the media solely focuses on the Molten obscene lyrics and themes, rap music is used as an educational tool by drawing attention to problems of poverty, racism, and “economic oppression” (“Positive Influences of Rap. “). Rap music is used like a tool to give “voice” to the public. Rappers use rap to speak to the public affairs, war, immigration etc. They use rap music to paint an image of what is revolving around them and how they see it. Even though in most occasions they present their “stories” with a lot of negative and “graphic” scenes, it’s Just a “reflection” of problems facing the community.
Many other artists in other genre of music make music expressing their view of problems the world are facing, but are not criticized about it. In the song “Thug Mansion”, OPAC says: Picture me inside the misery of poverty No man alive even witnessed struggles I survived politicians ban us locked in chains, please explain here a way for me to change? Did to maintain? … Seen the They’d rather see us why they can’t stand us, is Or am I Just a victim of things I This song is used by OPAC to raise the publics awareness about issues concerning “poverty’ and “discrimination” that was still a big issue around his time.
He made many other rap songs with a positive message like the song “Keep Yea Head Up” that addresses issues concerning lack of respect toward the female gender, especially poor black women. It’s a rap song that builds women up and has a very positive message. However, despite the positive messages he conveys through his ones, he was still considered one of the most violent and offensive rap artists in the industry (“Positive Influences of Rap. “). Other rappers like Common use rap music to inspire creativity as he doing in the song “Come Close” where he uses drawings to convey his poetic verses to a deaf girl.
In the song “Resurrection” the rapper Lope Fiasco raps about the tragic earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and encourages the people to not lose hope. The song also raised money that was donated to Haiti. Other rap music encourages the youth to think of the future and to follow their dreams like for example the song “l Know I Can” by Nas. The song stresses the importance of staying in school and getting a good Job. The media shouldn’t down talk rap because in many cases it’s Just another way to let out stress and feelings.
Some rappers also, write their music with a message to help people rise up and find a new path of life as Mine does in the song “Rock Bottom”. In the song he expresses his feelings of when he was going through the experience of that people refer to “rock bottom” and how he was able to build up after that which many people can relate to. Aside from the rap music’s with meaningful messages, there is a big number f rappers who are labeled as “menaces of society’ that invest much of their times in their communities.
Many of these rappers grew up in small “hoods” and know the struggles one can go through in the “hood life” and so they give back to the fortune for intense T. L. He started a charity organization, K. I. N. G foundation, which raises money for various causes like providing toys to the less fortuned kids (“Positive Acts of Rappers and Hip Hop. “). The rapper Newly runs the kidskin Foundation, a non- profit foundation that is dedicated to his sister Jackie Donahue, who died in 2005 from leukemia. As he states, the foundation aims “to feed as many hungry kinds in this country as possible” (CTD. Olson, Bruce).
His “Jess Us 4 Jackie fundraising” campaign aims to educate African-Americans and other minorities (Olson, Bruce). Achieved their success and they inspire the youth to strive for the same success instead of being a negative influence as the media has it. There are many positives that can and have come from rap music but, this side of rap music is foreign to the public because of hoe the music is represented by the media. The number of rappers who care about helping those less fortune and are about making a difference is a long list that to most Americans who don’t care to look at the positive things rappers do is surprising.
The media shouldn’t solely look at the negative aspects of raps music because how are people supposed think otherwise when all the media does is degrade rappers and their music as if they are the “scum” of the Earth? Rap music should also be embraced by the media for its positive aspects. Rappers should not be Judged as people by the lyrics they sing in songs or what they do for their Job, because the luxurious lifestyle with money and ears is a part of rap music, it isn’t the lifestyle that rappers life in their everyday life. To many rappers the music is part of their life.