Hip Hop or Rap Music is easily one of the most controversial music styles in society. It is often criticized for sending bad messages to today’s youth and promoting mischievous and promiscuous activity. So now we’ll take a look into the large controversy caused by this music genre.
Rap is a vocal style in which the artist speaks lyrically in verses. They generally flow to an instrumental beat. The beats can be synthesized, created from instruments, a combination of both, or borrowed from another song.
It is a very common belief that rap music has a bad influence on the young people that listen to it. Don’t get me wrong, some rappers send positive, uplifting messages.
However, common themes often associated with rap are alcohol, drugs, violence, and sex. Not to mention the excess use of profane words.
Jamie Foxx’s song “Blame It” lists various alcohol types throughout the song as the reason for getting with girls and saying that the expensive alcohol one sports in their cup makes them look superior to others. For example, the song says, “Blame it on the vodka, blame it on the henny, Blame it on the blue tap, got you feeling dizzy, Blame it on the a-a-alcohol!” Two other recently popular songs making alcohol appealing and exciting are LMFAO’s song “Shots” and Gucci Mane’s song “Wasted.” These songs make drinking seem fun and promote getting drunk and drinking excessively.
Drugs are also mentioned quite often in rap songs. For example, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have a song called “Weed Song” in which they proclaim, “Let’s smoke, I got to get high. I been high since the last song. And I just been smokin’ and smokin’. Smoke another blunt, roll another up.” Lil Wayne has a song called “Kush” which is another word for weed. This song similarly says, “And I smoke that kush Yeah, that kush, Yeah, and I ball like swoosh, Yeah, like swoosh.” These songs make it seem like getting high and smoking weed all of the time makes you cool and is a good hobby to have.
Violence is also prevalent in rap songs. In 50 Cent’s “Gunz Come Out”, he says “You try to touch me, I put out ya get ya brains blown… hit ’em up, lay my murder game down”. Rap often talks about violence towards women as well. In Yung Joc’s song “Knock It Out” he says “Beat the ***** up like a ole beat machine… Lil mama I’mma beat it up, All night I’mma beat it up”. Derogatory names such as b**** and h** are often used to describe women.
Sex is a very common theme in rap music as well. Some currently popular songs being played on the radio are “Birthday Sex” by Jeremih, “Sex Room” by Ludacris and Trey Songz, and “Sex in the Morning” by Robin Thicke and Snoop Dogg. Some people argue that rap promotes sex and promiscuous behavior in teens and young adults because of the way it so freely talks about and practically praises it.
So how much should parents care about what kind of music their children are listening to? Does the content found in songs really affect the beliefs and actions of those who listen to them? Studies have been conducted to find out the answer to this question. Results have varied, but some of these studies have found that listening to rap music and watching the music videos do make people more inclined to be involved in drugs, sex and violence. I, on a personal level, can say that I love rap music but do not partake in any kind of damaging activities. Not everyone who listens to this music makes bad choices.
Is the rap controversy just like controversies past? It seems as though each generation has its own controversy with some kind of newly popular music. Eventually will people stop worrying about rap’s affect on our youth and move on to some other kind of music, or is rap a real problem to society? These are questions that only time can answer. Until then, rap will continue thrive, people will continue to listen, and the controversy will go on.
As much as I love hip hop over the years I have witnessed the deterioration of its lyrical content. Now days its all about how much money I got, how many people I’ve slept with, how many bricks I’ve sold etc.
What has happened to hip hop? In my next article I will talk a little more about Rain Man and who he is. The Illuminati theory will be revealed.