Rap music is very popular genre of music among teens and even adults today. There is rap out there that is positive or has neutral lyrics, not really talking about anything positive or negative. However, there is a majority of negative lyrics in rap music. There are songs about sex, violence, drugs, using derogatory language, and degrading to women. For young girls it can lead to lower self-esteem and lower self-respect. This is prevalent in a lot of different types of music not only rap.
Some people may have the opinion that “it’s only a song.” Or “just because I listen to it doesn’t mean I’m going to do it.” What I would say to that argument is: it’s the bigger picture, it’s not just a song. It’s bringing about a certain standard to society. Also kids and teens can be very impressionable. Think about this, if kids see someone famous or popular wearing a certain thing, all of a sudden it becomes a trend, and everybody’s wearing it or wants to have one. It’s socialization 101. “Adolescents’ risky behavior and mass media use,” reported “A survey performed among 2760 American adolescents demonstrated that listening to music and watching television and music videos more frequently was associated with increased risky behaviors.”
What I dislike about some rap music is they will rap about selling drugs, killing people, guns, and gang violence etc. However if the average teens today were to do what they are singing about, where would they end up? There is only two answers to that questions: dead or in prison. Do they care about being a role model to young impressionable youth? Will they attend the funeral or pay the hospital if you get shot? So then why support those lyrics and buy the music. They are not standing on the corner selling drugs subjecting themselves to a felony charge, they are in a studio rapping. So for those who thinks it’s cool to do negative things you hear about in the songs, realize the bigger reality of what really could happen. I can assure you that what lies at the end of the rainbow is not glamorous.
I don’t want to demonize rappers, and I’m not blaming them personally for others misfortunes. I’m simply saying that rap music that is violent and demoralizing, can influence especially young people. A research study in Minneapolis found that homicide was largely committed by youth under 24. Also “in 2000, more than 10,000 Americans were killed with guns, and guns are much more likely to be used in homicides of teens and young adults than in homicides of people of other ages,” reported cops.usdoj.gov. (Community Oriented Policing Services U.S Department of Justice) Adolescence should realize that rappers are rapping about these things because it sells, it makes “them” money. Not because it’s cool, it’s glamorous or the right thing to do.
Klein JD, Brown JD, Childers KW, Olivieri J, Porter C, Dykers C. Adolescents’ risky behavior and mass media use. Pediatrics.1993;92 (1):24- 31