Effect of Rap Music in a Teens Life

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Have you ever thought about how the music you listen to affect you? There have been many studies done on how music, especially rap music, affects people. Rap music affects teens lives through increased violence, poor life choices, and causes negative emotions.

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“Effect of Rap Music in a Teens Life”

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The sheer popularity of rap music makes it nearly impossible for it influences youth culture. Many people believe that all rap music exclusively talks about crime, drugs, sex, and violence(https://www.ecojazz.com/2016/12/01/how-does-rap-music-influence-modern-day-youth/) . In the majority of popular rap songs females are depicted as sexual objects, untrustworthy, and dependent on men. Adolescents choice of music and their reactions to and interpretations of it vary with age, culture, and ethnicity. Adolescents and youth are not the only young consumers of rap music. A popular study with 100 fourth through sixth grade revealed that 98% of these children listened to popular music, 72% of them every day. Furthermore, it has been reported that children 8 to 10 years of age listen to music an average of 1 hour per day. In three parts collaboration due are investigating the science behind how rap music affects us more on a psychological, emotional and physical level. Headphones with pioneered noise canceling technology which helps you feel the music with although the term rap therapy was coined perhaps as early as the year 2000 to late the most widely circulated study on hip-hop and therapy was conducted out of Cambridge University in 2014 after listening to the songs.

We are not just listening to music. We are listening to numerous lifestyles with lyrics and images that are interpreted in many different ways, good or bad. Unlike previous generations, today teens are bombarded with digital content on a variety of platforms daily. However, it is not as black and white as it may seem, due to the fact that this is the first generation of teens to be both the producers and consumers of art and cultural content.

This factor is often overlooked and in turn, misunderstood and perceived to be the fault of the teen. Take two vastly different music videos in the rap genre that is currently capturing the attention of teens: This is America by Childish Gambino and Water by Ugly God. Many people may interpret the images in Water as negative, while This is America may be interpreted as more of a thought-provoking piece with real meaning (Huff 29).

On the campus of Georgia State University, we pulled aside a few students and asked them a series of questions about the underlying messages in both of the videos, as well as their personal opinions and how they received these messages. We also had a chance to take a look at an artists standpoint and interviewed teens who are a part of Atlanta’s Brave New Voices slam poetry team about the pressure as an artist to appeal to a younger audience.

Jaha Bela, an 18-year-old poet, singer, and member of Team Atlanta* going to Brave New Voices in July, told us: For everything Ugly God,’ does, I think the inspiration is beating his meat and for Childish Gambino, I think it was growing up as a black man who was not necessarily connected to his blackness. She put her perspective of Ugly God’s influence and motivation into simpler terms and acknowledges that there is no real motivation or message behind his songs (Rogers 34).
GSU student Calleja, 20, said: We get over things very easily, as things happen, and then we’re like, Oh, did you see that new Ugly God video’ somebody just got shot, but we’re talking about a new dance or a new song but songs with a purpose and a message will be able to be heard later on and will still have the same impact (Rogers 16).

Teens like to keep up with the latest trends to stay relevant and in the moment. But as teens, we often get so entangled in the drama of our daily lives, we do not really take the time to analyze how this music, and its underlying messages, affect our thinking. We cannot help but take in the derogatory media that is constantly shoved down our throats and then praise it for its popularity. That popularity causes more and more teens starving for validation to turn to this type of music whether they like it or not to fit into whatever social hierarchy their school might have and in turn mirror a lifestyle that is portrayed as wild and uncaring, with no core beliefs and a self-destructive nature.

Music plays an important role in the socialization of children and adolescents popular music is present almost everywhere and is easily available through the radio, various and the internet. The explosion of hip-hop and rap music in 1991 had for more auditory influence on the popular songs that followed than the British invention of 1969 or the synth-pop sugar of 1983 the other two years that saw big shifts in musical styles. Hip-Hop has influenced and uplifted America, speaking up for generations and providing a voice to a group of people trying to deliver a message. Opponents of the Hip-Hop culture argue that the music is aggressive in nature and promotes social rebellion-however provocative lyrics do not negate the fact that Hip-Hop is a vocal outlet for many people in America (Kathleen Odenthal 38).

As probably anyone can tell you, things change, music change, because taste change, technology change, culture change, and because is needed in the entertainment industry so that things do not become stale and boring. When somebody does something that gathers success and laracclain, you are likely to see a lot of people try to copy that person (Alvin Booker 16).

Rap music has long had a reputation of being a form of music that represents violence, sexual exploitation as well as celebrating street warfare and gangs, consumption of drugs and alcohol, sex and negative attitudes towards women. Another notion prevalent in society associated with rap music is the frequent, strong profanity used in the lyrics. Despite all this, hip-hop has generated a huge fan base around the world with a wide demographic of listeners, mostly among youths. This raises the question, whether the negativity commonly linked with rap music is not just one side of the coin.

Some aspects of the mentioned themes are true and contribute to the negative stereotype but there is another, hidden side to rap music that needs to be exposed. Although it has been seen as largely negative, hip-hop has had a myriad of positive influences on society. The genre has been criticized in the media, associated with some of the nation’s social ills and seen by a good number of people as a bad influence on citizens in general. Although there are some aspects of rap music that can be construed as negative, blanketing the entire art form is unfair to the artists as well as the people who enjoy the music. The, what is the connection between hip hop\rap and their negative effects on the youth? The black youth project (Figure) revealed that 58% black youth and 23% white youth listen to rap music every day, and 25% black youth and 5% white youth watch rap music programs daily ( Acharya 13). In another research study, the Journal of Adolescent research published a survey which reveals that there is a close relationship between music preferences, and youth attitude and behaviors. The research surveyed the youth (ages 17-21) who disclosed that their favorite type of music was hip hop or rap, and 72% of them agreed that the music they listen to, in fact, influences them in some way. Furthermore, the research also discovered that young people who listen to hip hop or rap were more likely to exhibit risk-taking behaviors such as unsafe sex and drug use (Acharya 14).(https://medium.com/@moni_ach/how-are-hip-hop-and-rap-music-affecting-the-youth-4b4a03b03236)

In a study in which adolescents who referred heavy metal and rap music were compared with those who preferred other types of music, results indicated that the former consistently showed below-average current and elementary school for academic problems. A study performed in 1999 with a sample of 345 mothers from public school revealed that 47% of the mothers believed that violent messages in rap music contribute to school violence yet, according to a 2007 report from the Kaiser family foundation on parents, children, and the media, 44 only 9% of parents revealed being concerned about inappropriate content in music.

In 2005, the University of Pittsburgh School of medicine researched 279 top songs for teens of that year. Among them, 9% of lyrics in pop, 14% of lyrics in rock, 20% of lyrics in R&B and hip-hop, 36% of lyrics in a country and 77% of lyrics in rap mentioned drugs and alcohol. Moreover, it is not only about the lyrics and the explicit music videos. Famous music artists become icons for teens, influencing their lifestyle.

Rap lyrics may discuss violence as a part of an exciting and dangerous lifestyle, but some songs condemn violence and even propose solutions. Research done at western Connecticut state university found that those who listen to music with violent lyrics are more likely to be violence may be poorly controlled, but social and economic factors can play a much greater role in the prevalence of violence. Since gangsta rap first introduced b the group N.W.A., this type of rap music has sold more albums than any other form of rap. Gangsta rap in some ways glorifies violence, drugs, and easy money. N.W.A. vote a song about killing cops that created a firestorm of controversy. As a result of several such controversies, the Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics labeling system was enacted in 1985 (Lommel 68). This system required the music industry to label songs that have explicit language and limit the sale of this album to adults.

Like many musical genres before rap, some people believe that rap many musical genres before rap, some people believe that rap music influenced teenagers in a negative way that could lead to violence. Some criminal has blamed movies, books, and music as inspiration for their crimes. However, one cannot solely rely on these sources as the main reason for any act whether good or bad. March 3, 2003 teens who spend more time watching the sex and violence depicted in the reel life of gangsta rap music videos are more likely to practice these behaviors in real life, suggests one of the first studies to specifically explore how rap videos influence emotional and physical health.
After studying 522 black girls between the ages of 14 and 18 from non-urban, lower socioeconomic neighborhoods, researchers found that compared to those who never or rarely watched these videos, the girls who viewed these gangsta videos for at least 14 hours per week were far more likely to practice numerous destructive behaviors. Over the course of the one year study, they were are three times more likely to hit a teacher and get out of had, over 2.5 times more likely to get arrested twice as likely to have multiple sexual partners, and 1.5 times more likely to get a sexually transmitted disease, use drugs, or drink alcohol.

In a series of five experiments involving college students, researchers from Iowa state university and the Texas Department of human services. Examined the effects of seven violent songs and were given various psychological tasks to measure aggressive thoughts and feelings. One such task involved participants classifying words that can have both aggressive and nonaggressive meanings such as rock and stick.

To control for factors not related to the content of the lyrics, the violent and nonviolent songs were sung by the same artists and were in the same musical style in three of the experiments. In the two other experiments, the researchers tested the arousal properties of the songs to make sure the violent lyric effects were not due to differences in arousal. Also, individual personality differences related to hostility were assessed and controlled. The study also included songs with humorous lyrics to see how humor interacted with violent song lyrics and aggressive thoughts.

In this study, I think you’re onto something about how the meaning of rap and hip-hop music over has something behind it as a collective culture, rather than just merely offensive imagery and lyrics. In terms of psychology, I would want to look further into the difference in a human being’s capacity to listen to and take part in something such as rap music without identifying with it. If there is any significant difference in those capacities, I think there would be more of an answer as to how much more profoundly.

These generations, teacher nor parents have the biggest impact on our male youth, it is rappers, entertainer who does. Hip-hop and rappers have been destroying black American boys. There are some who have a positive impact like, for instance, Snoop Dogg, a hip-hop artist who owns a youth football organization in Long Beach, Ca.(https://www.cram.com/essay/The-Biggest-Influence-Of-Rap-Hop/F3T5XJ53GYKQ) His organization influence young boys to get involved in a sport that can help them get rid of some of the aggression they have in a positive way and not take it out in an antagonistic way. Then there are celebrities like Lil Wayne who promotes violence and drugs. Someone who drinks codeine to get high and compares the horrific beating of Emmett till to how he has sex with women is no role model, they are the type of people we need to get our make youth away from. More than anything we need to show them that you can live much better without the money, drugs, and partying. Since our young black boys are so impressionable now it can be very easy for them to think the way most of these celebrities live is the best way of living.

The positive influence on Rap Rap is a style of popular music, developed by jockeys and urban blacks in the 1970s in which an insistent, recurring beat pattern provides the background and counterpoint for rapid, slangy, and often boastful rhyming pattern glibly by vocalist or vocalists.(https://www.cram.com/essay/The-Positive-Influence-On-Rap/FK7Z5X53GZ3W)

Rapping is a major part of hip-hop culture which was developed in the Bronx in the mid-nineteenth century. A group of young African Americans and Latinos living in a low-income area where there was little to do and soon they made the hip-hop culture (rapping, graffiti art, breakdancing, and DJ-ing). Rap has become its own genre within hip-hop culture because it grew popular so rapidly. Rapping is used as an expression and reflection of our daily struggles and emotions. Even though the lyrics create controversy in society, they often give people a certain comfort because they can relate to the music. When rap music became its own genre within hip hop it began to create controversy of whether it was music or not.

Since gangsta was first introduced by the group N.W.A., this type of rap music has sold more albums than any other form of rap. Gangsta rap in some ways glorifies violence, drugs, and easy money. N.W.A. wrote a song about killing cops that created a firestorm of controversy. As a result of several such controversies, the Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics labeling system to enacted in 1985 (Lommel 68). This system required the music industry to label songs that have explicit language and limit that sale of these albums to adults.
Like many musical genres before rap, some people believe that rap music influenced teenagers in a negative way that could lead to violence. Some criminals have blamed movies, books, and music as inspiration for their crimes. However, one cannot solely rely on these sources as the main reason for any act whether good or bad. Millions of heavy metal and gangsta rap fans spend hours with their chosen music genres and never threaten others or themselves.

People are surrounded by music every day of their lives. They hear it in their homes, on the radio on their way to work; some people have even caught themselves humming the tune of their favorite song to themselves. But how many people actually listen and not just hear the music they are listening to? Teens, in particular, do not realize what they are listening to. A lot of teens would argue that the music they listen to has no effect on them, but they are wrong. Rap music, especially, has had a major impact on teenagers in today’s society. (https://www.123helpme.com/rap-musics-influence-upon-teenagers-preview.asp?id=186568)

The lyrics of many rap songs encourage violent and aggressive thoughts in teenagers many teens do not realize that the music they are listening to affects the way they think. According to Morrison, a columnist whose writings focus on the impact of the choices people face every day, words do have meanings, meanings suggest thoughts, and thoughts lead to action (Morrison 18). Even if the person is not affected right away by the violent lyrics of most today rap songs, eventually they will become more prone to certain thoughts. As Morrison stated, in experiments on over 500 college students.subjects were found to experience an increase in aggressive thoughts after listening to songs with violent lyrics. Those subjected to the mean music were more apt to connect hostile meanings to words deemed to be violence neutral by the researchers (Morrison 23). In time, words that are not intended to cause malicious thoughts, suddenly take on new meanings.
In other words, violent lyrics can lead to lead to violent thoughts and actions Rap lyrics did not always have messages of violence sprinkled in them. According to the article Media Violence Causes Youth Violence, studies show that modern music lyrics have become increasingly explicit, particularly concerning sex, drugs, and, most troubling violence against women (Senate Committee 16).

McWhorter, a senior in public policy at the Manhattan Institute who studies various aspects of race and ethnicity, stated, Rap took a dark turn in the early 1980s, as this bubble gum music gave way to a gangsta style that picked up where blaxploitation left off.
(https://www.cram.com/essay/rap-musics-influence-upon-teenagers/F32RKN2AJ) Now top rappers are writing edgy lyrics celebrating street warfare of drugs and promiscuity (McWhorter).

The lyrics of today’s top rap songs are sending the wrong kinds of messages to young teens. Many of today’s rap songs have underlying messages that promote bad values. Morrison states marketing messages of hate and violence to children sends the signal that violence is widespread and normal, that it is acceptable to abuse women, and that there is glamour in lawlessness (Morrison 29). Teens are listening to music that sends the messages that it is okay for men to beat their wives and girlfriends because they are above the law.

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Effect of Rap Music in a Teens Life. (2020, Mar 23). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from

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