“Hey, Slim, that’s my girlfriend screamin’ in the trunk, but I didn’t slit her throat, I just tied her up”(Eminem). Rap music is a bad influence on teenagers, and plays a huge role in many kids lives (Abdul-Karim). It creates kids being violent, with the influence of violent context in songs that lead to drug or alcohol abuse (Abdul- Karim). According to Dr. Brian Primack from The University of Pittsburgh, “A person comes across 251 references of drugs per day in rap music” (Acharya). A 1986 context analysis of forty hours of rap music, sex and violence was linked to 80% of all rap music (Hattemer). Today’s rap music lyrics are meaner, and more explicit talking about sex, hatred, drugs and violence (Ford). An audience listening to rap music does have an effect by hearing all the terrible references a rapper says including sexual and drug references that impact the youth. It’s reported that listening to violence or drug use songs, kids are more likely to be violent or try drugs.
The development of rap music all began in the 70’s by a Jamaican vocalist, DJ U-Roy: he had three top ten songs and a style called toasting (Adaso). Eventually, rap started to evolve into a masterpiece in the late 80’s. Whodini, however, was the first group to shoot a rap music video and release it to the public. Then in the early 90’s, Ice Cube and Easy E took a turn and started to rap and release music about growing up and their early years as opposed to other rappers, who rapped about the gangsta lifestyle (Whit). In the mid 90’s Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog made an album named Doggystyle, which was the first album to enter Billboard chart at #1; a year after that, Ready To Die by Notorious B.I.G was one of the biggest albums released in rapping industry. In the early 2000’s, a new face came into the rap world: Eminem. He was the first white rapper, who competed in rap battles in Detroit. He was then founded by Dr. Dre, who started his career and later on released one of his first albums Encore, that went four-times platinum and would change the rap game entirely. Female rappers—such as Nicki Minaj and Queen Latifah—have led many females to the rap industry to inspire more female rappers to hit the platforms and pursue their dreams. There are many unmeaning-full rappers including Asap Rocky, Kendrick Lamar and Drake, who just rap about superficial things: money, drugs, and violence (Whit). The evolution of rapping has change into a phenomenon and has changed the way music has been interpreted, creating more violent kids by the lyrics of music.
The media plays a huge part in violence in our community (Abdul). Rap lyrics discuss violence as a part of an exciting and dangerous lifestyle, which makes the youth get influenced and listening more to these rappers (Jackson). Rap lyrics are over-exaggerated to attract mainstream viewers like kids; the Black Youth Project conducted a research project that revealed that 58% black youth and 23% white youth listen to rap (Archarya). Rap music corrupts kids with all of the violent altercations in them. Black youths have a higher rate to listen to rap music because of their surroundings and where they live. Most black teens are raised around rap music because that’s part of their lifestyle, but it affects how teens act with all the violent abuse in the songs. Research done at Western Connecticut State University “found that those who listen to music with violence lyrics are more likely to be violent” (Jackson).
In 30 rap songs documented by a student, there were 396 references of violence, which evens out to be 13.2 references per song. In the song “Billy” by 6ix9ine, one can expect to hear: “Get the f**k up out of my f***ing face before I murder you.” One can also hear, “Seven shots-shots-shots-shots-shots-shots n***a, errybody get pop-pop-popped n***a.” Violence is learned as a kid, and one of the things influencing violence is rap music. Rap is played all around young kids, which exposes them to violence and abuse. Rappers make songs that promote violence as a riveting event. Kids shouldn’t be around music like that. Violence has increased drastically in the past two decades, and most of it is from rap music.
Rap music has influenced drug and alcohol abuse in the past two decades. Rappers positively portray drug abuse (Preidt). There have been many different things for rappers to rap about; anything from the dangers of crack and cocaine to glorify the use of weed, is present in rap music (Preidt). According to Dr. Brian Primack from the University of Pittsburgh, “A person comes across 251 references of drugs per day listening to rap music” (Acharya). Furthermore, a study by researchers at the University of California, found that there was a sixfold increase in drug references in songs over the past two decades (Preidt).
In 30 songs, there were a total of 252 drug and alcohol references, which is a total of 8.4 references per song. The song “Young Wild and Free” by Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa states: “Roll one, smoke one when you live like this, you’re supposed to party.” In the song “So High” by Wiz Khalifa, he sings “I get so high, and I be floating, I get so high.” He also affirmed, “Tell a n***a, use a grinder for that weed, straight THC, uh huh.” Drug references are heard each day by kids who believe to be like these rappers who smoke weed, party, and drink. Most rappers talk about smoking marijuana and sipping on jin and juice, which is a terrible influence on kids who are exposed to rap music. This increases the chance of drug and alcohol use by kids and could potentially affect their entire lives.
Many rappers want to gloat about how much money they have, “by boasting” in the lyrics or music videos. Rappers want to gain an audience by attracting people with things that they have that an average person doesn’t have (Armoudia). Brad Jordan, a rapper, says he raps “to flex and gain an audience which makes me more money, that’s how it works”(Jones).
In 30 songs, there was 234 references about money which is 7.8 references a song. The song “10 Freaky Girls” by Metro Boomin, shows many references to money and having boats, cars and girls. If a person would listen, (the person) would hear, “Hangin off my earlobes is a rock.” “I got 10 freaky girls on a yacht.” In the song called “I Mean It” by G-Eazy, he states, “If I ever said I’m getting money just know I mean it.” In the song “Womp Womp” by Valee he states, “Pockets so fat that I need Bally total fitness,” stating that he has so much money in his pockets, that he needs to spend it and get rid of it. Songs like these show kids and adults the opposite of what should really happen with peoples money.
Rappers talk a lot about buying random things and not being smart with money, but in reality, kids should save their money. Many rappers talk about things most people want in their life, and people like to dream about being rich; clearly, many of these rappers have expensive things and rap about it for the gain of fans. Many rappers also are uncaring and care about the money and fame, which sometimes make people dislike the rapper; indeed, there is definitely a difference in the music rappers make, when they love what they do as a living more then just trying to make the money and blow up on the internet. Money can really control people especially rappers, as one can make millions off just one song, and they truly don’t care what they say as far as violence or hatred. Rappers want to have popularity. Rappers gain this popularity in part due to their money and from the public outcry of the morbid things they say.
However, not all rap is bad; in fact most of rap has some good things in it. These positive things are overshadowed by terrible lyrics including sexual content (McCall). Hip hop and rap music have a negative impact on the sexual decisions of the youth because they hear explicit lyrics and think it’s okay to imitate or do the actions they hear (Acharya). Many people say how lyrics are truly not that bad. In reality, there are many awful lyrics. In a article from Medium it states “Because sex appears all throughout media, the public has, for the most part, become numb to it” (Acharya).
In research conducted by a student on 30 different songs, there was 324 references on sex which equals out to 10.8 references per song. In the song “Womp Womp” by Valee, there is many references to sexual content, including, “She’s a slobber, all on my knob, corn the cobber, sweet thing and that p***y taste like peach cobbler.” He also states in the song: “F**k her twice, cum, cum.” In another song called “Billy” by 6ix9ine, says “Little sick b***h, lickin on my d**k tip, she a freak hoe.” Many sexual references in rap songs are used multiple times repetitively by a rapper. This is used to pull in listeners. There has been a huge increase in kids listening to rap music and with lyrics containing sex and the mistreatment of girls and boys; it can affect how they behave in a good and bad way.
Rap is the central part of a powerful cultural movement hip-hop that influences the way kids walk, talk, dress and think (McCall). Kids hearing rap music a thousand times a day becomes a part of their nature and attitude (Abdul). Kids hearing the horrid lyrics of rap music try to imitate groups of rap; in reality kids have no idea what these songs truly represent (Torres).
In 30 songs, there were a total of 198 references to social change which is about 6.6 references per song. In the song “Young Wild and Free” by Wiz Khalifa, it states “Sagging my pants, not caring what I show.” There has been an impact on what clothes kids wear by the songs they hear, including how kids wear these clothes. For example, kids started to wear pants up to the waste, but recently kids wear them to there knees; stated by Wiz Khalifa in the song “Young Wild and Free.” Many rappers have a platform where they influence many kids, and for that they should provide better lyrics so the society changes into the good not the bad. Today kids are encouraged by rappers and behave on what they hear, it’s proven that kids will act on what they hear which include how kids wear their hats, or even wearing drug rugs. Rappers have such a large impact on kids that it’s been changing society; rappers need to have a better understanding on what they say.
Rap influences the youth in a bad way and in a total of 30 songs there was a total of 1,404 atrocious references that are exposed to kids day-to-day. Rap can appeal to kids by the lyrics and can influences them in negative way; teens with all the adverse references in today’s music can become or act like these artists. It’s proven that the more kids who are exposed to violent songs applying sexual content, are more likely to be violent and execute sexual content. In today’s society there isn’t much people can do about explicit music except putting regulations or to not play rap music on the radio. This would decrease the amount kids hear rap music per day and would dramatically affect the society in a good way. Rappers need to stop using explicit lyrics and miss using words to gain an audience because it is affecting kids drastically on their manner of life.
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