Rap music can be considered a style of art, and a way for the artists to expressfeelings through their words on paper. However, there are quite a few rapartists that get criticized for their lyrics. In my essay, I want to discuss whyrappers use certain lyrics in their music and why people shouldnt believethat it causes violence among the younger generations. People shouldnt censorthe music just because of violent, vulgar and abusive messages it promotes tothe world. I believe in my own mind, that there is a reason for these types oflyrics that rap artists use and I will simply explain those reasons in thisessay.
Rap has been called one of the most important music forces to emerge intwo decades. Its pounding beats and staccato rhymes exploded on the streetsof the urban America in the early 1980s and since have become the theme musicand lyrical heart of the vibrant youth culture called hip-hop ( SIRS 1993).There are many different types of rap artist. There are some that talk aboutmoney, some talk about righteousness, and the list goes on and on. Every rapartist had their own way of expressing themselves. There are those that talkabout sex, drugs, and violence who receive the negative attention( SIRS 1993).
People, think this so- called gangster rap is a bad influence on children in theworld and that it promotes violence and that it also is abusive to women.Delores Tucker, head of national congress of black women has been among thosepressuring different record companies to stop distributing gangster rap music.There were other significant names that participated in this action. Names likeSenate Majority leader Bob dole, and former education Secretary William J.Bennett(Surveys, pg. 1).
There are some rap artists that have been openlycriticized for their lyrics. Rappers like Lil Kim, Too Short, Snoop Doggy Dogg,and a member from Too Live Crew, named Luke Skywalker. These rap artistsin the past have been appointed for the things they say in their music. Lil Kimtalks about sex in her music, Too Short talks about drugs, sex, and how much ofa pimp he is, and Luke Skywalker talks about girls and sex. The lyrics thatthese rap artist use in their music might not be suitable for everybody tolisten to but I dont think their music should be banned or criticized becauseyou dont have to listen to it if you dont choose to. Rap music, how muchinfluence does it really have on its youthful listeners? Many, from recordcompany executives to high school students agree that it plays a critical rolein the lives of many tans, affecting the way they dance, dress and speak(SIRS1993). Personally, I feel that rap music is a form of art. I think it takes agreat deal of talent to write lyrics that rap artists write, because you have touse metaphors and similes, and at the same time get your point across so thelisteners can understand.
I give rappers a great deal of credit because I knowit took them a long time to get where their at today, and I know it takes atremendous amount of time to write a song. Its also true and I strongly agreewith that rap artists use lyrics that reflect on their childhood and the waythey grew up. That could be the reason why gangster rappers and rappers talkabout sex, drugs, and violence in their music because that was what they wereexposed to through out their life. Rap artists generally write about what theyknow because it is easier to write about things and situations that you know,and if sex, drugs and violence is what you know about, then you are going towrite about situations that involve those subjects. Not just write about them inhopes to cause more violence in our world.
Young rap fans caution it is wrongand simplistic to believe music can dictate their actions. Upbringing andcircumstance steer a childs behavior, they say, not a record on a turntableor a performer posturing on stage(Newsweek, 1998). There are other reasons whygangster rappers should not be criticized for their lyrics. One reason is that Iwould rather hear gangster rappers talk about violence on the streets than themactually going out on the streets and participate in the violence. Anotherreason why rappers shouldnt be criticized is because the world was violentlong before rap was invented, and it is not rap music that is making the worldmore violent then it is already.
I strongly believe that people have the freedomof choice to listen to rap music and if you dont like what rap artists talkabout, then you do not have to listen to the music. If people didnt have achoice that would be one thing, but as long as people have a choice to do or notto do something then they shouldnt try to criticize it. To me, rap music ismore than a strain.
It is the reflection of horrible suffering, struggle andpain of the ghetto life. I feel that art reflects life, so I ask myself whyarent the National Black leaders like Delores Tucker, more concerned aboutwhere the source of rap music exists than the work denuding these types of harshconditions(SIRS 1993). I think that kids know the difference between rightand wrong, music and reality. They know its not right to go kill somebody andif there driven to that, thats not the fault of the music, says JonShecter, editor of The Source, a rap magazine(SIRS 1993). If the peoplethroughout the world that criticize gangster rap music would begin to reallycare then they would try to find and fix the conditions that this art of musiccomes from and stop criticizing the artist. In other words, the abusive languageand rise of violence found in most gangster rap songs are the reality of ourpresent day society.
Americans should be mature enough to realize that nottalking about something wont cause it to go away. People talk about theviolence of gangster rap music, but look at the violence we see on televisioneveryday, on almost every channel you turn to. Violence is everywhere, you mightsee or hear something violent every day of your life, whether it is ontelevision, radio or in real life. Violence has been existing for hundreds andhundreds of years, gangster rap music hasnt remotely made violence moreintense or worse than it already is( Surveys, pg. 1).So is it then fair to pinpoint rap music and blame its lyrics on the violence happening around theworld? Teen-agers, both black and Latino, say it is the driving beat thatattracts them and many other young people to rap.
That, and the musicshonesty(SIRS 1993). Its not the guns and drugs that make them like the music.The rappers arent saying to solve a problem you must kill, they are juststating what they know. In which, ever since they were young, that violencearound them always ends in a shooting or stabbing, so is it right to blame themfor singing about it when really they learned it from television? Sex in rapmusic shouldnt be criticized either because look at all the pornography thatis in the world today. There are magazines that are being sold nearlyeverywhere.
They have triple X rated movies that could be purchase and you couldrent these kind of movies at your nearest video store(Showbiz, pg. 1). So,lyrics that talk about sex cant hardly be no worse than the movies andmagazines being sold all over the world today.
When rappers talk about drugs intheir songs, they could be talking about how drugs were used in theirneighborhoods growing up, and maybe they had to sell drugs for a while to putfood on their table( Newsweek 1998). I feel, people get confused about what therap artist is trying to say to people. They are missing the whole point. Justbecause rap artists talk about drugs in their songs doesnt mean they areactually selling the drugs or using the drugs.
These rap artists are makingthousands of dollars just by making records, why would they go out and selldrugs? That doesnt make any sense. There are plenty of artists that arepositive, and speak positive aspects in their music about life, like A TribeCalled Quest, the Roots, De La Soul, and many others. So for those that thinkthat rap music has a negative effect on children, and people in the world, thereare a lot of rappers that speak unity, and things that are positive aboutlife(Showbiz, pg2). If a person could listen to some of these positive rapartists, they could learn about life. There have been plenty of times where Iwas in a terrible mood or I was upset about something, and I popped in a CD of arapper, and after I was finished listening to the CD I felt much better.
Thewords and phrases used, are words of actual life events and the positive thingsor outcomes of them. In conclusion, I speak in favor of gangster rap, and Idont think people should criticize these rap artists because they arespeaking the truth. Situations theyve been in are shown through their lyricsand we need to try to find the source of the problem instead of criticizing theperson speaking about the problem. Drugs, Sex, and Violence are what gangsterrappers are considered to be glorifying, but drugs, sex, and violence was ineffect long before rap music was even thought of and so we shouldnt use thetype of music against the type of behavior caused by teens around the world.Music and Musicians