Contemporary Music and the Effects It Has on Youth

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Contemporary Music and the Effects It Has on Youth In a book written on Abraham Lincoln, the author states, "Who writes the Nation’s songs shapes the nation’s souls." (1) This statement is true. A quick look back at the music of the 1960's and 70's and the effects it had on society proves the statement. The question then arises, how does contemporary music effect modern society? More importantly how does it effect the most easily influenced group, the youth? There is no doubt that much of the popular music in 90’s culture has a negative message. The rise of rap, especially gangster rap and the continual popularity of heavy metal are major contributors to the negative message. The message in turn has a very negative effect on children. The language and actions described in this music gives kids a false perception of what the world is truly like. It also portrays to them that the actions are socially acceptable or good. Youths of the present have a much more difficult path to adulthood then the youth of the past. On a regular basis they are subjected to violence, drugs, and sex. Often times they are faced with making a decision for or against one of these vices. The majority of children will do what they think people they look up to will do. Often times the people they look up to are celebrities in music who send out a negative message. These celebrities often glorify sexism, violence, and drug use. 2-Live Crew was one of the first controversial rap groups to integrate itself into the public eye. Their lyrics, which are tame by today’sstandards, are sexually explicit and objectify women. "Their lyrics not only fail to satirize the myth of the hypersexual black, they also commit the moral blunder of sexualizing the vi... ... middle of paper ... ... End Notes and Bibliography 1.)U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Governmental Affairs. Subcommitte on Oversight of Governmental Management, Restructuring, and the District of Columbia. Music Violence: How Does it Affect Our Children. 105th Congress, 1st Session, 6 November 1997. Pg. 1 2.)Epstein, Johnathon S. ed. Adolescents and Their Music: If It's Too Loud, You're Too Old. New York: Garland Publishing, 1994. Pg. 172 3.)Rose, Tricia. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1994. Pg 128-129 4.)See Epstein, Pg. 175 5.)See Congress, Pg. 1 Additional Works Potter, Russell. Spectacular Vernaculars. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995. Ro, Ronin. Gangsta. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996.
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