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Gangster Rap - The Negative Impact on Identity

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Jean Kilbourne, a media specialist, raises an interesting point in one of her lectures when she states, “The average American is exposed to 3000 advertisements per day. Yet, everyone in America still feels personally exempt from the media. They say, “I don’t pay attention to ads. I just tune them out. They have no effect on me.”” She later states most of the people who have said this to her were wearing Gap™ tee-shirts. Whether people realize it or not, there is a direct correlation between the media and an individual’s identity. Along with products, the media also sells values, views, images, and concepts of normalcy. The media tells us who we are and who we should be. Unfortunately, many times the media tells us things that have a major negative impact on individual and collective identity. Without the media, we would see a positive shift in the way people view themselves as individuals and as a collective.

From Beethoven, to the rap artists of today, music has developed from classical masterpieces to garbage that glorifies negative behaviour. Rap, or gangster rap as it is commonly known, is a form of music that glamorizes thug life. This glamorization is destroying our communities and urban centers. Youth especially are influenced by this because they start to see the lifestyle described in rap as expensive cars, gorgeous women, and jewellery. The media tells them about these things but conveniently leaves out the fact a rap stars lifestyle is actually about drugs, violence, gangs, crime, and the objectification of women. If youth knew that most rap stars are actually prison inmates or living off welfare, they probably would not be so keen on adapting rap culture and would focus on getting an education instead. The media d...

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...27/hiphops_negative_impact_on_kids.html?cat=9. Last accessed 5 December 2009.

Tamika Morrison. (2007). Hip-Hop vs. America. Available: http:// http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/393422/hiphop_vs_america_pg2_pg2.html?cat=9. Last accessed 5 December 2009.

Documentaries Watched:

Jean Kilbourne . (2002). Killing Us Softly 3: Advertsing's Image of Women . Available: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/killing-us-softly-3/. Last accessed 5 December 2009.

Jean Kilbourne. (2000). Spin the Bottle Preview . Available: http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=210&template=PDGCommTemplates/HTN/Item_Preview.html. Last accessed 5 December 2009.

Jean Kilbourne. (2002). Pack of Lies Preview. Available: http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=306&template=PDGCommTemplates/HTN/Item_Preview.html. Last accessed 5 December 2009.
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