Hip Hop vs. Ethics

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Ethics of The Music Industry

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Hip-hop culture has been socially labeled as deviant, a counter-culture, un-American because of its lack of moral. Specifically, "gangsta rap" which glorifies guns, sex, violence, drug use and gang activity has been castigated. This type of rap promotes a nonconformist and rebel adaptive behavior. As a result, it gives hip-hop culture a deviant label. A simple definition of deviance is "behavior that does not conform to group-shared norms; behavior that (in some way) does not meet the expectations of a group or a society as a whole and is subject to social control" (Liska 2). Mr. Kirkland, along with rap entrepreneur Russell Simmons, Grammy award-winning Chuck D, Charles Fisher and the NAACP are major moral entrepreneurs of the nascent grass-roots reform movement and pillars to the hip hop culture industry. Raptivism, "At the core of their campaign is a conviction that amounts to heresy in some quarters of the rap world: Artistic images do influence behavior, especially when it comes to young people, and that the industry has a responsibility to counter the glorification that empowers kids, rather than landing them in jail" (Marks 1). The deviance label of rap music has created an atmosphere for moral panic in which big names in the hip hop culture are acting as morale entrepreneurs to counter-act and make a transformation.

According to act-utilitarianism, the controversial lyrics of hip-hop artists may have a greater balance of good consequences over the bad consequences. Therefore, they create the greatest happiness within hip hop culture. The function of "raptivism" is feasible because of the potential power of this grass-roots movement to create a flux of positive m...

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...ing hip-hop's survival will be their choice. "Raptivism" aims to attain overall greatest happiness. It is a plan to overcome it's immoral image that larger society has labeled it to have.

Russell Simmon's "raptivism" movement is the most acceptable choice due to the extremity of other possible solutions. One possible solution could be the censorship of hip-hop music, which has been proven unconstitutional and has never held up in court due to the constitution's freedom of speech amendment. Another solution is to leave hip-hop the way it is now. Creating this movement is an effective way to respond to the moral dilemmas and negative image that hip-hop has obtained, while not trying to censor nonconformists. Besides, it will be lead by the most influential leaders and creators of the industry, whom which also has support from the most respected and famous rappers.

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