Racial Stereotypes Associated With Rap and Hip Hop Music

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A race issue that occurs within the rap and hip-hop musical genre is the racial stereotypes associated with the musical form. According to Brandt, and Viki rap music and hip- hop music are known for fomenting crime violence, and the continuing formation of negative perceptions revolving around the African-American race (p.362). Many individuals believe that rap and hip-hop music and the culture that forms it is the particular reason for the degradation of the African-American community and the stereotypes that surround that specific ethnic group. An example is a two thousand and seven song produced by artist Nas entitled the N-word. The particular title of the song sparked major debates within not only the African-American community thus the Caucasian communities as well. Debates included topics such as the significance and worth of freedom of speech compared with the need to take a stand against messages that denigrate African-Americans. This specific label turned into an outrage and came to the point where conservative white individuals stood in front of the record label expressing their feelings. These individuals made a point that it is because artists like Nas that there is an increase in gang and street violence within communities. Rap and hip-hop music only depicts a simple-minded image of black men as sex crazed, criminals, or “gangsters”. As said above, community concerns have arisen over time over the use of the N-word, or the fact that many rappers vocalize about white superiority and privilege. Of course rap music did not develop these specific stereotypes, however these stereotypes are being used; and quite successfully in rap and hip-hop which spreads them and keeps the idea that people of color are lazy, all crimin... ... middle of paper ... ...atching MTV music shows or any music channel on television. As we continue to watch these programs, we will then notice that almost all the rap and hip-hop artists being shown are African-Americans. It is the particular lifestyle, and behaviour that is connected to what particular artists chose to vocalize about. This usually can harm the image of African-Americans due to the fact that many artists aid in the misconceptions of their particular race such as the example provided with 50 Cent’s song entitled P.I.M.P. These lyrics and song titles simply reinforce the negative image some individuals may have of both Caucasian’s and people of colour. Rap and hip-hop is one of the most intimate, personal, legitimate and important art form. Instead of perpetuating injustice, and prejudice artists should be addressing these different issues in a different matter.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that rap and hip-hop music is known for fomenting crime violence and the continuing formation of negative perceptions revolving around the african-american race.
  • Opines that rap and hip-hop artists aren't role models, but that the art of the oppressed is never just entertainment.
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