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Rap Music And Hip-Hop Music

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In the late 1970’s hip-hop/rap music emerged as one of the most popular musical genres, and it remains as one to this day. However, there is a big difference in the content of a song like Sugar Hill Gang’s 1978 single “Rappers Delight” and a modern day rap song. When hip-hop music first began it served as a type of party music that was made primarily from African American men. The music quickly gained popularity, and before long, members of all races were enjoying it. However, in the early 1980’s hip-hop music became more of a mirror into ghetto culture rather than just upbeat enjoyable music. Rappers began to write edgy lyrics celebrating street warfare, drugs, and promiscuity. Unfortunately this style of hip-hop never died off, and now it…show more content…
This is because during the 90’s, rappers such as Tupac Shakur helped ignite rap music into a mainstream genre. This, however, did not come without some controversy. In Carl S. Taylor’s article about hip-hop and youth culture he spoke about the initial outrage of Americans when songs such as “I get around” became popular. This song, and others like it, were scrutinized because they contained vulgar language and promoted immoral behavior. However, at the time of the article Taylor had no definitive evidence of the music actually impacting people’s behavior. Almost exactly 15 years after Carl Taylor’s article was published, a writer by the name of Gretchen Cundiff wrote a scholarly journal entitled, “The influence of rap/hip-hop music: Analysis on audience perceptions of misogynistic lyrics and the issue of domestic violence.” During her research, she analyzed the lyrics of 20 rap/hip-hop songs included in Billboard’s year-end “Hot 100” singles list ranging from 2000-2010. Of the 20 songs, 40 percent were coded for the use of some sort of physical violence in their lyrics, and another 15 percent were coded for referencing rape/sexual assault. This proves not only that the lyrics in hip-hop songs are vulgar, but also that people are still enjoying it anyways. These facts, however, do not provide proof that the music is actually affecting culture. Just because someone listens…show more content…
However, just this year a song by Miley Cyrus sparked a “twerking” outbreak, and there simply is no denying the impact it had on teenagers throughout the entire country. The problem, though, is that hip-hop music promotes things far worse than the provocative dancing that was advocated in Cyrus’s song. Others argue that culture is not actually being affected by the music, and it is actually the opposite. They claim that the lyrics in hip-hop music are poetry of the streets, and it embodies black victimhood in the ghetto. However, if we accept this, we are accepting the fact that the “ghetto life” is so hopeless that an explosion of violence is justified. By encouraging rappers that promote this type of behavior we are deeming the behavior acceptable just because the “ghetto life” is tough. However, rape and murder should never be seen as acceptable, and nor should the advocacy of it
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