Rap Music's Influence Upon Teenagers

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People are surrounded by music every day of their lives. They hear it in their homes, on the radio on their way to work; some people have even caught themselves humming the tune of their favorite song to themselves. But how many people actually listen and not just hear the music they are listening to? Teens in particular don’t realize the message behind the music they are quoting the lyrics to, or the effect it has on them. In today’s culture where rap music has become increasingly popular, many teens aren’t realizing what they are listening to. A lot of teens would argue that the music they listen to has no effect on them, but they are wrong. Rap music, especially, has had a major impact on teenagers in today’s society. The lyrics of many rap songs encourage violent and aggressive thoughts in teenagers. Many teens don’t realize that the music they are listening to affects the way they think. According to Morrison, a columnist whose writings focus on the impact of the choices people face every day, “Words do have meanings, meanings suggest thoughts, and thoughts lead to action” (Morrison). Even if the person isn’t affected right away by the violent lyrics of most today’s rap songs, eventually they will become more prone to certain thoughts. As Morrison stated, “In experiments on over 500 college students . . . subjects were found to experience an increase in aggressive thoughts after listening to songs with violent lyrics. Those subjected to the mean music were more apt to connect hostile meanings to words deemed to be violence neutral by the researchers” (Morrison). In time, words that aren’t intended to cause malicious thoughts, suddenly take on new meanings. Travis L. Dixon, who studies Communication at the University of ... ... middle of paper ... ...>. Dixon, Travis L., TaKeshia Brooks. “Rap Music and Rap Audiences: Controversial Themes, Psychological Effects and Political Resistance.” Perspectives. 7 April 2009. . McWhorter, John. “Rap Music Harms the Black Community.”Popular Culture. Ed. John Woodward. Farmington Hills, MI: Thompson Gale, 2005. 53-59. Morrison, Brent. “Violent Rap Lyrics Can Encourage Violent Behavior.” Popular Culture. Ed. John Woodward, Farmington Hills, MI: Thompson Gale, 2005. 138-140. Richardson, Jeanita W., Kim A. Scott. “Rap Music and Its Violent Progeny: America’s Culture of Violence in Context.” The Journal of Negro Education 71.3 (2002): 175 – 192. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. “Media Violence Causes Youth Violence.” Mass Media. Ed. William Dudley. Farmington Hills, MI: Thompson Gale, 2005. 121-130.

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