Raps Controversy

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Rap’s Controversy The most popular new music to emerge from the ‘80’s was rap music. It first developed in the mid ‘70’s in New York City, and soon in other urban areas, primarily amongst African-American teen-agers. It became very popular with the urban public that it soon began to spread throughout the United States and much of the world. It replaced rock music as the creative force in music of the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. However, as popular as it was then and it is now, the lyrics of many rap songs have caused controversy. Many believe and have charged that these lyrics promote racism and violence and show contempt for women. Those in the mainstream have long considered rap music controversial. However its controversy escalated to a whole new level when the world was introduced to “Gangsta Rap,” where violent acts and suggestions are graphically portrayed (yale). The notorious rap group responsible for the introduction of gangsta rap was NWA (bomp). Gangsta rap has been criticized and debated over for its graphic sexual content, and violent imagery (yale). The lyrics in many songs contain violent and explicit lyrics that usually talk about killing someone along with sounds of gunshots in the background. Gangsta rap also talks about drug use and portrays negative attitudes toward women, especially black women. The artists refer to women as, “bitches,” “whores” and sex dispensing “hoes.” On the contrary there is a nice sideffect to controversy; you can use it to get a message across and most importantly it sales records, just like NWA, Ice-T, Public Enemy, and the 2 live crew soon discovered early on in their time. Today most young people think that if a person is rich and famous, they can get away with anything. They see rappers get charged with felonies and then they see that the charges get dropped. They’ve heard of celebrities running over children while drunk and get away with it without doing any time. However, not all rappers have run-ins with the law, but the ones that do are very well known. Tupac Shakur (RIP), for example, had many run-ins with the law. He was arrested for aggravated assault, and charged with shooting two off duty police officers in Atlanta in 1993, but the charges were later dropped (bomp). He was also accused of beating a limousine driver in Los Angeles and found guilty of threatening a fellow rapper with a baseball bat in Michigan (bomp).

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