The Dark Tale of Rap

1257 Words6 Pages
According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 2004, rap music is defined as a type of popular music in which the words of a song are not sung, but spoken in time to music with a steady beat. Rap music, like other genres, is a “localized form of cultural expression” (Bennett 1999aa, 77; 1999b). It also indicates that rap music is one of many genre of subcultures that expresses its view of the main culture through songs; In the United States, rap music is developed based on the real life experiences of dysfunctional youths, the African-American neighbourhoods and was “incubated in the black community’s house parties, public parks, housing projects, and local jams” (Powell (1991, 245; Rose 1994a).

Rap music is notoriously known for bringing negative influences on society because they promote insults, misogyny and violence, due to the popularity of gangster rap and political rap. The statement is supported by the extract below:

“At its best rap is a powerful indictment of racism, oppression, and violence that calls our attention to the crises of the inner cities and vividly describes the plight of Africans…At its worst, G-Rap is itself racist, sexist and glorifies violence, being little but a money vehicle that is part of the problem rather than the solution.”
(A Contested Terrain section, para. 8 &9)

The extract stated that rap music is the best way to indicate there are problems occurring in the inner cities, which are racism, oppression, and violence. Rap music also describes clearly the serious condition in the African-American society. On the other hand, rap music, especially gangsta rap ironically racist, despite its purpose of condemning racism. Rap music, the author argues, is gender biased and promoting vio...

... middle of paper ... is associated with substances abuse, social status, glamour and wealth. This is due to the increasing brag of violent as a way to assert masculinity and personal prowess. (Herd, 2009). Through Herd’s findings, violence is increasingly associated with hoodlums and gang lifestyles, which is from 3 percent in 1990 to 39 ercent in 1997. When Herd analysed violence in relation to rap music genre, a significant amount of 93 percent of gangster rap contain references to violence.

It is true that one should not condemn rap music as music is not homogeneous. However, with the increase number of rap containing pervasive languages and depicting abuse of alcohol and drug, alongside with exploitation of women and support of violence, rap music is now known for its way of story-telling— dark tales of told by those who lived in disadvantaged society and constant oppression.
Open Document