The media has been vital in the rise of rap music. The media became an avenue in which rap music was given birth. Media is the most power tool for communication nowadays. People’s exposure to media is an inevitable part of life. Most people or perhaps all people spend their free time listening and watching media. Media is the most powerful force that shapes the world. Media influences culture because of the fact that people are greatly exposed to it. As a matter of fact, what the world today is greatly influenced by media. The effects to society by media depend on what message it banners. If media banners violence, people who patronize it can be violent too. Through media, we can convey any information we want using the internet, radio, television and others.
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“Rap music, is rooted in the African tradition of speaking rhythmically to a beat generally supplied by background music. Grandmaster Flash and Kool Herc are credited with being instrumental in the development of rap music as a distinct genre in the 1970s, which at the time was party- oriented” (Mnet, 2006). Self-expression is a driving factor in the composition of its lyrics and background beat. Producers and entertainment moguls are quick to say that rap is an extension of poetry. An endless line of rhythmic words bring messages to life. The incessant and rapid talk in the middle of a blaring music has captured the attention of numerous individuals most especially the youth. Rap is a tool which allows the society’s lethal elements to voice out their thoughts about personal frustrations and suffering. “To say there is no influence and no effect is naïve,” said Murray Forman, professor of media studies at Northeastern University in Boston (Killion, 2005).
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF RAP MUSIC
Rap music is posing a serious danger to the society. As part of media, it is influencing the lives of many individuals especially the young people. Numerous teenagers and children are seeking their models in life. It is important that these kids are led towards the right path in everything they do with their lives. But watching the fame and fortune being enjoyed by many rappers will encourage a large population of young individuals to follow the footsteps of these rap stars. This is where the problem begins. “Stereotypes also play a big role in the many influences of rap music. Gang banging, drugs, alcohol, jewelry, money, cars, baggy clothes, style and fashion are some examples of hip hop stereotypes” (Minor, n. d.). Most rappers are founded in the gangster era. This is the main reason why violence is a favorite topic in rap songs. Many rap artists portray themselves as kings or bosses. The violent and materialistic lifestyle that rap artists portray influences the young people on how to live their lives. Most of the young people become also attached to the lifestyle that their favorite rap artist have.
The primary problem brought by rap music is the stature and image flaunted by most rappers. Money is the biggest reason why ordinary people wanted to become celebrities. Rap artists are no different from the popular crowd. With songs that are considered a nuisance to the ears of many, except of course to the adoring fans, these individuals are piling up their millions at the bank. Everybody wants to get rich and they found a genre to make things possible. No matter what young people are snared by the dream of making it to the big leagues. They look up to the rappers as their models.
But more than that, rap artists are sharing the lives of many teenagers and children. A lot of these famous individuals have humble beginnings. They know what it means to be poor. They know what it means to have no home or get evicted from rented places. This is the connection which the young people can relate to deeply. Among the rap figures did they find the representations of their plight. Once upon a time, these artists have been undergoing the same experience. But being driven by money, young people who are idolizing rap artists slowly deviates to the notion that life, more than anything else, must be lived in values and virtues and not in material longings.
The second negative factor that brings rap music in a bad light is the image it portrays in the art world. People affiliated with the said music compare it to poetry. While this may be true, many lyrics in rap songs possess a vulgar and disturbing presence among its listeners. Poems seek the light in its highest form. It reflects an inner description of inspiration coming from the individual. Rap like poetry is a means of expressing the inner self. “The primary concern was the content of the lyrics, particularly the glamorization of violence, sex, and drug use” (Fried, 2003). Instead of making values as the central message of rap music, it goes the other way. Rap music banners negative expressions.
Many lines in rap songs reveal a negative opinion about dissatisfaction about the world in general. Suffering and pain are the common themes of rap artists. The only problem about the suggestive remarks in the albums is that violent measures are introduced and encouraged. “Most artists feel that “a sense of powerlessness to change conditions in complex social, political, and economic issues” led them to seek ways to express their discontent” (Midgett, n. d.). Through rap music, these individuals are able to bring out their real thoughts and emotions about the things that they hated all their lives. Problems that pose as barriers are brought to life through words which are seen as negative and uninspiring. Lots of children and teenagers are misguided by the thrill and the excitement that comes with the songs. The messages become the motivational tool for many young people to arm themselves against the sufferings of life. Words of disturbance are being used by the youth of today. It is a bad influence since the profanity in rap encourages people to rebel against the elements which inhibit the current situation that they are in.
Rap music is being played over and over again. This is the most dangerous and critical part of listening to this particular kind of music. The minds of the young and the youth are vulnerable targets for destruction. Along the way, obscene and dirty messages are picked up during the process of appreciating rap songs. With everyone riding high on the popularity of the songs, nobody is guiding or advising the listeners about the immediate effects of the profanities found in rap lyrics. People are being drawn into thinking that what is depicted in the songs is morally correct and accepted by the society. “It was not created overnight to corrupt the minds of youth but was born out of a frustration that had no other outlet of expression but through the art of rap music” (Midgett, n. d.). People think, and it is up to them to train the young ones to choose and be aware about things that matter.
The result of negative messages such as violence from rap music can be devastating. As negative messages from media progresses, the society becomes more violent. From 2004 to 2005, the rate of violent crime, estimated at 469.2 violent offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, increased 1.3 percent, there were an estimated 1,390,695 violent crimes reported” (FBI, 2006). There was an increase of 1.2 percent in cases of rape from the previous year, 3.4 percent increase in crimes of murder and non-negligent man-slaughter and 3.9 percent increase in robbery. The FBI further stated that 10,166,159 property crimes were reported in 2005 coupled with 14.1 million arrests, a huge and alarming figure. The reported crime rate is high in the American society. Crimes are in news reports in a daily basis. The horror of violence became a part of their lives. Most of the citizens own guns to protect themselves from criminals. If one is weak and care-free enough, one will be victimized.
Rap artists are on stage for a reason. And it sure is not all about the money or the popularity. A good life is waiting when rap songs hit the charts. But what about the influence of the lyrics adapted in its music. Rappers have the social responsibility to show the way for the youth. It is not merely about expression. Rap music is there as a means of expressing ones emotions and frustrations. However, those expressions must have boundaries. The lines along the songs must bear meaningful messages that will contribute to the lives of many in a better way. Great virtues and values must be expressed in rap music. As one of the widely patronized music today, rap must become a tool in teaching the people of the great values and essence of life as a whole.
Music is a tool to promote awareness and awakening. Rap albums are not merely about making money or getting a million followers. Rap is just another way of uniting individuals from all corners of the society. People are open-minded about the things that matter. But they are susceptible to what is perceived as accepted and true according to the standards of the society. Rappers must be cautious in releasing the lines of their songs into the patronizing public. Many people are looking to them for leadership and motivation. They must never abuse the role that they are portraying. Rap artists are in high stature in the society, they must become role models of the society.
The media has been vital in spreading the popularity of rap music. Media is the most power tool for communication nowadays. People’s exposure to media is an inevitable part of life. Self-expression is a driving factor in the composition of its lyrics and background beat. Rap music is posing a serious danger to the society. The primary problem brought by rap music is the stature and image flaunted by most rappers. The second negative factor that brings rap music in a bad light is the image it portrays in the art world. The rap music mostly expresses violence and hatred in this world.
People associated with rap must also take into consideration the effects of this type of music in the lives of the young crowd. It is essential that the notes and lyrics found in rap songs must be screened in order to produce a more positive and peaceful atmosphere not merely in public areas but inside the privacy of the homes of many. Fame and fortune mean nothing if rap music is being utilized at the expense of innocent lives. Parents, educators and law enforcers should be aware of the dangers that the community will reap out from the citizens who are exposed to different acts of aggression. Rap artists also have the social responsibility to be responsible enough in the message of their music. Innocent minds can be easily corrupted. The exclusion of violence and the incorporation of meaningful words will make it more beneficial for the rest of the world.
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