Term Paper: Rap Music and Society

Pages: 4 (1272 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Fields contrasts this paradigm with the one by Eminem and others. The latter choose the values of their childhood not only in their music, but also in their lifestyle and behavior. While this is valuable in terms of raising public awareness regarding the conditions breeding such values, it is also destructive in terms of cultivating and encouraging rebellion, substance abuse and prejudice in society. Teenagers and young adults, who make the largest base of fans for rap artists, are naturally rebellious and identify with the brutality in this music. Thus, the more brutal and more explicit the lyrics, the higher the number of fans is likely to be.

On the other hand, some artists have shown that, while the brutality, violence and depravity present in society can be acknowledged, this can also be used to create a more positive outlook. A Tribe Called Quest for example has devoted an album to love instead of sex or drugs. The members of the "Tribe" originate from Brooklyn and Queens, environments from which typical rappers could say to emerge. For their art, this group relies on exploratory rhythms and art that is honest while it is wholesome. Following in their footsteps are De La Soul, Monie Love, The Jungle Brothers, and others (Ehrlich).

What is striking about the new movement of rappers is their honesty relating to social shortcomings. They do not attempt to hide the realities of the above-mentioned childhood worlds that some are forced to grow up in. In this way they differ from Sinatra, who gave the illusion of sophistication while denying the paradigm of his childhood world. Instead A Tribe Called Quest and those following in their footsteps focus on healing rather than hardening and rebelling (Ehrlich). This is then a healing without the denial of brutality. Brutality is acknowledged for what it is: a defense mechanism against a society that has been unfair to a certain portion of humanity for lifetimes. Yet, this is then replaced by a more acceptable paradigm of healing and moving forward with a life that is profitable and sustainable.

Statistics

Rap music has a huge body of fans. The age group of these fans is mostly teenager and young adult. Thus, to replace a paradigm of violence with one of acceptance and healing is vital for the future of peace in society. Internet statistics show that the portion of rap fans spending money on purchases of music far exceed that of other music genres (Rapmusic.com).

A conducted by Nielsen/NetRatings revealed that rap music was most popular among Internet music purchasers. In fact, rap music held the top position of likelihood to be purchased by online music enthusiasts. Of all Internet users, music lovers were 111% more likely than the average surfer to purchase rap music. Dance and club music received 106% in this category, with alternative rock at 77. When translated to numbers, 31 million active Internet users purchased music during the 30 days preceding the survey (Rapmusic.com). It is therefore obvious that rap music is extremely popular as an expression of emotion relating to cultural shortcomings. It is also encouraging that some artists are recognizing the problems associated with a continued paradigm of hate and hardness, and are replacing this with healing.

Bibliography

Current Events. "Getting a Bad Rap?(offensive lyrics in rap music)." Feb 2, 2002. Weekly Reader Corp., 2001.

Ehrlich, Dimitri. "Blazing the other way. (interview with members of the rap music group A Tribe Called Quest)." Interview, August 1998. Brant Publications, Inc., 1998.

Fields, Suzanne. "Bad Raps: Music Rebels Revel in Their Thug Life." Insight on the News, May 21, 2001. News World Communications, Inc., 2001.

Rapmusic.com - News. "More Than One in Five… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Rap Music and Society.  (2003, December 2).  Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/rap-music-society/6414384

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"Rap Music and Society."  Essaytown.com.  December 2, 2003.  Accessed July 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/rap-music-society/6414384.