Term Paper: Rap Music

Pages: 10 (3369 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music  ·  Buy This Paper

Harm of Rap Music

Rap music is harmful due to the violent lyrics encouraging disrespect toward women and lack of respect for moral ethics or authority. There are both laws and Biblical principles that stand against this type of violence and graphic sexuality that is thrust in the face of the children of today's world.

Music is what they call it however, gansta rap is a type of cultural language within music that is infiltrating the minds of today's children and filling them with thoughts of death, drugs, and prostitution. Worst of all the message of rap is that it is very cool to have illicit sex while using illegal drugs and carrying guns with the intention to kill.

The Bible states in Matthew 12:34:

Oh generation of vipers, how can ye being evil speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

It almost seems as though the writer of the verse was speaking specifically to rappers.

Objectively speaking, there is some music in the rap world that has redeeming elements but in truth that is not the norm for that sector of the music industry.

What Others Have to Say: Literature Review

An article entitled "Genre of Music and Lyrical Content: Expectation Effects" published in the Journal of Genetic Psychology, and written by Doris G. Bazzini states that the article was written in exploration of the genetic relation to the effects of rap music. Bazzini states that:

The antisocial themes common in popular music have compelled some adults to turn against it, especially heavy metal and rap....There are correlational relationships between music preference and antisocial behavior." (Wass et al. 1991), including suicide (Stack & Gundlach, 1992). Research however, does not substantiate a causal link between music lyrics and antisocial behavior (Arnett, 1991, 1996). "

Bazzini performed a study with participants of 160 individuals. 94 females and 65 males were studied as well as 1 unidentified as to genre individual. The procedure that was used involved audiotaped instructions being played to the participants. The participants were not familiar with the purpose of the study and were instructed to answer questions concerning the lyrics.

Antisocial behavior attributes that are accredited to the lyrics of rap music are sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol use, violence, Satanism, suicide ideation/attempts, rebelliousness toward authority, as well as a breakdown in moral and ethics. The following chart shows that on the female sector in the study.

The study gave the following finding for the male group in the study:

Simple Effects Test Means for Prosocial Behavior

Behavior/genre Male

Social Responsibility

Country 3.95 (*)

Pop 2.40

Heavy Metal 2.25

Rap 2.30

Critical Thinking

Country 4.95 (*)

Pop 3.75

Heavy Metal 2.85

Rap 3.20

Honesty and Integrity

Country 3.70

Pop 2.50

Heavy Metal 2.05

Rap 1.85

Coping

Country 4.35 (*)

Pop 3.20 (*)

Heavy Metal 2.80

Rap 2.10

(less than).05

The findings in the study were that:

Both lyrical message and purported genre of music affect expectations of the impact of lyrics on behavior. In particular antisocial vs. prosocial messages are perceived to affect antisocial and prosocial behavior (despite lack of scientific evidence that this is so). In addition purported genre of music affected perceptions of an impact that a song would have on the occurrence of prosocial behavior.

Writer for Ebony, James P. Comer ask, "What makes the new generation tick?" citing the fact that a psychiatrist states history, automatic and integration in a special issue entitled "The New Generation of the 90s" the writer stated that:

If Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Whitney Young, Mary McLeon Bethune, Sojourner Truth, and the other 'many thousands gone' had had my day, they would have shed a tear. They would have asked, 'Is this what we struggled, sacrificed and gave our lives for? Is this the freedom and opportunity we sought for our people? What happened to the mind and the promise of our young people?"

Comer relates in the article that many "well-functioning parents" never take time to discuss the black history or experience with their offspring. Also noting that since the young people of today didn't live through the Civil Rights Movement that they have no idea of the courage of the people who fought so hard, some even giving their lives for the basic rights that are taken for granted today. Comer tells that although the growing black individual may develop very well overall that they really don't have a black identity that steers them toward a better life for themselves. Comer states that:

They prefer being individuals without a greater purpose than mindless consumerism and self-gratification, as American pop culture encourages

Mediocre academic performance, irresponsible sexual, family and citizenship behavior flow from these conditions."

Krotoszynski in his writing "Recalibrating the cost of harm advocacy: getting beyond Brandenberg" published in the William and Mary Law Review, 2000 states that "the First Amendment is the First Refuge of Scoundrels." Krotoszynski relates that "Freedom of Speech is not absolute." In this work he presents the question of whether or not the government may assign the special costs of speech activities against speakers such as someone shouting fire in a theatre and then someone being trampled to death in the rush. The actuality of it is that, yes a person can be held responsible for "irresponsible statements in public that causes harm to another person. Give for another instance is a hypothetical rapper that in a song advocates the murder of someone, then the person is murdered in actuality and the writer ask the question: "Can the rapper be held liable?"

Exploring the "possibility of the shifting costs of antisocial acts to artists, writers and music when individuals decide to act on a creative artists suggestion, or in some cases detailed directions." this article opens an entire new avenue for the individual in viewing the possibilities of limits that should be imposed on lyrics in rap songs.

In an article entitled "In Search of Solutions from Rap Music to Relationships" written by Michelle Mizal-Archer and published in the Virginian Pilot tells of school shootings that occurred in South Hampton Roads, Virginia. The high school in that town had just finished a clinic called "Music Connection" where teenagers discussed Rap music. The clinic was given in an attempt to encourage students to discuss their fears with the teachers and with parents.

In an article titled "Rap does more harm than Good" published in the Michigan Chronicle, 2000 and written by Lauren Freeman, it states that:

Rap music has been way out of the ghetto for many African-Americans as well as Caucasians two of the world's best known rappers, 2 Pac and Notorious Big, were shot and killed because of the "East Coast/West Coast" rivalry."

That's pretty serious business for adults playing neighborhood rivalry games. The article relates that:

There was a time when rap music was both culturally and politically correct. The lyrics told the lives of the many African-Americans and the pain of growing up and struggling to rise and survive in this diverse country, How when one turns on the radio a feeling of awe comes due to the lyrics of artists such as L'il Wayne and Juvenile who refer to women as b's and h's, and the type of woman no man's mother would want him to bring home. Today's rap artists have turned the industry of trendsetters, such as Run DMC, a group who came out when rap music was pure and good, into garbage."

Stating that all rap music is not bad, mentioning the names of Common, the Roots, Goodies Mob, Mos Def and Outkast, the articles says that only a few of today's rappers, in relation to life, speak the truth.

The writer states that:

Rap music is another reasons blacks are still said to be ignorant. It condones the ebonic speaking language. Parents who raise their on this kind of music are not allowing them to speak correct English....these so-called rappers enhance the ebonic speaking vocabulary by taking the English language into their own hands and making up such phrases as "bling, bling," "ha" and "iced out."

The writer gives a very honest and candid view of today's rappers and ends the article by stating that:

Having the talent to be able rap is a gift, but people have turned that God-given talent into degrading, ego-deflating music."

In an article entitled, "Discouraging 'objectionable' music content: litigations, legislation, economic pressure, and more speech.' Published in Communications and the Law, 2003 and written by Juliet Dee tells of a high school in Wales, Wisconsin that requires students to show identification to read the Rolling Stone magazine in the high school library, of a student arrested for wearing a Korn t-shirt, of compact discs that were confiscated at the skating rink and states that:

Whether it is the United States or further afield, during the last two decades there has been a growing concern about the effects of rock or rap lyrics upon young people."

Miller v. California sets… [END OF PREVIEW]

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