The Effects of Rap Music on Children

10 October 2016

There is no danger of developing eyestrain from looking on the bright side of things. ” This quote fits perfectly with this topic. Too many people look at the negativities in music, Rap music to be specific. Rap music can have negative effects on those who listen to it, but just as easily and equally have a positive and beneficial outcome.

Yes, many rappers use vulgar derogative terms to describe women and may influence its listeners to break the law or things of the like; but it can also open our eyes, we can learn new things from it and it can influence us to be better people and do things, good things, with our lives. Now Rap isn’t anything new it’s been around since about the 1970’s and been influencing those who listen to it for about 40 years now (“Rap”). When people hear the term “rap music” their initial thought will be “that’s bad” or “that’s demeaning to women” which in a sense is true. For example the song “Walk this way” performed by Aerosmith and Run D.

M. C. is about how a young high school student is lead through his first sexual experience by a debauched cheerleader. In a better known song “Make it Rain” by Fat Joe he says “Owwwww mami’s body is banging, man/ she got it, man/ she does it all She gets it popping with no hands” And then there’s the song almost everybody knows by Jay-Z. “99 problems”, where he refers to women as “bitches”. Songs like these make women seem like tools and expendable creatures, and may influence children that listen to this type of rap to treat women as such, “but many of them were influenced as teenagers by gangster rap.

Perhaps I should start using words like, niggers, hoes and slut-bitches since I would only be reflecting my society’s music” (Leary). But the best example, to make this point clear, is the music video “Every girl” by “Young Money”. In the video there are females dressed promiscuously throughout and the lyricist admits to wishing he could have sexual intercourse with every girl in the world. There many other songs that contain this type of disrespect towards the female sex, which gives a more credible argument to those who don’t like rap.

Another point people may make against Rap music is the fact that many Rappers Rap and live very violently. Eminem is at the top of my list when it comes to being violent. There’s the song “Who knew? ” in which he defends himself by saying: “I never knew I, knew I’d effect this kid/ I never knew I’d, get him to slit his wrist/ I never knew I’d, get him to hit this bitch” Although the song in and of itself is a bit ironic, Eminem acknowledges the fact that now he knows he can influence his listeners with his music.

And in “Love the Way you Lie” in which he says the following verse “If she ever tries to fucking leave again/ Im’a tie her to the bed and set this house on fire. ” we see again the violence, and the music video for said song is of a couple who constantly fight and by the end of the song the couples house is up in flames. “One study found that young subjects who watched violent rap videos were more accepting of violent actions…” (Copley) and these lyrics that we very well hear over the radio and in our everyday lives promote breaking or disregarding the law, and many people still stop and wonder why the world is so violent.

But like stated at the beginning of this paper there is a bright side to this moon. Before writing this paper laziness overcame me and I began to procrastinate and started listening to music and then the song “Airplanes Part 2” by B. o. b. feat. Eminem came on. Towards the end of the song Eminem says the words “Pretend he procrastinated had no motivation/ Pretend he just made excuses that were so paper thin they could blow away with the wind” which is what I was doing and it “turned me on” and opened my eyes.

As the song finishes Eminem continues to rap in third person about himself and how if it wasn’t for this one moment in his life that he had not chased his dream he wouldn’t be who he wanted to be. I then proceeded to get up and write this paper. So this song had an effect, a positive one on me. And it can have similar effects on others who listen to it. The language most rappers use is profanity, but a handful of rappers use uncommon words to express themselves, which can lead to one finding out the definition of the word and later possibly using them in school work.

For example Eminem uses the word “antidisestablishmentarianism” which is a political position in the Anglican Church that chooses to withdraw support from certain churches. And needless to say I used it in a world history paper. There’s also some songs by the rapper Immortal Technique who uses biblical metaphors in his music like in the song “Point of no Return” he asks us to open our eyes and actually see what’s going on around us because the end of the world is near. Music like everything else has a good side and a bad side.

Most people ignore the good and disregard Rap music as a whole. As expressed in this paper, yes it can have negative effects and influence children to do bad things but it can also influence them in a good way and even give them certain tools to use in the future.

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