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Rap is Good for Society

Here are some old writings from when I was in college.

Rap is something most people need to take a second look at because modern plastic music has trained the licensers to expect simple tunes with even simpler words that put the meaning wright at your nose. So, when real music comes along it is easy to brand it as dangerous or maybe even worse because people only look on the surface and don’t see the true art behind the music, the true meaning that shares knowledge, understanding, and layers of emotion. People say raps misogynistic, violent, upsetting, and dirty lyrics cause unrest in our society, some even say it is the cause of violence in the U.S. art reflects life so isn’t rap a cry for help by the impoverished people of our society. Rap improves culture and ethics in society by sharing the many perspectives throughout the classes in the United States. It has given thousands of African Americans voices that might have not had the chance to speak on many ethical problems facing society without rap, and it helps provide community and relatability among people who felt unrepresented before this genera.

When rap came to the world many thought it was just a passing fad but ever since the end of the 70s it has grown into one of the biggest industries in the world. It started as a party trick. A DJ would spin a record and play the same part of a song over and over, they called it the breakbeat, and an MC would speak in sync with the music. Once rap hit the record labels it was very popular with African Americans mainly because they created this music and its roots come directly from their own. When rap wasn’t considered rap, it was used for storytelling and in slavery it provided an outlet for Africans to come together over common struggles. (Persaud, 2011)

African Americans used rap during the civil rights movement to speak out against the injustice that most Americans ignored. When they did this the way they came across was vicious and forceful, but at the time that is all, they’d experience. Music is just a reflection of the artist, all they are trying to do is share the pain they’ve gone through so maybe others will find comfort in knowing that others have been through the same. “If rap music appears to be excessively violent when compared to country-western or popular rock, it is because rap stems from a culture that has been seeped in the fight against political, social, and economic oppression.” (Blanchard, 1999) When people talk about how violent or repugnant rap is, it is because they can’t understand why someone would say such bad things, they don’t understand the person behind the words. In the beginning, rap wasn’t all that violet, but as more and more violence against the black community grew their music reflected that. Today’s artists come from that background, and the overall violence that penetrates the ears and eyes of each American has increased vastly as we moved into an age that makes sure we know all the details of every violent deed or action.

One of the most important thing rap has given us is a place where likeminded individuals can come together to celebrate their pain and troubles together making for a community as close as family. This community does not just attract the impoverished, it pulls together anyone who can understand the true meaning behind the artists' words. Most of this community is made of young adults. If you look at today’s rap artists are very young. “politicians recognize rap artists’ utility in mobilizing youth and young adults.” (Lewis) When politicians started to notice how much impact the rap industry had on people, “the National Democratic Party used a recorded public service announcement by Sean “Puffy” Combs – aka P. Diddy – to randomly phone call young adults to vote in the 2000 presidential election.” (Lewis)

“Thus, these messages glorify violence against women, including rape, torture, and abuse, and foster an acceptance of sexual objectification and degradation of women.” (Cundiff, 2013) This issue might make a person think twice about rap and its positive impacts on society. “the prevalence of sexually explicit media and the negative images of women presented in hip-hop culture, which ‘teach men that aggression and violence are closely linked to cultural views of masculinity’” (Cundiff, 2013) why do we blame the five-year-old who has been told his whole life that he can’t cry he has to be a man, don’t tell anyone what he’s feeling that’s not manly, don’t walk like that it’s too girly, you sound like a girl change your tone of voice. Society has raised boys up to be a lonely sack who is afraid to talk about what he feels so they just end up a violent mess that will use and abuse anyone or thing that gets in his way. Rap helps one see what expectations of masculinity are destroying our society, but it does not give the answer to the problem.

Rap was touched thousands of lives throughout the cultures and classes in America. The unlimited perspectives provided through rap has made the dimensions of society much more dynamic and culturally appropriate. Not only are our perspectives widened, but rap has also provided voices for hundreds of artists who need to be heard so that our society might progress farther through our cultural blunder, and with the rap community innately different people can find common ground for discussion on political, civil, and ethical issues.

Work Cited

Blanchard, Becky. “THE SOCIAL SIGNIFICANCE OF RAP & HIP-HOP CULTURE.” The United States War on

Drugs, HOPES Huntington's Disease Information, 26 July 1999,

Cundiff, Gretchen. "The Influence of Rap and Hip-Hop Music: An Analysis on Audience Perceptions of Misogynistic Lyrics." Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications 4.1 (2013). <>

Lewis, R. L’Heureux, et al. “RAP MUSIC, IS IT REALLY ALL BAD? WHY HIP-HOP SCHOLARSHIP IS IMPORTANT.” African American Research Perspectives, pp. 67–69.

Persaud, E. Jerry. “The Signature of Hip Hop: A Sociological Perspective.” International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, vol. 4, no. 1, 2011, file:///C:/Users/Triple T Nursery/Downloads/32157-33524-1-PB (1).pdf.

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