(a) Read the article, The Influence of Rap/Hip-Hop Music. What is the premise of the article? What are the main findings in the article? How does rap music affect attitudes toward domestic violence?
The premise of the article, “Changing images of violence in rap music lyrics: 1979-1997” is that from 1979-1997, there was a drastic increase in the level of violence in rap music that is being viewed in a more progressively positive light. As a result, social conditions must change in order to reduce youth violence. These results indicate that there has been a dramatic and sustained increase in the level of violence in rap music. The percentage of songs mentioning violence increased from 27 per cent during 1979-1984 to 60 per cent during 1994-1997. In addition, portrayals of violence in later songs are viewed in a more positive light as shown by their increased association with glamor, wealth, masculinity, and personal prowess. Additional analyses revealed that genre, specifically gangster rap, is the most powerful predictor of the increased number of violent references in songs.
The discussion suggests that violence in rap music has increased in response to the complex interplay of changing social conditions such as the elevated levels of youth violence in the 1980s and changing commercial practices within the music industry (Herd, 2009, p. 395). The media violence prevention implications are that is imperative that social scientists suggest strategies to limit the prevalence and/or impact of these themes (Herd, 2009, p. 403). 'Parental advisory' labels were used by record companies to identify albums and compact discs with explicitly violent lyrical content, but this strategy was proven ineffective because “ the music rating system appear[ed] to have increased the attractiveness of 'R'-rated lyrics for youth who want to be rebellious and popular with peers.” (Herd, 2009, p. 403).
Further analysis suggests that in order to prevent media violence, social conditions such as poverty, poor access to education, and discrimination must change; gun availability needs to be reduced. The article also infers that more corporate accountability regarding products that link marketing to violence is necessary. Finally, media literacy programs would increase awareness of how media messages affect perceptions and perhaps decrease violent behavior.
(b) Go to Youtube.com, listen to the 1998 song, X is Coming, by rap artist, DMX. Transcribe the verse that contains the misogynistic theme of rape (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/d/dmx/x+is+coming_20041248.html). In your opinion, what are the societal implications of such a verse? Do they promote the sexual assault and rape of women to rap listeners? Include the verse in your response.
The verse that contains the misogynistic theme of rape in the 1998 DMX song “X is Coming” is: “And if you got a daughter older then 15, I'ma rape her; Take her on the living room floor, right there in front of you; Then ask you...