The African American Community:
How rap music has made a negative contribution.
It is easy to write or comment about the negative aspects of rap music because
controversy and its reputation has proven to be a hot seller in this society. Rap music has
to constantly endure a damaging reputation because the negatives in the music are
focused on the most in the media, and the negatives sells. But, rap artists whose lyrics are
positive or about political, social or economic empowerment receive very little attention
(Akil, 2003). The negative aspects of rap music is revealed through artists not setting
good examples, the disrespectful, explicit and violent lyrics and the battles that
sometimes leads to violence.
One of the most acknowledgeable negative aspects of rap music is that most rap
artists are not setting good examples for the African American community. Black
musicians and artists have a responsibility to be conscious of their world and to let their
consciousness be heard in their songs" (Regan, 147). "Keeping it real" or "hardcore" has
become the quickest and most likely way to become a star. Whether we are aware of it or
not, being a rapper perhaps plays the most essential role in shaping the minds and
attitudes of black youths. Rappers are one of the most influential figures in the
community. Their influence is greater than most of our prominent religious leaders,
athletes, teachers, and even parents. But, artists sometimes fail to realize that people,
especially young kids, try to imitate everything from the different lifestyles to the clothes
rappers wear. Some rappers lyrics along with their lifestyles are directed toward violence.
Today people think that if a person is rich and famous then he or she can get away with
anything. Not all artists have run-ins with the law, but the ones that do are very well
known. A good example is Tupac Shakur. Tupac was known worldwide for his music
and sold millions of albums. On the other hand, he glamorized the life of a gangster and
lived by the gun. Tupac became a victim of his own lyrics and was murdered.
Secondly, the majority of today's popular rap music contains disrespectful,
explicit and violent lyrics. In the late 70s and early 80s lyrics dealt mainly with the
removal of drugs, violence, poverty or just having a good time. It quickly evolved to
lyrics promoting gang violence, glorifying drugs, bragging about how you can ruin a party
through nonsense (Akil, 2003). Today materialism, the degrading of women, sex, and
drugs are consistent themes. When many rappers are asked why they refer to women as
"bitches" or "hoes," they usually say the message is not directed towards all women just
the ones that fit in those categories. If rappers feel this way about women, then many
times their children will follow in their...