The Music Children Hear Essay

2180 words - 9 pages

New genres of music are almost always faced with adversaries; both Jazz and Rock ‘n’ Roll were considered “the Devil’s music” before many people either accepted or tolerated the music (Carter and Lindsay, n.d.; Powers, n.d.). Rap did not fit this mold entirely, but it evolved similarly and now has a stranglehold on society (Rhodes, 1993). Rap is notorious for its profanity and raciness (“Rap,” n.d.; Adaso, n.d). “Gangsta Rap,” founded by artist, Ice-T, is an extreme level of this notoriety, along with exceptional violence (Adaso, n.d.). Rap and Gangsta Rap are played constantly on radio stations, some that specifically play its main genre, Hip-Hop, like the nine stations in the state of Virginia, not including those that consider themselves as “Adult Contemporary,” “Top 40,” or “Variety” (“Radio Station Finder,” n.d.). However, as Edna Gunderson, journalist for The USA Today, states in her article, children are often subjected to the music that their parents listen to (Gunderson, 2004). In some cases, this means “Oldies,” such as Queen, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles; but in 2013, this more often means the aforementioned Rap, Gangsta Rap, and their accompanying genres (Gunderson, 2004). Therefore, children are being exposed to the themes and profanity of the music.
Rap music originated in the Bronx, New York as a spinoff of Hip-Hop music (Rhodes, 1993). Hip-Hop took off due to what Henry Rhodes, a New Haven, Connecticut teacher for thirty-seven years and also works with the Yale National Initiative, believes were, “...three major events… First, in 1959 Parks Commissioner Rober [sic] Moses began building an expressway through the heart of the Bronx. As a result, the middle class Italian, German, Irish, and Jewish neighborhoods disappeared overnight. In addition, businesses and factories relocated and left this borough. These exiting middle classes and businesses were replaced by poor black and Hispanic families. Accompanying these poor people were crime, drug addiction, and unemployment” (Rhodes, 1993). Rhodes later goes on to introduce the main influence of rap, “a group of seven teenage boys who began terrorizing the vicinity around the Bronxdale [sic] Project on Bruckner Boulevard in the southeast Bronx. This may not seem important, but this group of teenagers laid the groundwork for a surge of street gang activity that would overwhelm the Bronx for the next six years…Overnight street gangs appeared on every corner of the Bronx… I bring this point up to illustrate that many rappers in the “Hip Hop” subculture were gang members at some time in their life” (Rhodes, 1993). Rhodes later goes on to describe the major developments in rap music (Rhodes, 1993)
The first artist to rank on the Billboard Top Forty were the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” on January fifth, 1980 (Rhodes, 1993; “The Sugarhill Gang's ‘Rapper's Delight’ Becomes Hip-hop's First Top 40 Hit,” n.d.). Following this, Run-D.M.C., named for members Joseph Simmons, known as...

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