Often times cited as misogynistic, the leading cause of gang related violence or promotion of drugs within urban youth groups, Rap music had no trouble stirring up controversy from multiple news outlets. Since its inception in the 1980s, the genre was known for its heavy use of profanity over beats while also glorifying the gangster lifestyle. But despite all this, the music it brings can often educate listeners on current events happening throughout the world.
Personally, I see hip hop as one, if not the most, influential genre of music to date. We have artists that grew up in lower class settings and hopeless situations. Poverty, domestic problems, drug epidemics and a whole set of other issues plagued their neighborhoods. In order to escape these situations, they used the tools and talents they had, crafted a way to talk about these issues and their feelings on said matters and spread their message to hundreds of thousands of listeners.
As a culture, hip hop includes dancing, clothing, style, and much more. It’s not just music anymore, it is a culture that has impacted many lives of the black community. It has uplifted people not just in urban areas, but around the world.
My biggest inspiration is Kanye West and while I don’t agree with any of his political statements in 2018, his music has brought me great joy in my life. Through his art, he has inspired me to write, to create my own art, but also to stand for what I believe is right and I know that I am not the only one.
However, the fact that rap music can have a negative impact on the youth, especially teenagers, still lingers in the air. At a young impressionable age, teenagers absorb information like a sponge and may think what lyric they hear over the beat is fact. It is important to note that hip hop music is about bringing out issues from the dark and into the light and educate individuals on social issues. When it’s done correctly. We see people over the radio all the time rapping about gang culture or drugs which in turn could poison our youth.
For the longest time, I didn’t care much for this particular genre because of the way it spoke about women. In my opinion, this is a major con. But hip hop is now the biggest genre of music in the world and now it is easier than ever before to find artist who do not express these views.
While hip hop is not responsible for unemployment, poverty, drugs, and other stigma issues, it does play a role in effecting a young person’s mind for better or worse. It is important for the MC to use their power to impact those individuals in a positive manner. Record companies need to do better and promote rappers with a much more positive message as we have seen from artist such as Kendrick Lamar and J Cole. With MCs such as these two, hip hop is indeed in the right hands.
Thank you for reading.