Music Essay - America Needs Rap and Hip Hop

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America Needs Rap and Hip Hop

Ever since it became popular in the late eighties, hip-hop music has been a target of moral disapproval. Many critics have labeled the music as an offensive, vulgar, misogynist form of expression, which negatively influences its listeners, particularly children. Early in rap music's' development "concerned citizens" and various government officials held protests against the release of certain rap albums. Rap music's opponents demanded strict censorship. But hip-hop was increasingly attracting large audiences and its supporters were ready to fight the censors who they believed were taking away their constitutional right of freedom of speech, and the freedom of the urban black culture to express
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There is a great deal of skill involved in the production of a Hip-Hop song. Although there is no melody, rappers need to work hard to master their "flow" which needs to have rhythm. The real talent of rappers comes in the poetry of their songs. It is difficult to write a song that rhymes, flows and has some substantial content. A good rapper is able to blend poetry and music to create a unique song full of eloquent language. An example of the literary quality of some of these rap songs can be illustrated in the song, " I used to love H.E.R. by common sense. In this song, the artist uses a woman as a metaphor of hip-hop. (see appendix 1)

One of Rap music's greatest criticisms is that it is sexist in its portrayal of women. Some argue that Hip-hop music teaches young children to look at women as "bitches" and "hoes", as women are often called in various hip-hop songs. It is this negative message that has constantly kept rap music in a national spotlight. Critics view sexism in rap as a symptom of an increasingly crumbling set of social values in the black urban community.

In contrast to the views held by hip-hop adversaries, some rap artists and hip-hop supporters argue that rap song lyrics are merely a twentieth-century colloquial dialect describing contemporary courtship rituals, economic inequality, and lack of commitment. Hip-hop music is not responsible for the

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