Essay about Rap Music and Teen Violence

944 Words4 Pages
Music can be a reflection of our life experiences. Each genre of music invokes different emotions and reactions in its listeners. Rap has become a very popular genre of music. As its popularity has increased, some people have questioned whether it can trigger violence in teens. While some rap songs do have violent lyrics, there is no direct evidence that rap music provokes violence in teenagers.
Rap music has African roots just like jazz, the blues and rock ‘n’ roll. African slaves sang songs to tell stories about the pain and struggles experienced during slavery. However, music was also a way to celebrate life, love and share tales about the life they had before slavery (Lommel 10). Rap music began in the slums of New York in
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The raw emotions and lyrics in early gangsta rap songs made it a very profitable form of rap (Quinn 4). While gangsta rap would eventually appeal to a larger audience, it purpose was to shock and tell a story like original African storytellers.
Since gangsta rap was first introduced by the group N.W.A., this type of rap music has sold more albums than any other form of rap. Gangsta rap in some ways glorifies violence, drugs, and easy money. N.W.A. wrote a song about killing cops that created a firestorm of controversy. As a result of several such controversies, the Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics labeling system was enacted in 1985 (Lommel 68). This system required the music industry to label songs that have explicit language and limit the sale of these albums to adults.
Like many musical genre before rap, some people believe that rap music influenced teenagers in a negative way that could lead to violence. Some criminals have blamed movies, books, and music as inspiration for their crimes. However, one cannot solely rely on these sources as the main reason for any act whether good or bad. “Millions of heavy metal and gangsta rap fans spend hours with their chosen music genres and never threaten others or themselves. Moreover, most researchers concerned with the causes of suicide and violence point to a broad array of risk factors unrelated to popular culture (e.g., depression, access to guns, substance abuse, etc.) that seem to be precursors of such

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