The Impact of the Violent African-American Stereotype in Rap Music

4585 Words19 Pages
This paper will show that the stereotype of the violent, criminal African-American portrayed in rap music lyrics can become a self-fulfilling prophecy for African-Americans. Repeated and long-term exposure to this stereotypical behavior in rap music lyrics can lead to increased aggression and this stereotype becoming accepted as a social norm by African-Americans. I intend to support my argument with examples and analysis of the violent African-American stereotype, and by explaining how the stereotype can become accepted as a social norm.

The violence that permeates rap lyrics should come as no surprise because music is only one of the numerous forms of media, and violence in the media is often described as being too
…show more content…
According to researchers Christenson and Roberts, “American adolescents spend…between four and five hours a day listening to music…[which is] at least as much time as they spend watching standard television fare and more than they spend with their friends outside of school” (8). Music media influences the lives of adolescents in a number of ways. It “…alters and intensifies their moods, furnishes much of their slang [and] provides models for how they act…” (Christenson and Roberts 8). Music plays an important role in the lives of adolescents. They spend as much time, if not more, listening to music as they spend watching television, and therefore, music deserves additional scholarly attention. Music is not just music, or just a source of entertainment; rather music is “a major force and presence in contemporary American adolescence” (Christenson and Roberts 11). Besides the belief that music is just music, another popular belief is that, “Nobody pays attention to lyrics” (Christenson and Roberts 7). This assumption is not completely true or false. Lyrics are often learned accidentally during the listening experience, but almost every adolescent has a favorite song that he or she can recite word for word. Therefore, whether the learning of the lyrics is intentional or not, adolescents do learn

More about The Impact of the Violent African-American Stereotype in Rap Music

Get Access