The Role of Hip-Hop in the Lives of Adolescents Essay

2004 Words9 Pages
Here’s a task… Ask an individual one of the factors that may cause unacceptable behavior in adolescence. The culprit is Hip-hop. This genre of music receives a bad reputation for its violent, overly sexualized and graphic lyrics. Stereotypically, a typical rap video may consist of an African-American male, riding in the newest car, accompanied with one or more attractive female. This image although it may seem very simplistic poses different implications on both male and female adolescence. The messages sent out are different and without proper guidance, an individual perception of beauty and values on life may change. Rap is an expression of art, where individuals try to escape reality. It is a presumption that adolescence are risk-takers…show more content…
It is easy to attribute the case of violence to rap music. However, critics fail to place the lives of the artists and their experiences into context. Common themes in rap music videos include racial injustice, violence, hopelessness, pain, and struggle for survival (Peterson et. al 1158). During rap’s early livelihood, its fan base were primarily Blacks and Latinos; however, the in 1980s the demographics began to shift. Artists such as Run DMC, Salt N' Pepa, and the Beastie Boys all gained popularity not only with African American and Latino community but also with White adolescents outside the inner city (Sullivan 606). In 1999, it was reported that Americans alone purchased over $1.5 billion worth of rap and hip-hop music. In addition, sale increased up to $1.8 billion a year later (Richardson 176). Most of the consumers of this new genre of music, were adolescence and they can be attributed to the success of many rap artist. Rap gained the appeal of youth, despite differences in race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class. The teens being able to personal identify with the lyrics could be considered of the key features in adolescent identity development. Youth look up to these figures in pop culture and seek to emulate their behavior. The mass appeal of rap music and the potential influence caused by violent lyrics has caught the attention of politicians, sociologists, and psychologists
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