Hip-Hop Getting A Bad Rap Essay, Research Paper
Gangster rap May 05, 1999
Hip-Hop Getting a Bad Rap Among many problems in society today, rap music is being blamed for the confusion of America’s youths. One key problem is the way a child is raised. Not having a positive role model can have a powerful effect on a child. The other dilemma is the type of rap music. Gangster rapper’s lyrics seem to corrupt and have a negative image on a youth’s mind. Two possible steps to taking the blame away from rap music is by placing the spotlight on other influences such as friends and even the family as the source of confusion. The other by promoting rap artists whose lyrics has a positive message. The nation’s youth are experiencing pain and confusion; and they need someone to look up to. In today’s society, this figure is often a rapper, a gangster rapper. Gangster rappers feel they have something to say; and unfortunately some young, impressionable minds are listening. Gangster rappers Snoop Doggy Dogg’s song “Serial Killa” and N.W.A.’s song “F— Tha Police” have extremely explicit lyrics promoting violence. Snoop Doggy Dogg and Eazy-E (formerly a member of N.W.A.) are known for their affiliation with gangs from the West Coast. Snoop Doggy Dogg is known for his association with the Long Beach Insane Crips; and Eazy-E is a member of the Kelly Park Crips (Net). This violence along with the degrading of women is what gives rap a bad name. The majority of gangster rap songs have some form of degrading lyrics. Take the song “B—–s Ain’t S—” from the album The Chronic by Dr. Dre. The chorus concludes that “B—–s ain’t s— but ho’s and trick’s.” I can only imagine the impression left on a young female’s mind after hearing these lyrics and constantly being looked down upon. It is not only the female listener that is effected. The song may leave an equally compelling impression on these young males. These young men may actually believe what Dr. Dre is saying. They might disrespect women while looking down upon them. So, in order to change the attitude of defying women and change the attitudes of America’s impressionable youths; people need to step up and talk back to the gangsters like Queen Latifah did in her song “U.N.I.T.Y” where she tells women, “You ain’t a b—- or a ho.” This song was strongly accepted by the American youths, especially the females. There are many female artists who are trying to get rid of the negative images of women. D.C. Talk, a Christian rap group, is another rap group that doesn’t exploit women or encourage violence. In their song “That Kinda Girl”, the lyrics “Love her and respect her, cherish her forever” is the way women should be treated. Another song by D.C. Talk “I Love Rap Music” is a humorous account of how rap music started. In the conclusion of the song they say, “Those obscene lyrics are overkilled” stating that since 1990 that is all rap music has come to. But since then, “There’s been a serious change . . . doin’ hip hop music with a Christian theme.” In Kool Moe Dee’s song “Knowledge Is King” it explains that the lack of knowledge is ignorance. He says that “They party and dance and don’t ever glance at a book or a look for their mind to advance. If kids would listen to the more positive music about what could be going on in their own lives, there would be a change. One of the more modern musicians who are trying to change the minds and lives of America?s youth is Kirk Franklin. Like some young inner city children, he never knew his father and was abandoned by his mother. His aunt raised him in a Baptist upbringing in Dallas, TX area. He is a unique musician who blends hip-hop music with Christian music. He attempts to use hip-hop beats while delivering strong, positive music. This new style of music has attracted some attention from music world. His new album, titled Kirk Franklin: The Nu Nation Project, has appeared as high as number 4 on the top R&B albums this year (Net). I feel that although rap music isn’t to blame for the confusion of youths in today’s society, it is to blame for the attitude these young minds have possessed. Many representatives and senators are trying to ban rap music from the radio stations and eventually from the record stores but as rapper Yo-Yo said, “Sexism [and violence] were here before rap came along and it will be here long after it’s gone.” Gangster rap music is a style of music that is commonly popular among urban-city kids. The common question to these children would be: Why do you like gangster rap music? The answer to this question is that the stories that the rapper?s talk about is somewhat a daily occurrence to some of the children in the inner city. The children in the inner city are attracted to this style of music because they feel related to the musician in a way. The rapper talks about certain situations that are common to the lives of the inner city. ?African American youth, when you interview them, love the music for the sound, but they also love the messages, and the more of a fan they are, the more into the messages they are. The white youth love it for the sounds; they do not pay a great deal of attention to the messages? (?Music Violence?). One of the more notorious gangster rappers is Eazy-E, who died of A.I.D.S. complications on March 25, 1995 (Net). Eazy-E routinely discussed hoes, tricks, and b—–s on all of his records along with killing and robbery. He was not bashful when it came to describing his views on women. But just because Eazy-E (aka Eric Wright) would talk about these women in a bad manner, I don?t feel that he would directly influence a young male to degrade women as well. If that young male did degrade women, that was his choice to do so. He had a decision to make without anyone threatening him. Basically, I am saying that Eric Wright did not force a young male to do anything. That young male made a choice, a bad choice.
“Crip Rappers.” 15 Nov. 1998.