On Young People Essay, Research Paper
Many young people of this generation between the ages of ten and twenty live for music. They have become infatuated with music as if nothing else matters. After reading Allan Bloom’s essay Music , Venise Berry’s, Redeeming the Rap Music Experience , and Barbara Dority’s The War on Rock and Rap Music”, I was opened up to new ideas which previously had not occurred to me. When people are reading and listening to lyrics or going to concerts they are exposed to sex, violence, and drugs which have a negative influence that plague the music world.
The lyrics and beat of many songs we hear again influence our children. Lyrics like “I want to fuck you like an animal” from “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails is a prime example of cause and effect. When children hear these words they have to go out and try it for themselves and along with other influences we have twelve, eleven and even ten year olds trying sex and getting pregnant. Bloom points out that “young people know that rock has the beat of sexual intercourse. That is why Ravel’s Bolero is the one piece of classical music that is commonly known and liked by them” (130). Such sexual beats also come from CDs that are just bass. Everyone has experienced sitting at a stoplight when a car pulls up next to you with his or her radio is so loud your car starts shaking and you can’t even think. The lyrics and beat of rock and rap may influence people to do such negative acts at such a young age.
Sex plays an enormous part in music. Look at the way music artists dress, what they say in their lyrics or the music beat, and the title of the records. Some music artists dress inappropriately and wear next to nothing, in my opinion. We see the very popular Spice Girls, a new pop band, made up of five females, who target young girls dressing, or should I say not dressing, appropriately for their young audience. The Spice Girls dress in short dresses and spaghetti strap shirts. Young girls are buying backpacks and shirts with pictures of them and are even dressing like them. We cannot have these explicitly dressed women influencing our young girls. These children are going to school like this exposing their bodies and some of them are as young as ten years old. Again the negative influence from rock and rap music may weaken young person maturation.
There have not been too many recording artists that have made a bigger sexual statement than 2 Live Crew.
Their most successful hit, which is now considered tame, was entitled, Hey, We want Some Pussy. It sold a half-million copies without the backing of a major record company. The Crew’s next album took sexual rap to a new level. “Move Something” sold more than a million copies and included songs like, Head, Booty and Cock, and Me So Horny. (Berry 197)
Groups such as this should not even be allowed to sell record copies without major record companies putting warning labels and laws that prevent children under the age of 18 from buying them. Also police need to enforce these laws. Owners of record stores need to voluntarily support this censorship.
Violence is also out of control in rock and rap music. Concerts in these categories of music are full of violent fights. People are being shot, stabbed, punched, or kicked because music artists are influencing the audience to go out of control. Outside Tingley coliseum a riot broke out as fans waited for the start of a Rob Zombie and Korn concert that took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 27, 1999. Mosh pits, which are groups of people pushing and jumping around and into each other, take place at concerts. These cause people to fall and get kicked or stepped on and/or even knocked unconscious. Violence goes beyond the concert atmosphere; it’s just a small percentage of it. We have rock and rap encouraging street violence. For example, “NWA consists of five LA rappers whose controversial lyrics including topics like gang banging, drive-by shootings, and police confrontations” (Berry 195). These terrible influences have to be controlled so that this violence can stop.
Music plays a big part when it comes to drug use. Not only do we hear and see the drug abuse in the lyrics and/or at concerts, we see it from our favorite music artists. This may influence children to go out and try drugs, which means it’s probably going to complicate or even destroy their lives and the lives around them. Other drug pushing in music is in the lyrics. They use phrases such as Mary Jane, which is slang for marijuana. As children listen to the radio and hear the names of these drugs they think everyone is doing it and may jump on that bandwagon and go out and experiment for themselves. Congress has passed many laws, but musicians and other artists have tried to stop labeling by forming MA and Rock and Roll Confidential. (140). They are not willing to admit to being part of the problem. Also by going to rock and rap concerts you are exposed to drugs. The smell and see the smoke from marijuana is very evident at concerts. As the concert goes on many people are offering it to whoever may want some, including kids.
As Bloom concluded:
My concern here is not with the moral effect of this music whether it leads to sex, violence, or drugs. The issue here is its effect on education, and I believe it ruins the imagination of young people and makes it very difficult for them to have a passionate relationship to the art and thought that are the substance of liberal education. (136)
Young people deserve to have the same education and not have it influenced by sex, drugs or violence which rock and rap music obviously perpetuate. Throughout the generations music has been an influence on teens. However Elvis, the Rolling Stones or even Jimmy Hendrx never promoted rape or murder. Music today does this! This is why we need to stop these negative influences our children are being exposed to.