Hip Hop Negative Influence On Youth Culture Essay

Media often paints a different picture than as seen by the eye. Often heard on the headlines are the bad and the ugly never the good. One picture that is often skewed by the media is that of hip hop. It is often heard that this genre is a negative influence on children, as the message put out by these rappers is not appropriate for today’s youth. The lifestyle is too violent and the lyrics are too harsh. All this is skewed in the wrong direction. As the hip hop genre is impactful and helpful for the youth of the world. The genre speaks to a variety of topics; from hard hitting ideas of race and religion, to more simple ideas of fame and fun.

No topic is out of reach for these artists it seems. The audience picks up on this and notice especially when artist picks up the mic and raps about violence in their life; or how about when these artists write down profanity when talking about racism. Topics that can either mean a lot to them or impact them directly. The world notices this and rappers are often condemned for their words as the profanity and violence is all that people hear. Adults hate it, but kids seem to love it. Why is that? Kids are eager for new information they are always learning however they get shielded from this music.

In Hip Hop is Now: An Evolving Youth Culture by Carl and Virgil Taylor they state, “The mirroring of adult culture by youth culture is sometimes an unabashed, raw reflection of things adults would prefer not to admit, as they say, “real. “” The Youth wants to hear of these greater issues at play in the world, and rap allows them to do just that. They are not interested in getting sheltered from the world they live in, as they growing up with this changing world and they do not want to fall behind.

While adults may not like it rap music is one of the eye opens to kids. The media try’s ithout rest to promote that rap and its lyrics encourage violence yet this is not right. Becky Blanchard said “Discussions about direct correlation between media messages and actual acts of violence distract us from getting at the real causes of mediated violence [… ] The discussion distracts us from the real causes of crime: things like child abuse, poverty, parental neglect in care and time spent with their child” (qtd Blanchard). Hip hop is not the reason for violence or drug abuse. There are a variety of factors overlooked, and it is unfair to point the finger at this genre.

Furthermore according to Reebee Garofalo’s paper “violent crime decreased from 1993 to 2001, violence in rap lyrics remained at previously high levels. ” Rather hip hops lyrics are “a reflection of our reality”(F. Gary Grey), rappers have messages that resonate with many people. Young people find these messages appeal to them as most rap seems to be about growing up and the struggles that come with it. With this any other topics covered by these artists are then heard by kids, and thus they pick up on the social and political commentaries of the world around them.

This exposure is both helpful and insightful to a person at this young of an age. Many youth do need help as they grow up. Hip hop serves as a form of unity and a crutch for some. Kids tend to always be looking for an adult figure in their life. Some have many others have none, but just about all look up to those in media. Rappers are a part of a multi-billion dollar industry their reach stretches from clothing to cars. Rappers tend to be that adult figure in most urban communities. These kids look up to see their favourite music stars are like themselves.

Popular rap star Kendrick Lamar grew up in Compton, one of Americas worst hoods. Now he is a huge star and has fame and fortune. The youth in situations like this see him as a form of inspiration. They aspire to be great like their favourite hip hop stars; they want to pull themselves out of the ghetto. This impact on youth is a great positive for the genre, and a great story for it to. For some the music that they can identify with the most is a way for other to connect. Much like people connect through sports or other interests, hip hop serves as the same tool.

Friendships form through these social bonds provided by the music of this genre. With the formation of these friendships they often lead to positive results. For example Taylor and Taylor note that “Early hip hop has often been credited with helping to reduce innercity gang violence by replacing physical violence with dance and artwork battles. “(qtd About Hip Hop Youth Subculture, 1) These outlets and groups help in reducing violence and instead promote creativity. Music of any genre is a form on entertainment. Rap is no different; these kids are escaping into the world of music.

With these kids staying away from gangs and violence they are more likely to grow up to be functioning members of society. While the rap stars are not the sole reason for this they are definitely a part of the solution as opposed to the problem. There are many examples of rap artists helping the youth in a community whether its “Drake and P Reign playing kickball with kids”(Global News) or Jay-Z and Kanye West with large charitable donations to youth organizations. The genre proves to provide help and positive effects on a community and its children. Education for youth is arguable the most important thing for them.

Hip hop music has a role to play in that as well. Rap just like all music is a form of art, and it has poetry all the way through it. Jabari Mahiri and Erin Conner said “that rap and hip-hop cultural texts could be utilized in the classroom to facilitate writing development and to enhance learning. ” This is true kids can take their lyrical abilities to the class room and use it to increase their learning of poetry and further develop themselves as an artist. Much as literature classes study poets and their works, they could soon be doing the same with music of today.

Music classes already study the history behind the music as well as its implications. Youth get to learn from teachers’ meanings of words and sounds of the music that impacts them. While hip hop does not do this intentionally it is a positive side product of their work as it helps to educate children. The hip hop genre is one of the most popular and influential. With this it is also one of the most positive and helpful genres for the youth that listen to it. It is interesting to see such effect music can have on kids and it leads one to question what other genres do for children.