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Hip Hop Music: Pros and Cons

An analysis of the positive and negative aspects of Hip Hop music.
by

Nia McCullough

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of Hip Hop Music: Pros and Cons

Hip Hop Music: pros and cons Hip Hop as a political change: Negative Aspects of Hip Hop Music Positive Aspects of Hip Hop Music Conclusion: Degrading Women: Affects on the Black family and community: Promoting violence and criminal behavior: - Many hip hop icons are actively making changes to promote positive change in the black community.

-"IN THE BATTLE OVER THE POLITICS OF HIP HOP, convention separates the commercial realm from conscious rap, with the latter largely considered part of "the underground." The distinctions made between the two tend to revolve loosely around whether or not a given artist has politically progressive content...Those considered "underground" are generally progressively minded artists some of whom have not been signed to a major record label and tend to operate in local DIY (do it yourself) networks, online, or through local, marginally commercial distribution networks" (Rose, pg 241).

-"The more rap may make it onto pop or urban radio and will continue to sell in record numbers in the years to come, “real rap” probably won't" (Forman, pg 216). Affects on the Black family and community: -Hip Hop music can be used as a political movement and promote change.

-Hip Hop music can help form identity of black youth. Hip Hop can be used to help form identity with positive role models: -Hip Hop music has vulgar and misogynistic lyrics. Artists like Lil Jon, 50 Cent, Snoop Dog, and more recently Nicki Minaj, 2 Chains, Lil Wayne etc. are constant contributors to this view of women.

- Women are seen as objects and are referred to as "bitches" and "hos" by both men and other females. Men show that they have no respect for women and women show that they have no respect for themselves.

" Album after album was littered with rap songs referring to Black women as bitches, gold diggers, hos, hoodrats, chickenheads, pigeons, and so on. Music videos with rump shaking, scantily clad young Black women as stage props for rap artists soon became synonymous with rap music" (Kitwana, pg 87). - Hip Hop music is known for being degrading to women and promoting sexist views favoring male dominance. This affects young girls who are hearing and seeing these images and words, and build their identities from these artists.

-Hip Hop music is often blamed for promoting violence and deviant behavior. Male children tend to look at hip hop artists for guidance, which can have a negative influence on their understanding of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors in society. This claim is debated and is not found to be entirely accurate, but may have some affect. -The idea that Hip Hop promotes violence and criminal behavior is a theory that is advocated by the government and those who are anti- hip hop.

- It is said that hip hop music promotes gang violence, drug dealing, and murder.

-"The criticism that hip hop advocates and thus causes violence relies on the unsubstantiated but widely held belief that listening to violent stories or consuming violent images directly encourages violent behavior" (Rose, pg 35).
-"Social psychologist Carrie B. Fried studied this issue and concluded that the perception of violence in rap music lyrics is affected by larger societal perceptions and stereotypes of African-Americans" (Rose, Gangster rap:
Ice T: Cop Killer

Cop killer, better you than me.
Cop killer, f**k police brutality!
Cop killer, I know your family's grievin'
(f**k 'em)
Cop killer, but tonight we get even.
I got my brain on hype.
Tonight'll be your night.
I got this long-a** knife,
and your neck looks just right.
My adrenaline's pumpin'.
I got my stereo bumpin'.
I'm 'bout to kill me somethin'
A pig stopped me for nuthin' -Hip Hop artists that send positive messages in their songs can be used to help the black youth build their identities. Tupac Shakur, Lauryn Hill, Common, Mos Def and other rap artists talk about their lives along with positive messages as well. Tupac: Changes
I see no changes. All I see is racist faces.
Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under.
I wonder what it takes to make this one better place...
let's erase the wasted.
Take the evil out the people, they'll be acting right.
'Cause both black and white are smokin' crack tonight.
And only time we chill is when we kill each other.
It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other
And although it seems heaven sent,
we ain't ready to see a black President, uhh. The conclusion that I have drawn from this research is that listening to hip hop music can have both negative and positive affects on the black family, the youth , and the community, depending on the hip hop artist. People tend to group hip hop music as a whole instead of focusing on different forms like mainstream and underground music. Overall, the influence that hip hop music has on its listeners will vary.
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