Taking The Rap: The Social Impact Of Violence In H

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One clear day in 1977, in a little place called Harlem, a new urban sound was born. Its fathers named it Hip-Hop, and like many of its newfound urban listeners, it had a hard time growing up. Hip-Hop is a combination of poetry and jazz that is supposed to give its listeners an idea of what city life is really about. But, due to the recent fascination with thug life and the acceptance of gangsta rap, urban living is not truly represented in the rap music today. Instead of showing it's listeners how to get away from peer pressure and the everyday struggle of city life, its rappers boldly boast of the "chickenheadz" who they (more than likely without protection) have had sex with, the "niggas" they have killed and the drugs they have used. As the hype of gangsta rap music increases, society, no longer alarmed by violence, becomes desensitized to the problem at hand, revealing a tragic flaw in today's moral standards, which if unaided could ultimately lead to our downfall.

The first problem society continues to overlook is the fact that hip-hop music leads to violence and not to reality. Our culture continuously ignores the excessive glorification of violent acts. One survey shows that "forty-seven percent of mothers…believe that the messages in rap lyrics contribute 'a great deal' to school violence"(MediaScope), which should be substantial evidence to prove that hip-hop music is a problem. In addition, slang has now become "commonplace"(Waite 74). Women not only use words such as "trick" and "bitch" to attack other women, but they also use this self derogatory language to describe themselves. Ultimately, these lyrics do nothing but "box young women into stereotypes and weaken their sense of worth"(Waite74). The East Coast/West Coast rivalry, a fatal mix of hip-hop, violence, and...