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Rap music can be considered a style of art, and a way for the artists to express

feelings through their words on paper. However, there are quite a few rap

artists that get criticized for their lyrics. In my essay, I want to discuss why

rappers use certain lyrics in their music and why people shouldn?t believe

that it causes violence among the younger generations. People shouldn?t censor

the music just because of violent, vulgar and abusive messages it promotes to

the world. I believe in my own mind, that there is a reason for these types of

lyrics that rap artists use and I will simply explain those reasons in this

essay. Rap has been called one of the most important music forces to emerge in

two decades. It?s pounding beats and staccato rhymes exploded on the streets

of the urban America in the early 1980s and since have become the theme music

and lyrical heart of the vibrant youth culture called hip-hop ( SIRS 1993).

There are many different types of rap artist. There are some that talk about

money, some talk about righteousness, and the list goes on and on. Every rap

artist had their own way of expressing themselves. There are those that talk

about sex, drugs, and violence who receive the negative attention( SIRS 1993).

People, think this so- called gangster rap is a bad influence on children in the

world and that it promotes violence and that it also is abusive to women.

Delores Tucker, head of national congress of black women has been among those

pressuring different record companies to stop distributing gangster rap music.

There were other significant names that participated in this action. Names like

Senate Majority leader Bob dole, and former education Secretary William J.

Bennett(Surveys, pg. 1). There are some rap artists that have been openly

criticized for their lyrics. Rappers like Lil Kim, Too Short, Snoop Doggy Dogg,

and a member from ?Too Live Crew,? named Luke Skywalker. These rap artists

in the past have been appointed for the things they say in their music. Lil Kim

talks about sex in her music, Too Short talks about drugs, sex, and how much of

a pimp he is, and Luke Skywalker talks about girls and sex. The lyrics that

these rap artist use in their music might not be suitable for everybody to

listen to but I don?t think their music should be banned or criticized because

you don?t have to listen to it if you don?t choose to. Rap music, how much

influence does it really have on it?s youthful listeners? Many, from record

company executives to high school students agree that it plays a critical role

in the lives of many tans, affecting the way they dance, dress and speak(SIRS

1993). Personally, I feel that rap music is a form of art. I think it takes a

great deal of talent to write lyrics that rap artists write, because you have to

use metaphors and similes, and at the same time get your point across so the

listeners can understand. I give rappers a great deal of credit because I know

it took them a long time to get where their at today, and I know it takes a

tremendous amount of time to write a song. It?s also true and I strongly agree

with that rap artists use lyrics that reflect on their childhood and the way

they grew up. That could be the reason why gangster rappers and rappers talk

about sex, drugs, and violence in their music because that was what they were

exposed to through out their life. Rap artists generally write about what they

know because it is easier to write about things and situations that you know,

and if sex, drugs and violence is what you know about, then you are going to

write about situations that involve those subjects. Not just write about them in

hopes to cause more violence in our world. Young rap fans caution it is wrong

and simplistic to believe music can dictate their actions. Upbringing and

circumstance steer a child?s behavior, they say, not a record on a turntable

or a performer posturing on stage(Newsweek, 1998). There are other reasons why

gangster rappers should not be criticized for their lyrics. One reason is that I

would rather hear gangster rappers talk about violence on the streets than them

actually going out on the streets and participate in the violence. Another

reason why rappers shouldn?t be criticized is because the world was violent

long before rap was invented, and it is not rap music that is making the world

more violent then it is already. I strongly believe that people have the freedom

of choice to listen to rap music and if you don?t like what rap artists talk

about, then you do not have to listen to the music. If people didn?t have a

choice that would be one thing, but as long as people have a choice to do or not

to do something then they shouldn?t try to criticize it. To me, rap music is

more than a strain. It is the reflection of horrible suffering, struggle and

pain of the ghetto life. I feel that art reflects life, so I ask myself why

aren?t the National Black leaders like Delores Tucker, more concerned about

where the source of rap music exists than the work denuding these types of harsh

conditions(SIRS 1993). ? I think that kids know the difference between right

and wrong, music and reality. They know it?s not right to go kill somebody and

if there driven to that, that?s not the fault of the music,? says Jon

Shecter, editor of The Source, a rap magazine(SIRS 1993). If the people

throughout the world that criticize gangster rap music would begin to really

care then they would try to find and fix the conditions that this art of music

comes from and stop criticizing the artist. In other words, the abusive language

and rise of violence found in most gangster rap songs are the reality of our

present day society. Americans should be mature enough to realize that not

talking about something won?t cause it to go away. People talk about the

violence of gangster rap music, but look at the violence we see on television

everyday, on almost every channel you turn to. Violence is everywhere, you might

see or hear something violent every day of your life, whether it is on

television, radio or in real life. Violence has been existing for hundreds and

hundreds of years, gangster rap music hasn?t remotely made violence more

intense or worse than it already is( Surveys, pg. 1).So is it then fair to pin

point rap music and blame it?s lyrics on the violence happening around the

world? Teen-agers, both black and Latino, say it is the driving beat that

attracts them and many other young people to rap. That, and the music?s

honesty(SIRS 1993). It?s not the guns and drugs that make them like the music.

The rappers aren?t saying to solve a problem you must kill, they are just

stating what they know. In which, ever since they were young, that violence

around them always ends in a shooting or stabbing, so is it right to blame them

for singing about it when really they learned it from television? Sex in rap

music shouldn?t be criticized either because look at all the pornography that

is in the world today. There are magazines that are being sold nearly

everywhere. They have triple X rated movies that could be purchase and you could

rent these kind of movies at your nearest video store(Showbiz, pg. 1). So,

lyrics that talk about sex can?t hardly be no worse than the movies and

magazines being sold all over the world today. When rappers talk about drugs in

their songs, they could be talking about how drugs were used in their

neighborhoods growing up, and maybe they had to sell drugs for a while to put

food on their table( Newsweek 1998). I feel, people get confused about what the

rap artist is trying to say to people. They are missing the whole point. Just

because rap artists talk about drugs in their songs doesn?t mean they are

actually selling the drugs or using the drugs. These rap artists are making

thousands of dollars just by making records, why would they go out and sell

drugs? That doesn?t make any sense. There are plenty of artists that are

positive, and speak positive aspects in their music about life, like A Tribe

Called Quest, the Roots, De La Soul, and many others. So for those that think

that rap music has a negative effect on children, and people in the world, there

are a lot of rappers that speak unity, and things that are positive about

life(Showbiz, pg2). If a person could listen to some of these positive rap

artists, they could learn about life. There have been plenty of times where I

was in a terrible mood or I was upset about something, and I popped in a CD of a

rapper, and after I was finished listening to the CD I felt much better. The

words and phrases used, are words of actual life events and the positive things

or outcomes of them. In conclusion, I speak in favor of gangster rap, and I

don?t think people should criticize these rap artists because they are

speaking the truth. Situations they?ve been in are shown through their lyrics

and we need to try to find the source of the problem instead of criticizing the

person speaking about the problem. Drugs, Sex, and Violence are what gangster

rappers are considered to be glorifying, but drugs, sex, and violence was in

effect long before rap music was even thought of and so we shouldn?t use the

type of music against the type of behavior caused by teens around the world.

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