With the recent, apparently gang related death of hard-core gangsta rapper Tupac Shakur and the murder trial of rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg, parents are in an uproar. These and many others in this area of the music business use large amounts of profanity, sexually explicit and violent language in their albums. Any child, any age, can walk into the local music store and purchase these cassettes or compact disks. Store clerks are not allowed to refuse the sale but can only politely ask if their parents would mind if they bought the particular album. These albums are labeled "Parental Advisory, Explicit Lyrics." This is as close as anyone can seem to get to banning it within the perimeters of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Many parents (and others) blame these rappers for the teen violence in our country. They say that because of rappers, their kids are committing crimes. It's not the rappers' fault, it is the parents'. It's time we stop blaming these rappers who sing about what they are brought up around. Parents who don't like it should get control over their own children to ban them from listening to the music. Many parents in our country act irresponsibly and let their children do a lot worse than listen to bad music. They are the reason that our teens are killing, raping, and committing other violent crimes. Unfortunately, we try to place blame on these rappers who perhaps had the same problem of irresponsible parents, which led them to act the way they do.
If we want to get to the problem of violence in our country among teens, it's time we stopped looking to blame the people in the public eye and go straight to the problem: our own homes. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.