Check the Rhyme

January 17, 2013
“If we're all saying that rap is an art form then we gotta be more responsible for our lyrics. If you see everybody dying because of what you're saying, it don't matter that you didn't make them die, it just matters that you didn't save them.” – Tupac Shakur

Teenagers listen to the new age of Hip hop and rap through their headphones. The songs are drenched with lyrics and messages glorifying themes of sex, drugs and violence. iPods and radios fill heads with new age rap music that teaches kids of a fake reality. But not each song is the same. Rap is a freedom of expression and each artist has control over their lyrics. Over time there has been an increase in foul language and explicit content. Swears and negative messages seep from popular music on the radio, over powering rap music from the past. Newer rap music has dug it’s claws into teenagers and has taken control over older music. Now positive messages from older music is held hostage and imprisoned and all that is heard is negative songs from new music.
A study by Denise Herd of Berkeley's School of Public Health showed that 77 percent of the rap music studied made references to drug and alcohol abuse. Can you wonder what this does on young and growing minds? Within our society today young kids and teenagers already pick up offensive language but the music they listen to they won’t pick up the vocabulary they learn in english class. Are those warning or parental supervision stickers to worn the teenagers or attract them?
Rap and Hip hop have changed very greatly over the years. The thing that greatly changed is the depth of the lyrics and the meaning behind them. Rap messages in the lyrics have changed so differently over the years. In the last few years all the rappers haven’t been the best, their lyrics are bragging about their money and style, sex, and violence. Not all the rap stars these day are like that, they are doing the right thing and remind us of what hip hop and rap used to be. Style, wealth, sex, violence, and overall been in rap always some not but a lot have. The difference is they have been used greatly in present times and its not good. Parents don’t listen to the music and kids don’t pick up half the stuff they even say. And both halves are bad.

This is by one of my rap groups of all time. They are a late 80s and early and through the 90s. They didn’t care about the style and did different things than other rappers. This is real hip hop, the lyrics are rich and talk about problems basically to inform you, at the end they almost contradict what they are saying (on purpose) “Yo, it's about love for cars, love for funds
Loving to love mad sex, loving to love guns
Love for opposite, love for fame and wealth
Love for the fact of no longer loving yourself”

Many studies show that rap music is “bad for your health”

But is this true?

A team of researchers from Berkeley, California say that teenagers and overall students who listen to hip hop or rap is more likely to use drugs, alcohol, and be more violent. I believe this is true but not 100%, It matters who you listen to and what time period. Though time all genres of music have had some type of violence and drug use, people just suppose rap music is all that includes this. Its a stereotype that all rap music includes these lyrics and has effects on young kids and teenagers. Not all rap music is for all ages of course but rap has music with explicit lyrics but it tells a story and has a good message overall You listen to a rap song from 10 years ago you will have differences with if you listen to one from 2012. More abuse of drugs, sex, violence, this is true but one in 2012 could have the same lyrics about drugs and violence but have a positive message and older song be against it. I’m saying new music will mean nothing just nonsense but older music tends to have a story behind the lyrics.

“Rap is rhythmically accentuated poetry”

Rap music is a freedom of expression. Its lyrical content flows like poetry and often tells a story. It gives people a chance to see life through the eyes of someone else.

Rap music is not all about the sex,money,and violence, It has benefits to the young minds that listen. Rap will help critical thinking skills, “Some rap lyrics are misogynistic, racist or cartoonish. Engaging with these lyrics, pinpointing the rapper's viewpoint or lyrical pose, and articulating whether and why the listener disagrees with the lyrics are all beneficial to a teenager.

This is someone who doesn’t dislike rap music but is not 100% for it:
Q:Do you think hip hop and rap music affects teenagers daily lives and the way they act?
A:I think a big thing about rap music is the culture. It can almost be considered a way of life or a belief system, and sometimes listeners can change because of the influence hip hop and rap music has on their lives. They may dress differently, talk differently and even act differently.
Q:Do you think rap has changed over time? Do you think the messages and amount of content have changed in time?
A:Everything changes over time. Content and messages inside of songs change with changing media and trends.
Q:Do you think rap is freedom of speech? Do you think people should be able to say what they want in rap music.
A:Yes. There’s not a lot of discretion in rap music and people already say whatever they want. Listeners want to hear emotion and honesty in music, and rap music is successful with this.
Q:Do you think ALL rap music is about violence sex and money.
A:Like I said, rap music has become a culture. Right now it’s in a place where the lyrics are all about violence, sex, and money. I’m sure there are songs that have different messages, but that’s not as trendy. Rap music has become centralized around messages of sex, drugs and materialistic thinking.
Q:Should kids be able to listen to rap music?
A:It’s up to the parents. Just like how there are ratings on television shows and movies, there should be ratings on music as well. There are ratings on media and warnings for intended audiences for a reason. Young minds can be easily influenced by media including hip hop music.
Q: do you like rap music and todays hip hop?
A:I don’t like to completely exclude all music of one genre because each and every song and artist is unique. Typically rap music is too aggressive and loud for me.

This is someone who thinks hip hop is fine, thinks older rap is better and overall the music genre benefits:

Q:Do you think Hip hop and rap music affects teenagers daily lives and how they act?
Luca: Hip hop music is a lifestyle so my answer is yes.
Q:Do you think rap music has changed over time? Have messages and content have changed?
Luca: I think rap and Hip hop has changed over time, but haven’t evolved but have gotten worse and lack positive messages and the dirty content has changed.
Q:Do think rap music is freedom of speech? Should they be able to say what they want?
Luca: Well all music is freedom of speech so rap is no differen’t.
Q:Do you think all rap music is about bad stuff like money sex and violence?
Luca: No, not all rappers do that and a lot try to get a good point across in their music.
Q:Should kids be able to listen to rap and hip hop.
Luca: Yes, but certain kinds and the good stuff.
Q:Do you like rap music overall and do you like todays rap and hip hop?
Luca: I like rap through the 70s and 90s that is when it was good, today its not even rap music or any music at all. Todays rap is a glorification of a fake reality about sex money and cars.

An example of an older song: De La Soul- Stakes Is High

I'm sick of b***hes shakin'Explain asses
I'm sick of talkin' about blunts
Sick of Versace glasses
Sick of slang
Sick of half-a** awards shows
Sick of name brand clothes
Sick of R&B bitches over bulls**t tracks
Cocaine and crack
Which brings sickness to blacks
Sick of swoll' head rappers

Example of a newer song: Tyga feat Lil Wayne-Faded
Treat her like a dog, called the b**** Lassie

Cheif Keef- Finally Rich
Imma show you how to ball
Hit every store and buy it all cause It ain't s***!

As proven by comparing these three different songs, new rap music and old rap music are very different. In geneOnce you walk up in the mall
ral, older rap music has cleaner lyrics and more positive messages while newer music has explicit content. New music is dominated by the talk of money and material objects. It also makes women inferior through it’s lyrics.

Now to rap it all up: Over the years rap and hip hop music have changed dramatically. When older songs are compared to newer songs of this generation, there is a change in lyrical content and themes. Newer music is strongly influenced by money, sex and drugs and hardly offers positive influences to it’s listeners. New rap music of this generation is simply swears and explicit content slapped down on paper and vocalized. There is no longer a message behind the words. When listened to carefully, rap music can be a positive influence and art form in a teenager’s life.

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