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Rap and Hip-Hop Culture - Essay Example

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This paper investigates the culture of the rap/hip-hop music genre. It examines the social messages contained in the rap/hip hop culture and some of its effects on listeners, who are mainly adolescents. The introduction section begins by asking the sociological question, "what social messages are contained in rap/hip hop culture and what are some of its effects on listeners/adolescents' It then tries to find an answer to this question…
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Rap and Hip-Hop Culture
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Download file to see previous pages The conclusion section summarizes the main ideas of the paper and further confirms that the rap/hip-hop culture tends to contain adolescent themes of autonomy and rebellion. Rap music has particularly been known to make provocative remarks towards women.
Rap and hip-hop refers to a cultural movement and genre of music developed in the 1970s in New York. This was mainly among Latino Americans and African Americans. Hip-hop has four major elements namely break-dancing, graffiti writing, and rapping. Other elements are slang, hip-hop fashion and beat-boxing. Since its first emergence in the Bronx in the 1970s, rap/hip-hop culture has spread to many parts of the world.
When hip-hop first emerged, its basis was around disc jockeys creating rhythmic beats through looping breaks on two turn tables, and was later followed by rapping. Then there arose particular dress styles and form of dancing among the new music followers.
The emergence of rap and hip-hop music in the 1970s came with a lot of fear. This was because many parents and other stakeholders thought that this new rhythms and lyrics would negatively affect the listeners, most of whom were adolescents. This fear was carried on into the 21st century.
Many critics of this genre of mu...
This fear was carried on into the 21st century.
Many critics of this genre of music are of the view that it promotes homicide, drug use, violence, suicide, deviant sexual activity, bigotry and aggression (Ballard and Dodson, 1999, pp 476). This is a significant topic since this issue has sparked a lot of debate among parent groups, censorship supporters, artists, record companies and even the United States federal government.
The same issue also crops up in the medical arena, with the American Pediatrics Association expressing fear that rap and hip-hop lyrics threaten the well-being and health of adolescents. According to Mendelson (1989, pp 314-315), the greatest concerns include suicide, accidents, sexually transmitted diseases, drug use and pregnancy.
Many physicians perceive the adolescent period as a very difficult period due to the rapid psychological and biological changes occurring during this period. Furthermore, the society expects these young people sound moral values through the way they perceive adult behaviors and standards.
A number of physicians use their adolescent patients' music preferences to get a clue to their mental and emotional health. Music that contains explicit lyrics is capable of skewing and misrepresenting the world's realities. Rap and hip-hop music tends to represent adolescent themes of autonomy and rebellion. Rap music has particularly been known to make provocative remarks towards women.
Hence the most popular music forms for adolescents must revolve around such themes as sexual imagery and disrespect (Brown and Hendee, 1989, pp 1659-1663). Moreover, many have questioned what effects music lyrics have on stereotyping, aggression, suicidal ideation and mood.
According to a study conducted on the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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