“Now top rappers began to write edgy lyrics celebrating street warfare or drugs and promiscuity.” Later he also said “. . . celebrate a life of unending violence and criminality.” This is clearly a straw man argument. He is completely ignoring the true stance of the opposing position and offering an exaggerated and misrepresented version.
While the physical appearance of gangsters may have transitioned from the tailored suits of the 1940's to the to the expensive and flashy chains and sneakers of today's definition, the idea is the same: illegal activities, drugs, and a culture of immorality runs their lives. This "gang" culture is directly associated with the creation of rap, and many artists today often refer to themselves as gangsters. "I keep a blue flag hangin' out my backside, but only on the left side, yeah, that's the Crip side," raps Snoop Dogg in the song Drop it Like It's Hot. This is a legitimate claim that Snoop Dogg is making about being involved with the notorious Crip gang; Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. (Snoop Dogg) has been arrested on several counts of drug and firearm possessions, as well as murder (Malkin, 2012). Many other rappers make references to the gangster culture.
Why Rap Music Provokes Violence Arthur Baker once said, "I remember being told 'someone’s gonna make a fortune out of this rap thing' and thinking 'no way',". Arthur Baker was one of the first most widely-known hip-hop producers. Little did he know what negative effects rap music would have on today's youth. With violence and drug use rising, one must wonder, what could cause all of this. Though hip-hop is definitely not the only cause, it doesn't help (Monk).
A lot of hip-hop artists degrade women and use strong references to drugs and money. Hip-hop is also strongly connected to violence and having parties in strip clubs. Joseph Schloss wrote a great paper on B-Boys and B-Girls and he said: “It is a multibillion-dollar industry based on debauchery, disrespect, and self-destruction.” This big industry began in New York City and it has changed drastically since its origins. The hip-hop culture consists of four basic elements: rap, graffiti, break dancing, and DJs. To start this story you have to talk about DJ Kool Herc.
Constant attacks on homosexuals and women show the battle between cultural differences in many of gangsta rappers. Gangsta rap is often known for its sexist lewd imagery. Weather its foul language or showing of guns in videos gangsta rap reflects a vicious lifestyle. It also portrays black relationships as nothing more than mere pleasure. Gangsta rappers refer to women as ho's and bitches often belittling black women to show how much they aren't needed in society.
In the documentary Byron Hurt visits Daytona Beach, Florida during spring break and found that in most of the youth’s freestyles there was something that had to do with a weapon, women, and violent actions. This shows that rappers that are striving to be in the business are influenced by rappers that are currently in the business. A gun has become a symbol to most rappers; it symbolizes masculinity and if one does not rap about weapons and women they will be referred to as “soft, weak, pussy and faggot.” The media creates a single story of how a man is portrayed in the hip hop industry. Hip hop music videos have shaped how men are viewed in society and directed their behaviors. Because the media is such a powerful tool, people who watch music videos feel as if they should emulate rappers to learn the correct form of “masculinity”.
There was gang violence as well as drugs being distributed around where Jay Z was from. Jay Z did disappoint me however that he was involved in the drug game. I know that he says he did not try any of the drugs, but just his involvement in this distribution of drugs is a disappointment to me. I never would have guessed this about Jay Z before reading. I do see how he got involved so easily though due to all the peers and their forms of peer pressure from where he was from.
Rap the most controversial style of music ever. Some people say it encourages hate, others say it encourages self believe and tackle social/political issues. ‘How you act, walk, look and talk is all part of Hip Hop culture. And the music is colorless. Hip Hop music is made from Black, brown, yellow, red and white.’ | | Afrika bambaataa quotesThis is a quote from one of the founding fathers of all rap and hip hopHe believes that hip hop wasn’t just music it was a way of life, a state of mind,The way you should treat and respect others.
The violent and often degrading lyrics of gangster rap have now become main-stream and is highly romanticized by young black and white youths, alike. To be able to analyze the death of Tupac Shakur, it is also important to address rap music and its influence on America’s culture. Hip Hop has become a multi-billion dollar industry that has come to dominate television, film and fashion, as well as radio. Many inner-city and urban residents are drawn to hip hop and are distrustful of many institutions, therefore, they look elsewhere for guidance and knowledge. This all too often comes in the form of rap idols and gangs.
According to Wahl (1999), consumption and commerce interface with rebellion and expression in the case of hip hop in ways such as the hip hop group N.W.A (Niggaz With Attitude) rebelling against the LAPD for example in the content of their lyrics, which is how they express this feeling. The fans liked this because it was expressing similar feelings of theirs which increased their popularity. This was also a reason why N.W.A was an underground or alternative hip hop group because of their lyrical content not being aloud to play on radio stations which veered them away from mainstream hip hop and attracted a select audience of mainly teenagers and college students. Underground and alternative music can also be paralleled in other genres such as punk and indie rock. The term “selling out” plays a big role in the dichotomy of underground and mainstream music across all genres and I will explain more about this term further on in the essay.