Rappers Glamorize Drugs

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Scott Anderson 2/18/09 Writing 160, Trupiano Do you think that rap music glamorizes drug use? Through recent research I have found an article about a study on the glamorization of drugs, University of California- Berkeley; New study finds glamorization of drugs in rap music jumped dramatically over 2 decades. Denise Herd, associate professor in the division of Community Health and Human Development at the University of California Berkeley’s School of Public Health, and a team of hers conducted this study. During the study Herd and her team looked at the lyrics to the top 341 rap songs from 1979 to 1997 – as determined by Billboard and Gavin music rating services. Researchers involved with the experiment examined the songs for mention of drugs, behavior and contexts surrounding the mention of drugs, as well as attitudes and consequences stemming from the use of drugs. Research found that of the 38 most popular rap songs from 1979-1984 only 4 songs contained drug references, that is 11 percent. The percentage of rap songs with drug references jumped drastically in the early 90’s to 45 percent, this percentage increased to 69 percent of the top 125 songs between 1994 and 1997. The study also found that the way rap artist would allude to drugs changed with the years, early songs with drug references like “White lines” by Grandmaster Flash talked about the destructiveness of crack, cocaine in its freebase form. Although, this warning about the destructiveness of a drug like cocaine faded away in the early 90’s and rap artist began to portray the use of marijuana in their rhymes. The study documented a threefold increase between 1979 and 1997 in rap songs mention of marijuana use. The study found that artist would associate marijuana use with creativity, wealth, and status. Herd references to a 1996 article in Vibe, a magazine that covers hip hop
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