Rap music can be considered a style of art, and a way for the artists to express
feelings through their words on paper. However, there are quite a few rap artists that get
criticized for their lyrics. In my essay, I want to discuss why rappers use certain lyrics in
their music and why people shouldnt believe that it causes violence among the younger
generations. People shouldnt censor the music just because of violent, vulgar and
abusive messages it promotes to the world. I believe in my own mind, that there is a
reason for these types of lyrics that rap artists use and I will simply explain those reasons
Rap has been called one of the most important music forces to emerge in two
decades. Its pounding beats and staccato rhymes exploded on the streets of the urban
America in the early 1980s and since have become the theme music and lyrical heart of
the vibrant youth culture called hip-hop ( SIRS 1993).
There are many different types of rap artist. There are some that talk about
money, some talk about righteousness, and the list goes on and on. Every rap artist had
their own way of expressing themselves. There are those that talk about sex, drugs, and
violence who receive the negative attention( SIRS 1993). People, think this so- called
gangster rap is a bad influence on children in the world and that it promotes violence and
that it also is abusive to women. Delores Tucker, head of national congress of black
women has been among those pressuring different record companies to stop distributing
gangster rap music. There were other significant names that participated in this action.
Names like Senate Majority leader Bob dole, and former education Secretary William J.
There are some rap artists that have been openly criticized for their lyrics.
Rappers like Lil Kim, Too Short, Snoop Doggy Dogg, and a member from Too Live
Crew, named Luke Skywalker. These rap artists in the past have been appointed for the
things they say in their music. Lil Kim talks about sex in her music, Too Short talks about
drugs, sex, and how much of a pimp he is, and Luke Skywalker talks about girls and sex.
The lyrics that these rap artist use in their music might not be suitable for everybody to
listen to but I dont think their music should be banned or criticized because you dont
have to listen to it if you dont choose to.
Rap music, how much influence does it really have on its youthful listeners?
Many, from record company executives to high school students agree that it plays a
critical role in the lives of many tans, affecting the way they dance, dress and speak(SIRS
Personally, I feel that rap music is a form of art. I think it takes a great deal of
talent to write lyrics that rap artists write, because you have to use metaphors and similes,
and at the same time get your point across so the listeners can understand. I give rappers
a great deal of credit because I know it took them a long time to get where their at today,
and I know it takes a tremendous amount of time to write a song.
Its also true and I strongly agree with that rap artists use lyrics that reflect on
their childhood and the way they grew up. That could be the reason why gangster rappers
and rappers talk about sex, drugs, and violence in their music because that was what they
were exposed to through out their life. Rap artists generally write about what they know
because it is easier to write about things and situations that you know, and if sex, drugs
and violence is what you know about, then you are going to write about situations that
involve those subjects. Not just write about them in hopes to cause more violence in our
Young rap fans caution it is wrong and simplistic to believe music can dictate
their actions. Upbringing and circumstance steer a childs behavior, they say, not a record
on a turntable or a performer posturing on stage(Newsweek, 1998).
There are other reasons why gangster rappers should not be criticized for their
lyrics. One reason is that I would rather hear gangster rappers talk about violence on the
streets than them actually going out on the streets and participate in the violence. Another
reason why rappers shouldnt be criticized is because the world was violent long before
rap was invented, and it is not rap music that is making the world more violent then it is
already. I strongly believe that people have the freedom of choice to listen to rap music
and if you dont like what rap artists talk about, then you do not have to listen to the
music. If people didnt have a choice that would be one thing, but as long as people have
a choice to do or not to do something then they shouldnt try to criticize it. To me, rap
music is more than a strain. It is the reflection of horrible suffering, struggle and pain of
the ghetto life. I feel that art reflects life, so I ask myself why arent the National Black
leaders like Delores Tucker, more concerned about where the source of rap music exists
than the work denuding these types of harsh conditions(SIRS 1993).
I think that kids know the difference between right and wrong, music and
reality. They know its not right to go kill somebody and if there driven to that, thats not
the fault of the music, says Jon Shecter, editor of The Source, a rap magazine(SIRS
If the people throughout the world that criticize gangster rap music would begin
to really care then they would try to find and fix the conditions that this art of music
comes from and stop criticizing the artist. In other words, the abusive language and rise
of violence found in most gangster rap songs are the reality of our present day society.
Americans should be mature enough to realize that not talking about something wont
People talk about the violence of gangster rap music, but look at the violence we
see on television everyday, on almost every channel you turn to. Violence is everywhere,
you might see or hear something violent every day of your life, whether it is on
television, radio or in real life. Violence has been existing for hundreds and hundreds of
years, gangster rap music hasnt remotely made violence more intense or worse than it
already is( Surveys, pg. 1).So is it then fair to pin point rap music and blame its lyrics on
the violence happening around the world? Teen-agers, both black and Latino, say it is the
driving beat that attracts them and many other young people to rap. That, and the musics
honesty(SIRS 1993). Its not the guns and drugs that make them like the music. The
rappers arent saying to solve a problem you must kill, they are just stating what they
know. In which, ever since they were young, that violence around them always ends in a
shooting or stabbing, so is it right to blame them for singing about it when really they
Sex in rap music shouldnt be criticized either because look at all the
pornography that is in the world today. There are magazines that are being sold nearly
everywhere. They have triple X rated movies that could be purchase and you could rent
these kind of movies at your nearest video store(Showbiz, pg. 1). So, lyrics that talk
about sex cant hardly be no worse than the movies and magazines being sold all over the
When rappers talk about drugs in their songs, they could be talking about how
drugs were used in their neighborhoods growing up, and maybe they had to sell drugs for
a while to put food on their table( Newsweek 1998). I feel, people get confused about
what the rap artist is trying to say to people. They are missing the whole point. Just
because rap artists talk about drugs in their songs doesnt mean they are actually selling
the drugs or using the drugs. These rap artists are making thousands of dollars just by
making records, why would they go out and sell drugs? That doesnt make any sense.
There are plenty of artists that are positive, and speak positive aspects in their
music about life, like A Tribe Called Quest, the Roots, De La Soul, and many others. So
for those that think that rap music has a negative effect on children, and people in the
world, there are a lot of rappers that speak unity, and things that are positive about
life(Showbiz, pg2). If a person could listen to some of these positive rap artists, they
could learn about life. There have been plenty of times where I was in a terrible mood or
I was upset about something, and I popped in a CD of a rapper, and after I was finished
listening to the CD I felt much better. The words and phrases used, are words of actual
life events and the positive things or outcomes of them.
In conclusion, I speak in favor of gangster rap, and I dont think people should
criticize these rap artists because they are speaking the truth. Situations theyve been in
are shown through their lyrics and we need to try to find the source of the problem
instead of criticizing the person speaking about the problem. Drugs, Sex, and Violence
are what gangster rappers are considered to be glorifying, but drugs, sex, and violence
was in effect long before rap music was even thought of and so we shouldnt use the type
of music against the type of behavior caused by teens around the world.