The Influence of Rap Music on Society
Music has been an object of wonder, amazement, and even fear since the beginning of its existence. It has been used as a tool to shape culture and society throughout history and continues to do so with no signs of waning. New musical genres are formed seemingly daily as the industry grows in popularity, commercial activity, and number of artists. The appeal of rhythmic beats and noises to the human mind has fueled the evolution of music from sticks hitting rocks to complex electronic compilations. And not only do people influence the development of music, but music influences the development of society. Ceremonial music was and still is a focal point of Indian culture. Teenagers flock to concerts to hear the newest and the most famous tunes. What do these mere two examples of musical events have in common? Music and it's entrepreneurs affecting the lives and actions of society. Is this a good thing? Most would say yes. Can it be manipulated to carry a destructive outcome? Many, thinking of such variations as rap, would say yes. Does rap steer the young and easily impressionable to violent tendencies? This is a matter of current controversy that worries numerous parents, authorities, and even youths.
Is rap a violence-inducing demon, persuading inner-city teenagers to hurt, kill and steal in the name of one's race or social class or is it a preaching promoting such ideals as honor, respect and unity? With the growing popularity of rap music through such means as music television, so too has its influence on society and the concern of skeptics grown. It has become evident that rap, once viewed as a passing fad, has laid impenetrable roots in society, both Black and White. Nearly three-quarters of rap music is sold not to Black, but White teens. What values, if any, are the worlds teenagers deriving from this music?
Jeremy Leland stated in 1993, "the real problems are ou