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Evaluating the Negative Effects of Rap Music

            Rap music and all its variations, from gangsta rap to hip-hop, are among the .
             most potent influences of young peoples' perceptions of reality and their resulting .
             behavior. Studies have shown that instead of seeing gangsta rap as a form of .
             entertainment, adolescents perceive the songs to be autobiographical (Miranda, .
             Claes, 113) or in other words, specifically addressing their unique situation and .
             challenges. As rap artists often resort to drugs, sex, or violence as the means to .
             resolve the conflicts in their songs and videos, adolescents often model this .
             behavior, seeing it as a proven path to getting what they want. This is .
             particularly troubling in young African-American girls, aged 14 - 18, who watch .
             between six or seven hours of rap music videos a day in many cases. This .
             specific demographic group is the most at-risk as they lack role models that can .
             provide them the guidance to attain personal confidence and success in their .
             lives, and instead, through rap music and videos, see sex and the ability to .
             tolerate violence from a man as a means to a better life (Wingwood, DiClemente, .
             Bernhardt, Harrington, et al, 437 - 439). What is very disturbing about rappers .
             including Kanye West are lyrics which denigrate women to sex objects, utilitarian .
             in their roles only to please him and men in general. For young women of all .
             races, this is especially troubling as many are coming to grips with their own self-.
             confidence, sexuality and identity precisely in the age groups that are this .
             rappers' most ardent fans. The denigration of women in rap is pervasive and .
             cause for concern alone yet the chain reaction of deviant behaviors is what .
             creates the most long-lasting negative effects on those that listen to rap music for .
             hours at a time or have engrained its lyrics into their lives. .
             The correlation between continued listening to rap music and the propensity to .
             engage in theft, join and participate in street gangs in the form of violence, and .

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