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Does rap music promote violence?

             As a little girl growing up in a stereotypical middle class neighborhood, I can remember being repeatedly told not to listen to rap music. I was told that listening to rap would corrupt my mind and I would become a violent person. As a child, I was curious and unsure as to why listening to this particular music, rap, is looked down upon. Against the wishes of my parents, I began to listen to the songs of rap artists such as Tupac and Snoop Dog and found that I enjoyed the rhythms and beats of most of their music. However, I was also shocked at the crude topics and use of profanity in all their songs. Would listening to these songs over and over actually cause a person to become violent?.
             One theory is with the more accepting and open society in which we now live, rap artists are deliberately singing songs about controversial issues to draw in more listeners. Rappers are "glamorizing" violence and children are unknowingly being desensitized over time about issues involving sex, violence, and drugs. The rappers are just trying to compete with the other music industries and are not caring about the possible ill effects the songs might have on the people who listen to them.
             Another possibility is that children are not mature enough to separate the real from the make believe. Music is an important factor in the developing identity of a child. Rappers are creating a violent alternate world with their musical lyrics. For example, song lyrics from rap artist Jay-Z, "Ya"ll nervous knowin" them guns on full service, ready to fire. One body, two body, three body, four- I"m above the law!" Listening to their favorite artist rap about getting angry and wanting to "shoot someone up" doesn't seem to affect some children. Not all children will be able to separate song lyrics from real life. Children are social beings just like adults and respond to the environments around them. Music can affect our moods, our attitudes, our emotions, and most importantly, our behavior.

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