I plan on researching the effects of rap on today's youth. As Glenn Collins explains, "the influence of rap is now evident in the nation's language, music, fashion and advertising" (C15). I also plan on researching the effects of good clean lyrics that Will Smith uses, compared to the vulgar and violent lyrics of past rap artists such as Tupac Shakur and Chris Wallace a.k.a. Notorious BIG. .
I became aware of this topic because I listen to rap music. I own 20 rap CD's. I became concerned about rap lyrics bad influence when Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG were murdered in the middle of the 1990's. Will Smith is also my favorite rap artist, because he does not use profanity and violence in his lyrics. According to Smith, "Good rap does not have to be vulgar" (qtd. in "Fresh Prince" 17A). I am also interested in learning the effects of unclean rap lyrics on today's youth. .
There needs to be further investigation on this, because this important subject seems to have some how faded over the past five to ten years. According to Terry Teachout, "the actual content of rap, nobody talks about it much anymore-it seems far, far longer then seven years ago that Bill Clinton made political hay by attacking Sister Souljah-and it may well be that the sickening excesses of gangster rap have become as untrendy as Austin Power's wardrobe" (14). We need to see if rap lyrics are in fact affecting our youth and how rap artists like Will Smith, can be a good role model. "And the same people who go out and say rap is negative, they don't come and look at some of the good groups that are out there, who are doing positive things" (Williams C1).
Will Smith is nearly the only rap artist not using profanity in his rap lyrics. Is Will Smith making an impact on today's youth with his clean lyrics? The big "in" thing twenty or thirty years ago was rock & roll. How will people remember rap 50 years from now? "The music is still young, so young that most veterans haven't yet hit 40" (Kinnon 76).