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 in this
essay. 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).

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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.

Bennett(Surveys, pg. 1). 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
1993). 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 world. 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 1993). 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 cause it to go away. 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 learned it from television? 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 world today. 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.