Rap music, commonly misunderstood

Jessica Doyle, Staff Writer

Rap began to really gain popularity in the 1970s. Who does not love the 1970s? This was the time of standing up for yourself and your community. 

Not everyone is able to acknowledge the positives that sprout from rap music.

— Staff Writer Jessica Doyle

Society united through the fight for equality, environmental movements, and anti-war movements. During all this, music, arts, and culture played a big part, including the rise of the rap or hip-hop genre of music. 

Although many argue that rap music has a negative effect on its listeners, especially youth, due to common profanity and representation of violence and drugs, it is easy to misunderstand this genre. It is unfair to speak for the whole of the genre based on a handful of songs. Not everyone is able to acknowledge the positives that sprout from rap music. 

Rap music has played a big part in unifying diverse populations around the world as it began as a subculture among Black communities in America, but has grown into a global culture. Now, the genre has spread beyond the Black population as non-black communities comprise 75 percent of the global hip-hop audience. 

Rap has played a major role in promoting social and political awareness among today’s youth as it continues to educate people about social issues such as poverty, inner-city struggles, racial discrimination, individuality, the importance of education, and pursuing your dreams. It can act as an outlet for people to speak freely about their views and influences teenagers to acknowledge these issues in doing so. 

A good example of this is Tupac Shakur and the East Coast All-Stars. Shakur was commonly criticized for their lyrics despite the fact that his music brought awareness to the inner-city social problems in the country.

Rap music really allows you to just feel and connect with the lyrics and beat.

— Staff Writer Jessica Doyle

“Self Destruction” by the East Coast All-Stars was intended to encourage a positive change in society and not only create awareness surrounding inner city problems concerning violence, but it also showed that rappers were able to be socially conscious and produce positive music.

Rap music is also being used as a form of therapy in which it engages youth and helps address their issues as the global youth population is able to reflect on their experiences by connecting with rap lyrics. 

Multiple organizations aimed to help the youth by using rap as a tool to decrease violence such as the ELEMENTary Hip Hop Skool and Project Spitfire. These programs aim to influence the youth to choose the right path in life apart from violence. 

Given all these explanations, rap is not as bad a music genre as people believe it to be. It allows a connection with the teenage population and is even capable of instilling a positive influence on the younger generation. 

Rap music really allows you to just feel and connect with the lyrics and beat. Sometimes it even gets me out of my own head and allows me to destress or take my mind off things. I would recommend giving the genre a chance if you have not already.