Effects of Gangsta Rap

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"Obviously rap music is too violent. It serves as a musical accompaniment to the entire underclass culture of violence," says the author of "See No Evil", David Klinghoffer, in an article in the National Review. This extremely narrow minded philosophy has neglected to discover what rap music really is and what it means to its millions of buyers, who are mostly of upper-class status. Rap is not only music, it is also a black cultural expression that prioritizes black voices from urban America, and it is a form of rhymed storytelling accompanied by highly rhythmic, electronically based music. Rap music is a form of art or expression like any other type of music. Rap music in itself is not violent. Rap music of today is merely a reflection of the violence that many urban dwellers deal with daily in America. The art of gangsta rap reflects life as the rapper knows it and he or she in no way invites anyone to recreate his or her lives. Condemning gangsta rap music is an empty attempt by politicians and older generation individuals who are unable and unwilling to tackle the true problems that grip urban American cities. Gangsta rap brings together a mixture of some of the most complex social, cultural, and political issues in contemporary American society. Rap bloomed in the depths of the ghetto, which is a place characterized by violence, poverty, and crime. Although rap currently reflects a diversity of opinions, lifestyles, and feelings, rap responds directly and indirectly to the trials and tribulations of life at the bottom and for the most part remains true to the ugly reality of the streets. For most young black people rap music is the only way to escape from the pain of the world in which they live. It paints an ugly picture but when they hear that the rapper has also experienced this pain it makes it much easier to deal with and it gives a sense of hope that one day they may make it too. Young listeners love rappers such as Snoop Dog or Gucci Mane. They like them because they "keep it real". The phrase "keep it real" simply means that listeners can relate whole-heartedly to what the rapper talks about in his lyrics. The rapper is not faking what he says and how he feels. The rapper has truly experienced all of the things he discusses and this makes him or her real. Most rap tales are stories of wandering around all day, unemployment, gang ties, feeling threatened by the police, and a bad home life. This is real life to an urban person. These types of realities have to be faced everyday. Even as rappers achieve a central status in commercial culture, they are far more likely to be vulnerable to censorship efforts than highly visible white rock artists. In other areas of black entertainment, such as comedy, Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, and Eddie Murphy have gotten away with a lot of raw humor that is popular among whites as well as black audiences. When rappers aspire to the same level of rawness then all of a sudden the same people are not laughing it off anymore. Society has a problem with young blacks communicating with each other and young whites. Rap is not something that everyone understands so it is scary to those who are not familiar with the art form. We all fear what we do not understand or what we cannot control. No one can control rap music except for those who create and understand it. This concept leaves many people, especially older people, feeling left out and angry and so to silence the communication that rap creates it has been labeled evil and a cause of violence. Ultimately there are different types of rap that focus on certain issues. Some rap deals with raw issues like police brutality and racial issues. In contrast, many east coast rappers, such as Nas, the late Notorious Big, and Wu-Tang Clan describe a black street life in which criminal wealth goes with paranoia, betrayal, and imminent death. According to John Leland of Newsweek, "rappers should be success stories. They are young men, usually of...
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