Hip-Hop and Violence

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Caleb Alessi

The article ''Hip-Hop Causes Violence,'' focuses on society's generalization that rap music promotes, encourages, and thus causes violence. For the most part, the author of the article defends the genre, claiming that there is limited evidence that supports the argument that listening to violent storytelling has a direct effect on everyday life, which scientifically is very hard to prove. The author states that there are many other forms of entertainment outside of hip-hop that encourage violence. But violence in film, and other genres of music aren't nearly criticized as much as in rap music. Rappers claim that hip-hop is at the mercy of unfair targeting and blame. Many who have studied the topic say this criticsm has much to do with the stereotypes of African- Americans. The author also points out that hip-hop's main target audience (the youth of poor black communities) are more at risk to violence than the typical middle-class teenager playing violent video games or watching violent movies. Another factor that plays a huge part in this argument is that most skeptics of rap music interpret it all as autobiographical. Even though many successful rappers have openly said their lyrics should not be taken so literally. Jay-Z even confessed that it is important for rappers to exaggerate the ghetto lifestyle as that is the only way for their voices to be heard.

The other article written by Jay-Z is different from the first as it tells about how success in hip-hop has lead to more violence in his life and in the lives of other successful rappers as well. It speaks on the old addage that success can quickly become a curse. His statement has of course been backed up by the honest history of hip-hop. We all know of the shootings that took the lives of two of raps biggest icons ever Biggie and Pac. And Jay-Z points out that before these guys were rhyming on center stage they weren't being shot at or hunted by cops as much as they were when they made it...
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