Mass Commication and How It Affects Today's Youth

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Mass Commication and How It Affects Today's Youth

By | April 2005
Page 1 of 8
From Eminem's hardcore explicit lyrics, to Lil Kim's outrageous outfits to the late Tupac Shakur's "thug life" image, the rap subculture has been under a lot of speculation. Many rappers lyrics contain violent messages that parents fear are encouraging youth to become violent. The media has a field day covering protests against rappers, such as Eminem about their explicit lyrics towards gays, women and their promotion of violence. The main concern is how rap is influencing today, particularly towards the youth community, and the answer can be found in the media. There are a lot of articles, books, movies and documentaries written and produced each year with hip-hop being the main subject. This great plethora of media not only affects the youth but other people as well. However, one needs to understand how the rap culture got started, and why the media found it interesting enough to give it a substantial amount of coverage.

According to Webster, rap is rhythmic chanting of usually rhyming couplets to a musical accompaniment (Webster, 607). The rap subculture began in the African community residing in the Bronx during the 70's with rappers free styling—when artists rhyme without memorization or writing down lyrics—in the park, on street corners and in apartment basements (Watkins, 63). This was a harmless way of determining who the best lyricist was. At the time artists such as Arrested Development made lyrics that sent a positive message to the African community. The group's songs address topics ranging from homelessness to the search for spirituality and African Americans' connection with Africa. Through their positive influence they received "Best New Artist" and "Best Rap Artist" during the 1993 Grammy Awards (Boyd, 44). During its birth, this subculture produced many other cultures such as graffiti art, break dancing and most notably rap music. This subculture was very expressive and paved the way for latter cultures' success. In his book, Fight the Power,...

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