March 10, 2010
Rap Music and its effects on inner city life
Rap Music was created in the early 1970s in the Bronx, New York. “DJ Kool Herc originally created this style of music” (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). It was created as a way for people living in poverty in the inner cities to be heard. People outside of the cities didn’t take it very seriously until rappers such as Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. used well-written rhymes and nice beats to catch the attention of people. People started to notice the conditions that people were living in and it was embraced and brought to the spotlight as a major problem in some areas, but looked down upon as not a problem at all in other areas. People in some areas left as if the music was causing the problems not realizing that the poverty drugs and violence was the inspiration to write the lyrics that the rappers were. But at any rate, rap music brought the inner city life to the center stage. Rap music is a way for people in the inner cities to be heard, making it a very effective way to understand the connection between this music and the conditions that people live in.
Rap music spread like wild fire for many reasons. For starters, people hated the conditions that they lived in. They hated the poverty; they hated not having any money, because with no money they struggled to do anything. They had no money so they had no food, and they had to live in terrible housing that wasn’t even adequate to say the least. They also hated the segregation that they lived in. “The people on these poverty infested areas were looked down upon by the people that were on the outside looking in” (Rose 87). The one thing that every adult in the inner cities hates is the drugs. They don’t hate them when they use them because most of the people did use them, but they hated them when the children began to use them. The majority of children began to use drugs because they had no other outlet. “Drugs infected the cities. Schools, and the streets, there was no way to escape it especially for the kids” (Shakur, 63). “Children from the ages of 12-17 were hit the hardest when the interest in drugs rose” (Baker, 75). Many parents, primarily the mother, had to raise the child by themselves because the other parent had walked out on them. Many of these parents had no outlet for their children because they struggled to meet ends meet themselves. So, these were usually the parents of the kids that were into the drugs and gang violence. These parents were usually also into drugs as a way to cope with the stress that is caused by being poor and not having a way to help your child out of the problems that they are currently experiencing.
People also liked the idea of having their voice be heard. It was instantly seen as a way out for most children. “Children quickly became interested in the idea of being able to express their feelings in a way that was accepted by their friends” (Tate). Parents of these children liked this because it was a way for their kids to get out of the drugs and the gangs and all the negative things that come with that and gave them the ability to put their mind to something creative and time consuming. Parents liked the idea of this being time consuming, that way there was no way that they could be off in gang violence and/ or drugs as well. The older people in the communities liked the idea that someone was finally standing up for them. They liked actually having a voice, having someone say the things that no one will listen to them about. They also liked the thought that maybe someone could potentially help them now. It gave them a glimpse of hope that they hadn’t previously seen in a long time or for at least as long as they had been in that situation. It is amazing that just the thought of a potential way to help them could give people in this situation hope. It just goes to show how mad the conditions that they live in...