Influences of Hip Hop on Today’s Generation: Rising Deviance

Topics: Hip hop music / Pages: 11 (2646 words) / Published: May 19th, 2011
Audrey Vertovec
May 15, 2010
Cultural Analysis Essay

Influences of Hip Hop on Today’s Generation: Rising Deviance

Hip-hop is a popular form of music in today’s mainstream culture. In its first realm it appeared in forms of jazz as a verse style capturing the absence of melody, but has since evolved into a form of capitalizing egoism through criminal references. Therefore, deviance within youth in society is rising thanks to hip-hop music and the trends it provokes. Throughout Rap’s history, artists have depicted a lifestyle of drugs and violence along with instances of drug use, aggression and sexism, which is being passed onto listeners, who are mainly young people. These young people view successful artists as major influences, and look to them as heroes. But should this generation really be looking up to artists who speak so highly of violence, misogyny, and drug use? Charis E. Kubrin of George Washington University even goes as far as to say “Instead of music lyrics reflecting pre-existing identities, in this view, they help to organize and construct identity” (Kubrin 370). So many people are listening to music that inevitably influences a person’s psychological process.
The song “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G, a father of hip-hop, specifically references the behaviors which may influence today’s youth to perform in accordance to the rappers’ actions mentioned in their lyrics. For example, the song states: “I was a terror since the public school era, bathroom passes, cuttin’ classes, squeezing asses, smoking blunts was a daily routine, since thirteen, a chubby ni*** on the scene”. (Dr. M, how should I cite songs?) In this verse, Notorious B.I.G. describes skipping his classes in high school by means of obtaining a legitimate pass of absence, in which he takes that opportunity to indulge in reckless things such as smoking marijuana at a very adolescent age and pursuing women. This example of classic rap reflects the trendy music that youths of our

Cited: 1. Kubrin, Charis. "Gangstas, Thugs, and Hustlas: Identity and the Code of the Street in Rap Music." George Washington University 360-78. Web. 16 May 2010. 2. Tatum, Becky. "The Link Between Rap Music and Youth Crime and Violence: A Review of the Literature and Issues for Future Research." Justice Professional 11. (1999): 339-53. Web. 16 May 2010. 3. Herd, Denise. "Glamorization of Drugs in Rap Music Has Increased Dramatically." N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2010. 4. "SADD Statistics." SADD: Students Against Destructive Decisions. SADD, n.d. Web. 16 May 2010. 5. Selfhout, Maarten. "Heavy Metal and Hip-Hop Style Preferences and Externalizing Problem Behavior: A Two-Wave Longitudinal Study." Youth and Society 39.4 (2008): 435-50. Web. 17 May 2010. 6.

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