The effects of Hip Hop Music in Society essay

Hip hop music is fact becoming a craze in the music industry and is in fact one of the fastest growing music genre in the U. S. It was initially a thing which is associated to the Afro Americans since they were said to have been the progenitor of Hip hop music. Nevertheless, it is noted that at the present 75% of the listeners of rap or hip-hop music is not of the Afro American race (R. Reese 1998)

Contemporary rap music was more or less first introduced in the Bronx in the mid 1970s, and its commercial history could be traced back to 1979 when the Sugar Hill Gang produced the enormously successful song entitled, Rapper’s Delight. Initially, Rap music was a way that urban black youth expressed themselves in a rythmic form. Rap music, along with graffiti and break dancing was the poetry of the street (R. Reese 1998). Unlike any other subculture in American history, the hip hop culture has crossed ethnic boundaries.

The said Music genre has the greatest opportunity to build ethnic bridges and mend ethnic relations because of its diversity of audiences since it cannot be denied that significant regions of the Human ideology has been subjected to the control of Hip hop culture and has undoubtedly taken hold and permeated influence on a considerable number of individuals worldwide. This influence manifested through the way people express themselves in the manner of speaking, “dressing up”, and ideologies. Therefore it can be said that it is one of the burgeoning influences which could affect the way people interact with one another.

II. Review of related literature The construction of Hip-Hop identities based on ideology focuses not just on how rappers conform to an accepted or imposed ideology, but how they rebel against or subvert powerful social views and beliefs. The Hip Hop Genre is further subdivided into different subcategories or sub-genre, namely: Political rap, Underground rap, and Gangster rap. Political rap is a sub-genre of the larger category of rap music, which itself is a subcategory of Hip-Hop. Political rappers construct identities based on an ideology that rebels against the government.

Political rap lyrics are used to depict supposed rebellious acts against the United States Government, and often refer to its actions as having negative effects all over the world. Political rap is differentiable from other rap music in the sense that it deals with political issues and current events. Underground rap is differentiable from other rap music in that it denounces the values of popular culture. Underground rappers construct identities based on an ideology that rebels against pop culture. Underground rap lyrics are used to rebel against pop culture, and often blames the world’s materialism on this pop culture craze.

Gangster rap is differentiable from other rap music in that it makes use of images in urban life associated with violence and crime. gangster rap lyrics are used to rebel against various aspects of society, and often refer to violence or crime as a necessary effect of these aspects. In doing so, gangster rappers construct identities based on an ideology that rebels against the majority. (Hiphop Lingiuistics 2002). III. Effects of Hip hop Music IIIA. Negative Effects The genre has already acquired a reputation for bad language and bad behavior.

Society is now currently besieged by a lot of radical views about what is acceptable and what is not. The sublime message contained in a “regular hiphop music” is very dangerous because it preaches malcontent against the norms society has established, promotes “gangster ideas”, and sexual stuff. This may be one of the reasons why the crime rate is on the rise. There is no questioning hip hop attitude’s negative affect on culture as a whole, in 1930 black couples were just as likely to stay married as white couples and northern black students scored higher on standardized tests than southern whites.

Today those statistics are just the opposite with over 70% of all black children born into single parent families and as Bill Cosby pointed out 50% high school dropout rates nation wide. Yet the negative trends continue with no end in sight, with Vick’s case being the latest example. A 2006 research study conducted st the University of Liecester in the UK attempted to link the affects of certain musical cultures with negative lifestyle. While the study did find drug and alcohol abuse in all musical cultures across the spectrum, the results related to hip hop were truly telling.

Critics say that hip hop promotes rebellion and a “pro-pimp” message of prostitution. It is undeniable that many hip hop artists do exploit women of color and many song lyrics objectify and disrespect women, negatively influencing young women. Statistics show that followers of hip hop and dance music were more likely to have had multiple sex partners over the last five years and were among the biggest drug-takers surveyed. “It comes out in the study that, in these types of music, fans score worse in various behaviours, such as criminality, sexual promiscuity and drug use,” said Dr Adrian North, who led the research.

“It was shown that this had nothing to do with their ethnic backgrounds,” he added. “The behaviour was linked purely to musical taste in its own right. ” (Vick Woes, Highlight Hip hop effects on culture). IIIB. Positive Effects The potential of the Hip hop music genre to mend ethnic relations is substantial. It was noted that in the 1950s and 1960s the “Beat Culture” challenged the status quo in ways that unified liberals and prompted change. Hip hop is more just than a music form; it’s also a state of being, a form of expression, spoken words, a lifestyle, a mind set.

It is also a way to express oneself by way of dress, language, culture, writing, personality, and attitude. In the same vein, the hip hop culture has challenged the system in ways that have unified individuals (particularly youth) across a rich ethnic spectrum. Another positive side effect of the hip hop culture is that it encourages corporations to recruit a diverse group of individuals. Hence, recruiting minorities who have the pulse of this culture becomes an imperative. The African American market alone has $325 billion in buying power.

A myriad of organizations that appeal to the hip hop culture have diversified for competitive advantage (R. Reese, 1998). IV. Conclusion It is a known fact that people nowadays have a different outlook as to what is socially acceptable or not. Rap music revolutionizes the way an individual acts by encouraging them to show the world what they think of the norms our society has established. The effect of this “social revolution” has changed a lot of views concerning the way people should act in varying circumstances.

This may be either for the good or for the bad, it all depends on the way the Listener conceptualizes it. Free expression has a price… Anarchy and social malcontent may be the price society has to pay if the messages being imparted is misinterpreted. However it may also be that the said culture may bring about the unity of all races in the sense that they would all believe in a similar ideology or creed. The Hip hop genre as a whole can be used to promote messages of love, peace, anti-racism, and human uplift, This can have an enormous impact on ethnic relations in our society.

The Hip hop music genre should be seen as a positive option to bring out ethnic cultures and as an influential legacy to open up the liberal mind. Hip hop is all about expression, the way people perceive and interpret things taking place in their surroundings. This is in effect one of the mirrors of society which one should take the time to explore so that the people would be able to heal the wounds inflicted to their society.


Vick Woes Highlight Hip Hop’s Effect On Culture (2007) Retrieved September 1, 2007. http://www. nowpublic. com/vick_woes_highlight_hip_hops_effect_culture Hip-Hop’s Ideologies of Rebellion: Gangster, Political and Underground Rap. Retrieved September 2, 2007. http://www. hiphoplinguistics. com/articles/hiphopideologies. php Reese, R. (1998) FROM THE FRINGE: THE HIP HOP CULTURE AND ETHNIC RELATIONS. Retrieved September 2, 2007. http://www. csupomona. edu/~rrreese/HIPHOP. HTML