Rap music, despite the negativity and controversy that often surrounds it, can have a positive influence on listeners and expand their consciousness and musical horizons. Hip-hop culture has long been the poster child for negativity in society for several decades.
Rap music has long had a reputation for representing violence, sexual exploitation, celebrating street warfare and gangs, consumption of drugs and alcohol, sex, and negative attitudes towards women. Another notion prevalent in society associated with rap music is the frequent, strong profanity used in the lyrics. Despite all this, hip hop has generated an enormous fan base worldwide with a broad demographic of listeners, mostly youths. This raises the question of whether the negativity commonly linked with rap music is not just one side of the coin. Some aspects of the mentioned themes are actual and contribute to the negative stereotype, but there is another hidden side to rap music that must be exposed. Although it has been seen as largely negative, hip hop has had myriad positive influences on society. The genre has been criticized in the media, associated with some of the nation’s social ills, and seen by many people as a bad influence on citizens in general. Although some aspects of rap music can be construed as unfavorable, blanketing the entire art form is unfair to the artists and the people who enjoy hip-hop music in Milwaukee.
The reality is that rap music is greatly misunderstood. The media often portrays rap music as unfavorable and focuses on it more when it is related to something undesirable. Many media stories identify rap music as a catalyst in problems such as teen pregnancy, crime, or other negative social issues that existed long before rap music became prevalent. The truth of the matter is that there is rap music that is positive and can serve the purpose of improving social consciousness by increasing awareness of some of the issues that many residents of our nation’s inner cities face. Just because rap artist speaks of less than desirable subjects in their music does not mean they intend to corrupt the audience’s minds. Rap music is entertainment and should not be treated differently than any other form of entertainment. The bottom line is that all rap music is not degenerate, and consideration should be taken when analyzing the message that the music is presenting.
UNIFICATION AND EDUCATION
Hip-hop music in Milwaukee has promoted social and political awareness among today’s youth. Rap music educates people from several different perspectives and raises many social issues. Rap is a channel for people to speak freely about their views on political or social issues, and by doing so, it engages teenagers to become concerned and aware of these issues. This is important in making the youth aware of the world around them and the conditions they face in society, enabling individuals to discuss ways in which they can make a positive change within the community. Hip hop has created awareness of a few issues: racial discrimination, individuality, and the importance of education and believing in your dreams. Hip-hop is also a reflection of the soul and mind and is a solace for artists and listeners who may be struggling with the same issues. Music brings people together, but today’s youth can relate to the struggle and difficulties that most rappers talk about. Rap music, more than any other genre, has alerted private and public citizens of the plight of the lower classes in urban areas, among other issues. Some rappers are known for their controversial lyrics can often bring attention to more significant issues.
Through education and understanding, rap music has spurred social awareness countrywide. Communicating messages about violence and discrimination and relating to youth people provides an opportunity for them to make positive changes in their own life.