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How Hip Hop Negatively Affects Society

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Essay title: How Hip Hop Negatively Affects Society

“Hip-hop and Videos: Negatively Affecting Society and Youth Through Music”

.Emerging in the 1970s in the South Bronx of New York, hip hop took America by storm, becoming one of the fastest growing genres. Hip hop is not only rapping, but an entire lifestyle that consistently incorporates diverse elements of ethnicity, technology, art, and urban life. However progressing into the 21st century, hip hop has took a tremendous turnaround and instead of providing a forum where hip hop once allowed for individuals to express their creativity and struggles through everyday life hip hop has become a negative target. Not only in videos, but hip hop lyrics as well; this has had a negative effect on society and youth because these individuals begin to portray what they hear and see thus seemingly making hip hop the background for the behavior. One such example of music negatively affecting society and youth would be Nelly’s popular video “Tip drill”, which has scantly clad women, profane language, and explicit acts. This was perhaps one of his highest money making videos of all time. It was so explicit that the video was only aired on BET’s late night show, “Uncut”. The “Tip drill” video, for some happens to be a form of expression. On the other hand, others think it is a disgrace. However, to say that the video has no effect on society and youth would certainly be an understatement. Often times, what society sees on television becomes their reality; when society see videos that condone illegal or high-risk activities such as violence, sexual references, and drugs they begin to imitate these images because they believe these are the right things. Thus, it can easily be stated that hip and videos are leaving a negative effect on society and youth through its explicit content, women as sexual objects, and the degrading language.

When society and youth hear or think about explicit content one probably thinks about something they shouldn’t hear or see, but it simply means when something is fully and clearly expressed. In today’s lyrics and hip hop videos the artist clearly and fully express themselves, often times leaving behind negative images on society. Explicit content ranges from sexual images, verbal abuse, to drug use, and violence. The above stated is very popular in today’s music world. Influential leader and reverend Al Sharpton state “We must encourage the proper use of hip hop culture…” (Jet 2004). However, violence and the above stated is quite prevalent in hip hop videos and lyrics. Often time’s, males because they seem to be the most influenced by music, their masculinity is defined by a rapper holding/carrying a gun in a video. In lyrics artist rap about how they shoot people in the head, but they don’t rap about the consequences that their young listeners will have to face if they decide to make the same decisions the artist made. “The perception motivates people to protect themselves, by carrying weapons, and to use those weapons to get to others ‘before they get me’”(Reese). It was found in a study that the influence of hip hop videos was the background for black males being the aggressors in twenty-five percent, while forty-one percent were the victims of some form of violence. When youth are exposed to these explicit acts they become a product of their environment, and at a young age or easily influenced by these negative images. Therefore, society and the youth will be influenced to commit violent acts because they have been brainwashed by lyrics and videos that its ok to take someone else’s life. Also the usage of illegal drugs and references to illegal drugs becomes explicit when the youth begin to experiment with drugs or some for instance even become drug dealers or runners because music lyrics tells society they will get “dough”, which is a street term for money or they will earn power and respect. They will go out and try and become drug dealers, are perhaps experiment with the drug themselves because it is what they see and hear. Explicit content and its images influence males way more than females; males thus have a higher tolerance for violence in today’s society then young females, whole both are exposed to explicit content in lyrics and videos that some chose to portray as a lifestyle. Then there is the verbal usage in lyrics and songs that become an issue when artist uses profanity or words out of context. For example, the usage of bitches and whores, which will later be discussed further tend to lower the self-esteem of women because this is what they perhaps come to believe about themselves. “What These Bitches Want”, song title from one of DMX’s album’s uses the word bitch as if it were a common name. In actuality he is referring to females. These song lyrics are very critical to society and especially the youth because it gives them the idea that it is okay to

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