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Does Hip-Hop Cause a Bad Culture?

25 January 2023

This is something that many parents of children who are into Hip-Hop seem to be worried about. The lyrics to some of the songs may cause them some concern and perhaps feel too mature in their themes for them to be comfortable with their kids listening to it. 

Although there are some Hip-Hop and Rap artists who glamourise what are often violent acts, there is a protest in a lot of their lyrics about the structural inequalities in society that drive some people to a life of crime. 

While some people have pretty strong opinions about it, Hip-Hop is just a genre of music, it can’t make anyone become violent, in the same way that watching a popular show about a bank heist wont see you donning a red jumpsuit and a Dali mask and robbing a bank any time soon. 

Hip-hop has oftentimes been a positive force in society, helping to break down barriers and giving voice to traditionally underrepresented groups. It has been a way for people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to express the reality of their lives and the difficulties that they face. 

Other parts of society may be able to have their stories published in newspapers and magazines but Hip-Hop and the internet has democratised this and allows anyone who has sufficient ability to share their struggle with the masses and find empathy and understanding for what they are going through. 

The music and culture have been credited with promoting social awareness and activism, fostering a sense of community and pride, and providing an outlet for creative expression among young people who have been traditionally marginalised. Hip-Hop is bringing people together in common cause and turning the spotlight on where their needs aren’t getting met. 

Hip-hop has also been praised by many for its strong emphasis on storytelling and its ability to transport listeners to other worlds through its vivid descriptions of life in inner city environments. Vivid depictions of inner city life have really caught and fired the imaginations of people all over the world in a way that many genres of music have never quite managed to. 

There is a rawness and a realness to a lot of it that is lacking in many other types of music which can be much more commercial and mass-produced. Many young people see their lyrical talent as a way of escaping poverty and the focus on superstardom in many of the songs is their form of escapism from the drudgery and difficulty of everyday life. It is often a fantasy life that can help them to deal with the real life problems that are in front of them.

In recent years, hip-hop has become increasingly mainstream, but it continues to retain its power to inspire and entertain people across the continents and the generations. It was once seen as solely a young person’s musical genre but many of the people who grew up listening to the likes of Eminem or NWA still appreciate their music all these years later and are still interested in it.   

Photo by cottonbro studio

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