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How is the rap industry influencing youth?

Jalynn Falk, Photo/Design Editor (Managing)

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The new generation of rap has strayed far from its ancestors. Young kids are now listening to all of the newest songs and are sure to be singing along with their favorite artists. However, many believe that the music has evolved into a mix of vulgar language and inappropriate topics. When artists use tasteless language and ill-suited ideas when trying to tell their story, what does this do to youth today?

Most rap music glorifies wealth, fame and the artist’s idea of an overall enjoyable lifestyle. Teens today are drawn to the thought of living a so-called “luxurious lifestyle.” Rap promotes ideas such as partying, drinking and many other activities that are considered to be negative activities by many. When a child is constantly listening to these topics, they could begin to have the desire to participate in these activities.

Children can be influenced to pick up new language habits and behavior based on the rap songs they have been listening to. Teens especially are seen to have an attitude that they don’t care to do work that they are given or even that they don’t care what authority figures tell them. Rappers also tend to promote their large egos, which can be passed on to listeners and viewers. This change in attitude can lead to rebellion and an overall different look on life at a younger age. Students in high school are at a place in their life where they start to make decisions that will influence life after school. If the students’ ego and negative attitude are sizable, the path they chose to take in school may not be the best path for them later on.

However, rap music may not change a child’s aspirations. In an article written by Nakia Jackson on livestrong.com, she explains that rap music is written with impassioned lyrics that allow listeners that are living in similar situations to relate to the song. This can inspire youth to begin writing their own story through songs and try to share their talent with others. Social media has many platforms that can allow children to broadcast their work. If children begin to grow rapidly, they may even become well-known online. The rap industry has already changed the lives of many for the better by encouraging kids to let others listen to their thoughts through their work.

This music has changed the youth today both positively and negatively. The rap industry has changed completely in the past couple of years, causing a new phenomenon amongst children and teens. However do the negatives associated with the music out do the positives? Rap does influence youth today no matter what situation they’re currently dealing with nor how often they tune in to their favorite artists.

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How is the rap industry influencing youth?