Positive Effects of Rap Music

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Rap music, in spite of the controversy that often surrounds it, can have a positive influence and expand the consciousness and musical horizons of listeners.

History

  • Rap music was created in the 1970s in the Bronx. DJ Kool Herc is credited as the "godfather" of hip-hop and rap music--creating a new artistic form of expression in music.

Influence

  • Rap music's influence is everywhere: fashion, dance, art, television and especially other forms of music. Rock or metal artists often collaborate with a rap artist and develop a new sound. This allows listeners, who might not have listened to rap or rock before, to get exposure to another genre.

Misconceptions

  • Contrary to the stereotypical images often associated with rap music such as sex, drugs, violence and money, there are artists who contribute lyrically in a postive manner: Afrikabambata, Grandmaster Flash, Common, Nas and Mos-def are just a few whose lyrical content promotes pride and social-consciousness.

Function

  • Rap music provided a generation with another means of artistic expression. It can be considered as urban story-telling and allows youth to tell stories in another way, so that they may be heard. When examining rap lyrics you can hear examples of simile, metaphor and rhyme scheme--which are poetic elements taught in most English classes. Rap lyrics can be used to teach and reach students.

Fun Fact

  • In September of 2009, Jay-Z headlined a concert to benefit the families of those lost in 9/11. Rap artists, through the performances of their music, can do a lot of good.

References

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