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Friday, 25 March 2016

Hip Hop Music and the Youth Connection

Since hip hop music is such a youthful form of music, there has always been speculation about how it affects the youth of our country. So many people write so many things and talk so much about the hip hop culture. Often, it is the negative that is highlighted; the "ill-effects" are mentioned. But it all isn't as bad as it looks. I am very impressed with motivational rapper Marcus Parker's words when he explained that rap music is about everything that happens out in the streets. It portrays the life outside one's comfort zone.

The streets are no heavens. It is the hard life; the rough life and many a times the life we are not accustomed with. Most of the artists who rise to fame come from such modest backgrounds. Many of the artists face prison-time and indulge in abuses because they aren't from the well-kept, well-educated and 'fortunate' backgrounds like all those of reading this article. Yes, it is a fact that most of the rappers still live the hard life. In fact, we can understand this from the very origin of this genre; it stemmed from ghetto and gang communities of youngsters in the troubled streets of Africa, in the 1980s. Rap lyrics have content derived from people who face these circumstances and the things that are important to them. These themes may, hence, seem inappropriate to the sophisticated mind. But when you analyze this music from the writer's point of view and the listener's perception you will understand the 'connection'.

The connection between a rapper and his fan is not just the instrumental and the rhythm; but also the experience and feeling. It is the emotion that creates the strong bond and the fan-following. When a rapper raps about sexuality, it is perhaps something that the youngster can understand. Certainly the explicit content isn't the best flavor but we must wake up to the fact that physicality is an integral part of our social being. Beside, trying to apprehend what your son or daughter appreciates will help you connect with them better. There are also songs that I like although they may not represent me as a person. I like hip hop rap songs for their beats; I may not agree with the lyric but I can certainly enjoy the music.

Further exploring the genre will introduce you to various forms of music that the industry offers. There is Jazz-rap and Conscious Hip Hop music and many other forms which will uplift the spirit and inspire far beyond. Even Underground hip-hop is finding a greater audience with platforms offered by the World Wide Web today. So, why should we be intimidated or apprehensive? Music does inspire, and when it does not; it merely entertains. Negative does not influence as strongly as the positive.

As adults, it is important to be aware of what our children are going through as well as give them the space to explore their worlds. We have all passed through that phase and grown to be who we are. In the end, a healthy upbringing will always overpower any superficial influence. Let the music play because it is only music and not an instruction for life!


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