Hip Hop’s negative influence on adolescents


Kimberly Campista

Rap culture promotes negative mindsets and shows younger generations that certain lifestyles are desirable.

The development of music has changed drastically throughout the years, increasing profanity, drugs, violence, and much sexual slang invoking an influence on modern youth society. Throughout the time more people became exposed to this music and began to build a negative reputation. This type of music impacts today’s society negatively because of all the dangerous aspects mentioned. This generation has normalized this type of content without considering the influence it has on young teenagers. Music is a very significant part of everyone’s lives and is known as a  contributing factor to lightening your mood and and even can bring about happier moments. Some people don’t have an issue with it because it expresses emotions and life stories, however artists should be more mindful of the way they portray their music because it can lead to destructive behavior within society. When explicit music is being put out to a young audience the effect of the lyrics enhance aggressive behavior and feelings amongst its listeners.

Music has to be one of the many significant takeaways that makes everything more enjoyable. It involves emotions and adds ambiance to moments which creates core memories within people’s lives. The diversity of music that people listen to impacts one’s wellbeing. Many people grow up listening to the music in their environment or come across music whilst exploring. While listening they adapt and pick up behavior and slang from the lyrics. Many of today’s songs mention abuse, violence, drugs and disturbing language almost as they were promoting it. There are always young kids who come across this type of lyrical content and like anyone else they can be in a difficult situation in life. Everyone listens to music as a way to escape from life a little and vibe with it; some may relate to the content and have a strong connection to them. Not only can this control the way they view certain things, like drugs and violence, but it can cause them to take actions they can later regret. For example, young kids become involved with negative aspects mentioned in hip hop/ rap lyrics like underage drinking.

Senior Natalia Leon gives her opinion on this music genre and its influence.

“I think the type of music different people listen to affects the way they behave and perceive the world around them. Hip Hop involves many words, expressions and aggression and it can influence the younger generation to act the same as certain artists to make themselves appear ‘cool’ or try to fit in,” she said.

In an video interview of Jay Z with Oprah Winfrey they discuss  the meaning of the N word to them.

“I feel that we shouldn’t be using the n word, you obviously feel different, ” Winfrey said.

Jay Z said, “What we discuss is more words, people give words power; for our generation we took the power out of that word, we turned a word that was very ugly and hurtful into a term of endearment. Even when someone says it there is still intention behind it; the problem is racism,” he said, as he claims the problems needs to be addressed.

The most popular genres of music amongst young people are rap and hip hop. The elements it contributes to young teenagers can be seen with different perspectives amongst adults. Since this type of music is associated with brutality through its lyrics, its belligerent activity portrayed within songs is what makes this genre stand out in such a vulgar manner. 

The Daily Universe mentions,  “Children live what they learn and learn what they live and many of these children coming from broken homes look up to the rapper. A lot of times the rapper becomes the teacher, Thomas El said. He becomes the role model to these young people. He said he has seen rap music and videos influence his school children negatively. He said the school children are using profanity and wearing baggy pants. Girls dress like the women in the videos, who are oftentimes inappropriately dressed.”

Senior Andy Guillen has opinions about youth who listen to rap and hip hop. 

“Rap and Hip Hop discuss many stories which are told sometimes in an emphasized and violent way; this can teach the younger society to learn about certain situations that occur in the world and reflect when listening to this type of music. Even though it can expose them to bad language and explicit visions it does not mean it will turn them into a criminal or make them a part of a gang.”

Although there are two sides to hip hop, there are some positive aspects to discuss. It is true that the objects which are mentioned seem bad but like they say, you  “can’t always judge a book by its cover.” Discussing such things like drugs, money, and violence can be an eye opener to the many who listen to certain music, however unfortunately since this type of music is exposed to many young kids in our society it mostly brings issues and controversy. It can be educational to those who want to understand the struggling lifestyle. Not only that but others can seem to feel a connection within the music and it might help them get through difficult moments. It’s mostly about the message in the song that makes positive influences in society and brings the community to understand the genre.

As more music is created, it will continue to influence the generations and modify identities because of its exposure to a “thug”  lifestyle. The way teens interpret this demeaning context will always be different for everyone, while some teenagers try and attempt certain things being shown in the latest trends and others may even guide close friends to try new and appealing actions. Despite some music having no actual message, the harshness of this music will always be engaging amongst a young audience.