Does Hip-Hop influence the actions of teens?

Estefania Unzueta and Andrea Paolone

Ever since the late 20th century the question, “Does hip-hop influence negative actions from teens” has been an ongoing controversy. Some of the explicit content in the lyrics have led people to believe rap is inappropriate for teens to be exposed. Several of hip-hop artists use lyrics pertaining violence, drug and alcohol use, detailed gang and sexual related activities. Although these are just songs, there is speculation of whether or not it has an effect on the actions of the youth. It is said that these lyrics are partially the reason that for some teens acting too rebellious and misbehaving.

Hip-hop and rap originated in 1970s The Bronx and started out as just new music in the burrows of the young partying life. It was created with the intention to entertain and to express the artist’s passion for music through their original beats and verses. Since then, hip hop has grown immensely in the music industry. It has taken over the world, and been implanted into the daily lives of the youth. Sophomore Yasmine Garcia states, “I mean it’s impossible not for teenagers to hear rap music, I listen to it all the time and I don’t go off doing those things they rap about. It doesn’t describe me, its just music I listen to.”

Despite those who believe all rap music talks about drugs, sex and money, there are songs that influence positive thoughts and actions, such as “Same Love” by Macklemore, “Not Afraid” and “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. Eminem has been one of the top artists on the hip hop spectrum since the late 1990s, and has always embedded good messages inside his lyrics.

While these songs are provoking good actions, it is not enough to eclipse the negative messages of other popular songs. Artists such as Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Chief Keef only rap about explicit sexual activities, smoking marijuana and other drugs, and crime related actions. Junior Gianna Sandoval explains the impact these artist have on today’s youth, “Rap music does influence teenager and their actions, because the often do the things that the rappers say in their music. This is shown when people dress and talk the same as their rap idols,” she says.

Over 47 percent of Americans listen to the hip hop genre, showing that this type of music is deeply rooted into today’s society. Regardless of how a certain music genre impacts a person, each individual is responsible for their own actions. People live their own lives, so it is vital to create their own separate mindset and wise decisions for their lives.