Rap music is definitely not what it used to be. Originating in the 1970s, its purpose was to positively express the voices, joys and struggles of the African-American population. Those days are long gone and now rap music is better known for its explicit sexual and violent lyrics. You know, like how many women they had sex with at once or how they killed someone for breathing the same air as them, that kind of thing.
The real problem is that the listeners are not just listening anymore. They want to live what they see and hear. 50 cent raps in his song 'Many Men', "I put a hole in a n---- for f---ing with me / Better watch how you talk, when you talk about me / 'cause I'll come and take your life away."
It’s no wonder that with these kinds of artists sending out messages into the world, so many unnecessary violent acts are being committed. The sad part is that all the crap they rap about has become a reality. Things that sound so far-fetched in songs, you best believe that people are going out and doing it. Children and teenagers are the ideal target market for the industry, especially those that come from disadvantaged or poorer communities. They have the strong need to identify with role models. They need a superman that they can look up to.
Picture this: Money falling down from the sky, a pool filled with champagne, expensive clothes and jewellery. Life is just one big party. Sounds good right? Young people covet the lifestyle they see in music videos and will do anything to chase the rappers dream. Newsflash! Standing on corners and selling drugs is more likely going to get you thrown in jail than a record deal.
Many hip hop/rap artists have been involved in various crimes yet they do little to highlight the serious consequences that come with breaking the law.
With famous rappers glamorising and promoting violence, it can be understood why their young fans frequently cross the fine line between image and reality.