Highlighting the power of music in young people's lives, a new study suggests that fans of rap and hip-hop are more likely to drink, use drugs and engage in violence.
I am not a huge fan of rap, but I have a huge problem with this study. Trying to link rap music to devious acts is reminiscent of the flak heavy metal took back in the day. In the late 80s the question was raised, "Do Judas Priest records persuade listeners to kill themselves?" Thankfully a sensible judge ruled "no." And in the 90s my parents were afraid Marilyn Manson would steal my soul.
Now today, the minimal act of merely listening to rap music is apparently the cause of all larger social problems: drinking, drug use and violence. Ignore factors such as socio-economic levels, education levels, family backgrounds and geography. They don't matter. Getting rid of the ear poison will alleviate the aforementioned bane.
The question that one needs to ask is whether or not a music type creates a culture, or instead, reflects it. With Chuck D. at one time saying that rap music is "black CNN" I think the latter is the more accurate. Most rap music is violent, because a majority of those who create it were unfortunately brought up in violent, inner-city cultures. Just like most country music is retarded because those who sing it are----OK, I won't go there.
All tongue-in-cheek banter aside, my point is that reducing the manifestation of immensely large, dynamic social problems to a single form of art is ridiculous. As a researcher of this study finally conceded:
[This research on rap lyrics] doesn't answer key questions about whether rap actually changes people's behavior. Resolving that puzzle is "going to be a tough one." ~DiClemente