The Negative Influence Of Hip Hop

2441 Words 10 Pages
The controversy of Hip Hop’s negative influence has been a constant discussion over the decades since its inception. As both a music genre and a cultural movement, the reach of Hip is unprecedented, but this exposure has come to form a negative public image of the genre in the public conscious. Whenever an instance of gang violence, police shooting, or riot occurs, Hip Hop is quick to be blamed. But is Hip Hop misunderstood, and misrepresented by those? And does Hip Hop truly inspire its listeners to engage in the negative behavior its songs boast about?
In finding an answer to these questions, one must first understand the early history of Hip Hop, and from where it started from. The birthplace of Hip Hop can be found in The Bronx in New York,
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With the commercialization of the genre comes the image of a rich rapper with flashy objects, including big chains, expensive cars, and, of course, many beautiful women. To be misogynistic is to either hate women, or to see men as superior and women as just objects, which is a common theme in trending Hip Hop videos. Again, through psychological studies, it has been proven that, “Misogynistic music also serves as a means to desensitize individuals to sexual harassment, exploitation, abuse, and violence toward women” and “legitimizes the mistreatment and degradation of women” Exposure to misogynistic messages in rap/hip-hop music has also been shown to “increase hostile and aggressive thoughts,” which may correlate to “more permanent hostility toward women.” (Cundiff 11) The most blatant example of misogyny comes from one of Hip Hop’s most prominent and successful rappers, Eminem. Eminem’s controversial lyrics include. However, both Cundiff and Paul Williams, who, “…insists upon the artistry of the [lyrics],” (22) believe that the usage of these phrases may not be taken literally, and therefore not homophobic. Eminem himself is quoted as saying, “I’m not gay bashing. People just don’t understand where I come from. “Faggot” to me doesn’t necessarily mean gay people. “Faggot” to me just means… taking away your manhood. You’re a sissy. You’re a coward. Just like you might sit around in your living …show more content…
The flippant and frequent use of homophobic slang, such as ‘gay’, ‘gayboy’, ‘fag,’ ‘faggot,’ ‘no homo,’ ‘suck dick,’ and other phrases and derivatives form a large portion of the Hip Hop lexicon prevalent in its lyrics. Normal conversation with teenagers, especially online, frequently use these words without any shame towards their homophobic meanings. This phenomenon is explored in the article, “No Homo,” where it’s said, “…at the core of the term “no homo” is a sense of homosexual panic.” (Brown 304) Brown researches the history of the term, so as to determine whether or not the phrase ‘no homo’ is meant to put down homosexuals, or has lost that meaning in order to simply be a crude phallic reference. What is found is that those who used the term were in-fact homophobic when asked for their opinions on homosexuals. Homosexuality in Hip Hop, however, is never discussed directly. Few examples exist of homosexual rappers, but one notable example comes from Caushun the Gay Rapper, a self-described ‘homo-thug’ who raps about homosexuality in his lyrics. Caushun quickly became the subject of hype and speculation, and his lyrics and persona were analyzed in the media. However, Caushun was merely that, a persona. Jason Herndon created Caushun as a joke, and he was surprised when he got invited for a record deal. Despite never recording any actual

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