Contemporary Music and the Effects It Has on Youth Essay

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Contemporary Music and the Effects It Has on Youth

In a book written on Abraham Lincoln, the author states, "Who writes the Nation’s songs shapes the nation’s souls." (1) This statement is true. A quick look back at the music of the 1960's and 70's and the effects it had on society proves the statement. The question then arises, how does contemporary music effect modern society? More importantly how does it effect the most easily influenced group, the youth?

There is no doubt that much of the popular music in 90’s culture has a negative message. The rise of rap, especially gangster rap and the continual popularity of heavy metal are major contributors to the negative message. The message in turn has a very negative effect on
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These lyrics are not only held within male music either. Many female rappers, like B.W.P., and hard rock groups, like Hole, only reiterate the sexual message that the male groups sing about. They too have objectified women as only being good for one thing, sex. Millions and millions of copies of their albums are bought by American youth. There is no doubt that kids are hearing what the artists are saying.

Another major issue that has been brought about by popular music is the issue of violence. Especially in the rap industry, violence is a major topic in lyrics. With the rise of gangster rap, violence in music has become a mainstay. One of the first gangster rap groups was NWA. They were one of the first to explore the integration of violence into the music. Their lyrics talk about killing people from other gangs, disregarding police authority and raping women. Their message is one of extreme violence. Songs such as "F*** The Police" and "Straight out of Compton" have been the subject of much controversy. "F*** the Police" was the first song ever investigated by the FBI for its lyrics that seemed to promote confronting and standing up to the police force.(3) "Straight out of Compton" was banned by MTV because they said it "glorified violence." (4) If someone a child looks up to writes lyrics that say standing up to the police and violence is a good thing then at…

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