Artist or Thug?

Artist or Thug?

Ian Profenno and Jack Sotiropoulos

Hip-hop, or as others call it, “rap,” has been in the spotlight since the early 80’s. The newest wave of hip-hop has been sending teens and young adults the wrong message. Hip-hop artists have given the genre a negative connotation. According to Forbes, hip-hop/R&B claims the top spot for music genres. Hip-hop takes up around 25.1% of all music consumption in the United States alone. Rap has a huge impact on teens today. Some teenagers use rap as an outlet in their lives. Teenagers maybe feel lonely or even as if no one understands them, but rap lyric or rappers can bring some light into their lives. Some may use this music to fit in, or to promote what they view to be cool. On social media and other platforms, these rappers are glorified and made out to be like super-humans who defy everything in society.

So, what are these rappers really promoting? These artists are explicitly rapping about sex, drugs, violence, depression, and other explicit topics. Not only are some artists promoting violence, but some are subject to the violence. It is dangerous being a hip-hop artist. Some could be killed or shot at any time of the day. Most parents wouldn’t want their kids supporting these topics and use of language. This is not to say that all rap has a terrible message, or that every rap song just uses these profane topics. Many people would ask what would possess these people to rap and sing about these insane topics, but the truth is that it’s just what these teenagers want to hear. Artists will sing about anything to gain followers or views. Ignorance is what the teenagers are drawn to. We wanted to get a closer look at teenagers and rap so we interviewed Parker Bates. Parker Bates, also known as “Halfgrown” is a local rapper who attends Ipswich High School. We interviewed him about rappers and their ethics. Parker “Halfie” Bates responded with, “The majority are good people, good business men and they need to rap about negative topics to stay relevant.” While taking that into perspective, we must understand that these rappers know the game and how to manipulate it.

How can a guardian combat these lyrics and ludacris rappers?  It all starts with parenting and making sure your child or teen knows what is right and what is wrong.

We asked our art teacher, Mrs. Elliard about the topic she responded with, “I want my kids to be able to listen to whatever music speaks to them, but it would be my responsibility to put that kind of music in context and be responsible for what they’re taking away from the music, but they should not be hidden from it.” It is very important to show these teens what is right and what just isn’t cool. Other than that, as a society we cannot do to much to change this culture. This culture continues to grow and grow without anything affecting it. When will we stop this culture madness?