The Effect of Rap and Hip-Hop Music On Youths

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My topic is: The Effect of Rap & Hip-Hop Music on Youths. Rap and hip-hop is a unique type of music which has existed over the year. In 1980s, the genre came forth of other kinds of music, and has always been associated with the voicing of social, political, and cultural struggles of the society, particularly the black community. I chose this topic because there has been rising controversial arguments regarding the effects of rap and hip-hop music on the youth as many scholars associate the genre with negative effects. I feel this is important since it is estimated that 58% and 23% of black youth and white youth respectively listen to this genre of music. The study will, therefore, highlight the impacts of the music genre among youths.

Research Questions

My primary research question is: What are the impact of rap and hip-hop music on the youth?

To address the main question, the specific questions include:

How does rap and hip-hop music represent culture?

What are the positive effects of rap and hip-hop music on youths?

What are the negative effects of rap and hip-hop music on youths?

What measures can be put in place to limit the positive negative effects associated with rap and hip-hop music?


Rap and Hip-hop music has significant cultural influence on youths. For the past few decades, rap music has gained popularity among the mainstream of the United States, particularly youths who majorly consume this type of genre. The music lyrics describe the living standards of people including racial stereotyping and poverty among the minority groups in the U.S with the aim of promoting equality (Hakvoort, 2015). This encourages the nation to talk freely about opinions on social and political issues that greatly impact development. Rap music also creates unity due to the fact that listeners come from different countries across the world (Travis, 2012). The listeners attempt to copy the lifestyle of rap artists, particularly their dressing styles which include baggy pants and t-shirts, caps, and sneakers giving them a sense of identity.

Unfortunately, rap and hip-hop music have been associated with violence and increased drug use among the youth. Brown (2006) stated that rap music triggers violence among the youth who had undergone abuse at a tender age which is evident in the violent lyrics and videos of different rap music. In today's society 'gangster rap' is viewed as a type of music that is corrupting the society, introducing drugs in their music videos and using abusive lyrics and violent images that provoke violence in the long run (Hudson, 2011). Hip-hop music videos are also showing images of guns, gangs, violence, drugs, and a lot of sexism which is impacting the youth negatively. In a study conducted by the University of Pittsburg, every individual gets over 251 references of drug use each day while listening to rap music (Acharya, 2015). Many students in colleges who listen to this genre are more likely to use drugs. As such, the music may affect the health of youths.

Research Methods

The methodology adopted for the study will include qualitative approach in which in-depth qualitative interviews will be conducted among youth listeners and hip-hop and rap artists. The research will involve a sample of 10 participants; 2 of which will be rappers and 8 will include youths who have been listening to rap music. The data will be analyzed through a thematic and content analysis in comparison with the literature review.


Acharya, M. (2015). How are Hip Hop and Rap Music Affecting the Youth? Retrieved from

Brown, V. (2006). Guiding the influence of hip-hop music on middle-school students' feelings, thinking, and behaving. Negro Educational Review, 57(1/2), 49.

Hakvoort, L. (2015). Rap Music Therapy in Forensic Psychiatry: Emphasis on the Musical Approach to Rap: Table 1. Music Therapy Perspectives, 33(2), 184-192.

Hudson, P. (2011). The Impact of Rap and Hip Hop Music on American Youth. Retrieved from

Travis, R. (2012). Rap Music and the Empowerment of Today’s Youth: Evidence in Everyday Music Listening, Music Therapy, and Commercial Rap Music. Child And Adolescent Social Work Journal, 30(2), 139-167.

October 05, 2023


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