Rap In The Dock

Get real about the fantasy world of rap, says Hanna Gelana.

Abraham Lincoln once said “Who writes the Nation’s songs, shapes the Nation’s souls”.

But are today’s young souls being misshapen by songs infused with sex and violence which are constantly sold to them?

The worrying factor here is that young people are the most susceptible to these influences.

Rap music in particular has become more concerned about selling the artist as a whole brand, through their clothes, attitude and ‘criminal’ lifestyle. In the aspirational world we live in, young people not only admire their favourite artists, they also want to look, dress, live and think like them too. And what if that includes an aggressive way of thinking and living what seems to be a life of crime?

Many people recognise the stylistic influence rap music may have on young people – but disagree with the idea that it drags its listeners down towards real crime.

Dean Johnson, 21, a student at the University of East London, said: “Yes, rap music does make you aspire to have more just like the people you see in the videos, but I do not believe it makes people go out and rob, kill or commit crimes, thinking they will attain that lifestyle overnight.”

Sarah, 23, another UEL student, added: “There have been many positive rap artists that made songs of positivity, for example Tupac Shakur.”

Music is not the same as real life. What exists in a realm of fantasy does not create the real world we live in – whether for good or bad.

Someone else will have to take the rap for that.