Cultural Influence of Hip Hop & Rap Essay

Words: 1946
Pages: 8

Influence of Hip Hop & Rap

Hip hop and rap as a musical genre is a very controversial subject for nearly everyone. Its influences are powerful, both positive and negative. There are many positive influences of hip hop, and a few examples are the breaking down of cultural barriers, the economic impact, and political awareness of pressing and urgent issues. Though there are many positive influences, there are many negative influences as well. Some of the more heated debates of the negative influences of hip hop are that it glorifies violence, and the fact that the music sexualizes women and degrades them as well. Attached to the negative outlook on hip hop, there are also many stereotypes assumed by society towards this type of culture

Hip hop over the years has united cultures that people once thought could never see eye-to-eye. Aerosmith and Run-DMC’s “Walk This Way” broke down unspoken cultural barriers between rock and rap. The positive influence that hip hop has had on the economy has been incredible. Since the boom of hip hop, there has been a 150% increase in record sales in the industry which has fueled the economy. Rap is the fastest growing genre of music in the world, and accounts for over 10% of the $12.3 billion produced in music sales. This acceptance has not only led to increased record sales but an increase in movie sales, new clothing brands, and new companies, which has helped out the economy tremendously. Another positive influence is through political awareness. Many artists use their lyrics to tell people about racial inequality, gender inequality, police abuse, voting, and education. Rapper Lupe Fiasco raps in one of his songs about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and for people to get involved, also he sings about stopping violence in schools, referencing events like Columbine or Virginia Tech. Other artists that promote positive messages are Common, and Mos Def, who are just a few of the many great role models in the hip hop industry. One of the most incredible things about hip hop is that it has been able to give youths with troubles a new identity.

Stereotypes are, and always have been deeply rooted within hip hop. The media promotes and