The reason for the strong negative emotions surrounding rap is a complex one. However, the negative emotions surrounding these issues are societal and from 20th century western culture and I have only just begun my analysis into culture. It’ll probably be a while before I get to analyzing the politics of modern music. In the meantime I thought I would just point out the obvious, done by many before me, about how the lyrics of rap is getting more negative publicity than is fair.
One of the reasons (I think) for the negative emotions surrounding rap has to do with the public image surrounding Gangster Rap of the 80’s and 90’s which I’m not very familiar with (I was mostly into rock and pop at the time, if I have heard any gangster rap I would have to listen to it again to remember). The lyrics in gangster rap reflect the life of inner city youth which is in an area of low economic wealth and therefore tends to be more violent than an area of greater economic wealth. However, it has been accused of being overly violent and consequently rap has developed negative public image over the years which has become almost comical
To put the violence of rap lyrics in perspective I thought I would just make a little list of songs with violent themes from a completely different music genre that haven’t received any negative publicity.
Pardon Me I've Got Someone To Kill
by Johnny Paycheck
Early one mornin' while makin' the rounds
I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down
I went right home and I went to bed I stuck that lovin' 44 beneath my head
By Johnny Cash
Lord you should've seen their frantic faces
They screamed and cried please put away that knife
I guess I'll go to hell or I'll rot here in the cell
By Wagoner Porter
But I shot a man in Reno,
Just to watch him die
By Johnny Cash
I've killed the only man I love
He would not take me for his bride
By Olivia Newton
And if I could move I'd get my gun and put her in the ground
Oh Ruby, don't take your love to town
By Kenny Rogers
She runs back down the hallway
To the bedroom door
She reaches for the pistol
Kept in the dresser drawer
Tells the lady in the mirror
He won't do this again
Cause tonight will be the last time
She'll wonder where he's been
By Garth Brooks
With that out of the way, let’s enjoy some music.
I have only owned two rap albums in my life one by Snoop Doggy Dog back in the early 90’s and the other by Dr. Dre (Chronic 2001). When I first heard the songs from Chronic 2001 on the radio I was instantly attracted to the passion in the music. Over the years, when I return to listening to music I always hunt down some songs from this album. Since I first bought the album I have a better understanding of why I like this music so much. If you listen to the lyrics you notice there is anger, love, brotherhood, loyalty, forgiveness and contains a dialogue to events in Dr. Dre’s life. That’s one of the reasons music is important in our culture as it not only sounds good but contains the life experiences of the song writers(which reflects aspects of the culture and society they come from). It’s the kind of music I like to hear so I thought I would post some of it. So here are some of my favorite songs of that album.