Rap & Hip-Hop Response - Jon Marshalla
2) In the article â€œProphets of Rage: Rap Music, Politics of Black Cultural Expression,â€? Rose states that â€œConfining the discussion of politics in rap to lyrical analysis addresses only the most explicit dimension of the politics of contemporary black cultural expression.â€? (124)
â€¢ Do you agree that rap music has as strong of an influence on politics as many critics seem to believe?
â€¢ Are the lyrics of rap and hip-hop less influential than the culture associated with it?
â€¢ Should rap music strictly be associated with black culture? What about the influence it now has on white suburbia? What about rappers such as Eminem?
Rap music most definitely has a strong influence on politics. It is not a direct influence, but is caused by a cultural shift that spawns from rap music. It is also crucial to understand what kind of rap music has the ability to change politics and culture. As so vehemently stated by the panelists, it is not the mainstream "Soulja Boy" songs that speak to a culture and have a political influence. The lyrics, lifestyle and representation from these songs only serve to hurt the African American culture and make it appear almost cheesy and extremely sexual and violent to the outside observer. Musicians have the ability to influence culture, culture has the ability to influence people, and people have the ability to influence politics, so it all flows downhill. As to how musicians do this, the lyrics have a huge influence, however, even when the lyrics are incomprehensible, the culture and behavior of those musicians rubs off onto the listeners. The same influence that singers of the '60s had on teenage America is now the influence that rappers are having on African American culture in as well as politically and throughout America as a whole. Rap music is not just intended to influence African American culture. The panelist on Wednesday told a story of how a white girl in one of his classes was going to a rap concert, and a black girl in his class blew up on her and got all upset the white girl was listening to "her music" while she herself couldn't afford to go." In response to this the panelist asked her: "Would you rather she turn into a racist, despised all black music and culture, verbally abused African American culture and emulated everything that African Americans have been trying to change, or would you prefer that she embrace rap and black culture?" The answer is obvious, and shows how rap music is not and should be intended solely for black culture. True rappers are like poets, conveying their message to American culture and trying to make a difference for the better.