I'm sure we've all either said it or heard it: Listening to rap music will make you a bad person. Don't do it! But the question is, can you prove it? Does music really have as large of an impact in our lives as some claim?
Music is a very powerful tool in society today, perhaps even a bit understated. Artists have recorded songs to raise awareness for multiple causes, and raise millions, even billions with it. For example, according to the Chicago Sun Times, "We Are The World" USA for Africa raised 44.5 billion dollars. Wooo, I can't even begin to imagine having that much money, and it all being possible because of just ONE SONG. Can you imagine how many years you would have to work to earn that much money?!? The pro-social lyrics of songs like "We Are The World" and "Hands Across America" have made great impacts in societies all over the world.
If we have pro-social, then we of course must have anti-social songs out there. In a research experiment in the Journal of Music Therapy by Harris, Clarke S., Bradley Richard and Sharon K. Titus., clients at a mental hospital were subjected to two different types of music while their actions were observed. One group listened to only "rap" and "hard rock" for 21 days straight while the other group listened to "country" and "easy listening" music. Results indicated that patients exposed to "hard rock" and "rap" music" acted far more inappropriately than the other group. The music types were then switched around in the groups, and this time they listened for 18 days straight. The new group of "rap" and "hard rock" listeners were still acting more inappropriately than the other group.
Apart from pro-social and anti-social affects, music does a lot more in our lives. We often find ourselves relieved of anxiety by listening to music, or remembering the best of times because of one song. We can also find ourselves saddened by the lyrics of some songs and empowered by others. Personally, music is a very prominent part of my everyday life. Sometimes, I really can't imagine going through the whole day without listening to music. It can take you out of this world, out of your own thoughts, out of your troubles, sadness or anything, and land you somewhere you never knew you could go. (I know, too much! Oh well)
*I wonder if all the music I listened to while writing this post impacted my choice of words at all...*