“This trajectory in rap music raises a number of red flags,” said Herd, University of California’s Denise Herd. “Rap music is especially appealing to young people, many of whom look up to rappers as role models. As a public health researcher, and as a parent of a 7-year-old, I’m concerned about the impact that long-term exposure to this music has on its listeners.
Herd said that after rap albums celebrating marijuana use started going platinum in the early 1990s, drug references became increasingly common in rap music, as if they were a key ingredient to success.
“There is a common perception that drugs and rap music are inextricably linked, but that wasn’t always the case,” said Herd. “The fact that rap music didn’t always have those drug references is compelling because it shows that this music didn’t depend on that as an art form. The direction of the music seemed to change with the music’s growing commercial success.”
Whenever I see music studies like this anymore, it always seems like they are taking a critical look at the influence of rap music – and all it makes me think about is Reefer Madness and the anti-rave hysteria of the 90’s.
What do you think? Is rap the downfall of civilization as we know it or is this just crap science?