Essay 3 - Rap It Up - Keath 1 Sam Keath Professor Diebert...

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Keath 1 Sam Keath Professor Diebert ENGL 1101-109 20 July 2008 Rap It Up Freedom of speech gives us the right to say what we want to say; it also gives rappers the right to rap about violence, degrading of women, and illicit drug use. The main problem is that rap music serves as a poor role model for young people. The problem has become worse in recent years because of easier access to music, less restrictions, and CD-burners. The solution is to illegalize the distribution, sale, and production of all rap music. Without access to rap music, the result would be less violence, degrading of women, and illicit drug use among young people. Violence is happening everyday and everywhere in America. For instance, an article in The Walton Tribune reads, on the 4 th of July weekend, Jabar Hector was aguing with his stepfather about changing the radio station. Hector became angry with his stepfather for changing the radio station and allegedly pushes his stepfather to the ground before shooting him in the leg (Schwartz). In addition, violent incidences like this are increasing everyday in America. According to Phyllis L. Ellickson, violence among young people in America has increased a substantial 60% from 1985 to 1990 (566). Statistics also show that young people between the ages of 15 and 25 are the largest consumers of rap music in this country. The main problem with rap music is not just the lyrics but the way it teaches young people, who are less experienced, how to handle situations in a violent way. For
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Keath 2 example, if two young people were arguing, they may “take it to the streets.” Instead of talking things out, they may engage in a shoving match, fist fight, or even pull out knives on each other. Through observational learning, this is the way they have learned to handle the situation. Observational learning is a type of learning that occurs through the observation of a role model. When the role models are part of the music industry, the observers are likely to imitate the behavior of the role model. In relationship to rap music, Franklin B. Krohn and Frances L. Suazo states, “The ‘gangsta’ image may be becoming a role model to our youth, which is expressed lightly through their clothing but dangerously by carrying out what is expressed in rap songs” (146). In this case, the youth are the observers that are passively learning from the rappers who are their role models. In support of this view, Curtis R. Tucker states, “Embracing that [gansta] lifestyle may consequently encourage youngsters to emulate the rappers” (qtd. in Krohn and Suazo 147). To demonstrate the effects of observational learning, take for example, the legend of the 100 th monkey: The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over thirty years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists
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Essay 3 - Rap It Up - Keath 1 Sam Keath Professor Diebert...

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