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There is More to Rap Music Than Just Violent Lyrics Essay

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There is More to Rap Music Than Just Violent Lyrics

ABSTRACT:
The purpose of this study is to show that there is more to rap and hip hop lyrics than what most people take them for. It cannot be disputed that violence is a major theme in this genre of music, but the lyrics of artists who have been able to stay in the game for a long time show that overtime the subject of their song matter varies with their experiences and success. Two artists who are very well respected in the rap industry and who have been around for awhile, Nas and Jay-Z both show a wide variety of topics in their music and that with success their music went from violent tales to songs that are more fun, more positive and more concerned with material things. Using a content analysis this study shows that rap lyrics have a latent function and that the rapper is taking on the role of sociologist reporting what he sees in the culture that this music is very much a part of.

INTRODUCTION:
Despite the very rapid growth in popularity of rap music, hip-hop basically belongs to urban areas and is dominated by blacks in the middle and lower classes. Besides that, the artists themselves are from the very same areas and share the same stories as those who listen to it. Jay-Z who reminds everyone in all his songs that he came from the Marcy project's in Brooklyn and Nas who came from the slums of Queensbridge, are now two of the most prominent rappers in the industry. They have both received the most acclaim for their debut albums, Unreasonable Doubt and Illmatic, respectively. Each of their first albums is filled with the stereotypical lyrics of a rap album, violence, illusions of grandeur and murder. These are the same stereotypes that are made about the subcult...


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... Reasonable Doubt Roc A Fella Records
Jay-Z, 1994, "22 Two's" Reasonable Doubt Roc A Fella Records
Jay-Z, 1994, "Friend or Foe" Reasonable Doubt Roc A Fella Records
Jay-Z, 1994 "Regrets" Reasonable Doubt Roc A Fella Records
Nas, 1999 " Hate Me Now" I am Sony Music Entertainment
Nas, 1999 "Favor for a Favor" I am Sony Music Entertainment
Nas, 1999 " I want to talk to You" I am Sony Music Entertainment
Nas, 1999 "Dr. knockboot" I am Sony Music Entertainment
Nas, 1999 "We Will Survive" I am Sony Music Entertainment
Jay-Z , 2000, "Anything" In My Lifetime Vol. 3 Roc A Fella Records
Jay-Z, 2000 " Big Pimpin'" In My Lifetime Vol. 3 Roc A Fella Records
Jay-Z 1999 "Sunshine" In My Lifetime Vol. 2 Roc A Fella Records
Jay-Z, 1999 "What Girls Want" In My Lifetime Vol. 2 Roc A Fella Records
Jay-Z, 1999 "Money Ain't a Thing" In My Lifetime Vol. 2 Roc A Fella Records


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