Bak`s essay !!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my friend Bak. He`s very smart. He deserves I put this in my space. Though he is very young, he can see the difference between art and violence.
His view makes the difference between being  hopeless or faithful.

Baktazh Azizi
Mrs. Bandy
Honors English 9
21 May 2007
You
Can’t Blame the Music

“D.A. Says Rap Inspired Killings:
They Say Ludacris Did the Trick.” 19 year old Jeremy Rodriguez from San Diego
was found guilty of killing his two cousins. The motivation? It was apparently
lyrics from a Ludacris rap song about killing people for their jewelry and
their money. “Two Young Women Are Caught Stabbing A Man to Death In Detroit,
MI. One of the Girls Admits That She Had Thought It Would Be Fun Because That
Is What the ‘Rappers’ Do.” Almost every day on the news, there is a story of a
rapper who has just been arrested for a variety of reasons, such as possession
of drugs, assault on another, or carrying a deadly weapon. With these
situations occurring, people naturally point the finger of blame for the crime
at rap itself, not the rappers in trouble. Because this is such a controversial
issue, it leaves some people with a question: Does rap have a negative effect
on the minds of young adults? Some people may answer yes, because some people
who listen to rap end up getting into fights and imitating what rappers do.
Even though those who don’t listen to rap also get in this kind of trouble, the
music that supposedly motivates them is never paid attention to. However, the
reality is that most people don’t realize that the criminals have already had
problems to start with; rap was not the main motivation. Despite the fact that
many crimes are blamed on rap, the music itself is not at fault because the
lyrics are not to be taken literally.
Although there have been few
instances where rap lyrics are actually to blame, almost all rappers will agree
when they say that their lyrics are only for entertainment; people are not
supposed to take them to heart. An example of a rapper who has actually
mentioned this is Eminem. When asked about his controversial lyrics, he
replied, “I say what I feel, not what I do. You can’t take my music literally.
I just talk about cutting my wrists, I don’t actually do it” (qtd. from Tori in
“The Effects of Violent Music On Teens, Including Suicide”). There are even
some rappers who encourage people to avoid violence and drugs such as
Lupe Fiasco, Nas, and Kanye West. The unfortunate fact is though, that these
rappers are ignored and pushed aside while the more “violent” rappers are
brought out to the spotlight. However, just because these violent rappers
exist, it does not mean that all teenagers act like “Monkey see, monkey do” when
they hear this music; they have minds of their own.

Rap is not meant to be music about
random acts of violence, sex, or discrimination, the music is really a form of
expressing feelings from rappers who speak only the truth. The main reason rap
is growing in popularity is because it deals with three important issues to
teenagers: respect from others, coping with life, and friendship. People feel
they are listening to what happens in reality when they hear rap. They feel
that rappers say what they would like to say, and they can’t. All the violence
and hurt that people have to suffer and live through every day is in rap.
Merino, from Florida International University, states that “Rap is a form of
expression. Like poetry, to fully understand rap music, you have to ‘read
between the lines.’ Through rap music, rap artists are able to express their
thoughts and feelings about life.” This music does not actually cause crimes,
it only translates reality. One of the most famous rappers of all time, Tupac
Shakur, defended his own music by saying, “I ain’t trying to gash up…I call ‘em
on how I see ‘em”(qtd. from Tupac Shakur). This shows that rappers aren’t
always trying to speak of fantasies, they show reality too. A famous lyric of
Tupac’s is “F*** the world because I’m cursed, I’m having visions of leaving
here in a hurst, God can you feel me?” (qtd. from Tupac Shakur) Even though it
seems like these lyrics are showing a violent personality, people cannot assume
that rap is responsible for crimes. Violence is already in the society; rap
only shows it. It does not motivate people to start trouble, it can help to
make people conscious of it. By censoring lyrics like Tupac’s, we are only
trying to ignore the problems we face, and someday, all these problems will just
blow up in our faces. Critics against rap must try to read in-between the lines
to see that rap is only a way of identifying the feelings they have on life.

There are many rap songs that are
inspirational and carry valuable messages with them, such as education, good
deeds based on religion, morals and values, and ethics. Because of these
lessons taught, it can’t be blamed for violent crimes. It is a proven fact that
at one point in any rapper’s career, he or she will sing at least one song that
has an encouraging message embedded inside. An example of this is a song of the
rapper Nas, where he promotes education by saying, “Nobody says you have to be
gangstas, hoes. Read more, learn more, change the globe” (qtd. from I Know I
Can
). As shown in this line, rap can carry good themes for children, such
as changing the world by education, not by joining gangs. Even though many
rappers seem to do things that defile religion, some are devout followers to
religion. A great example of one is Lupe Fiasco, an American Muslim rapper, who
set his sights on educating rather than getting money. In his most inspiration
song, he said, “No, (no) sex before you marry, No grudges, You should carry no
lying, Not supposed to be gambling” (qtd. from Muhammad Walks). In this
song, he preaches the morals and values of Islam, rather than violence, to the
public. In addition, the song was not a business type of deal, because
he made absolutely no money off of it. The song does not appear on his album,
because he wanted the song to be free for everybody to hear and learn. A few
people against rap may say that rap is only bad music because it has so much
vulgar profanity in it. However, this is an automatic stereotype against rap
because the music is sometimes the only way to spread across a difficult
message. One rapper who had to use obscene language was Eminem. In his hit song
Stan from 2000, he wrote a song about an obsessed fan that drove himself
to suicide and murder because he loved Eminem so much. It is considered one of
Eminem’s best, and is one of the most inspirational songs ever written. One of
the powerful lyrics mentioned in it is, “I’m glad that I inspire you, but Stan,
why are you so mad? Try to understand, that I do want you as a fan. I just
don’t want you to do some crazy sh**” (qtd. from Stan). Despite the
recurring language in the song, it can’t be judged as a bad influence on people
because it uses its own emotional appeals to discourage fans of rap from doing
violent acts.

Many people now believe that rap is
an “evil” music that drives teenagers to commit random acts of crime. But the
truth of the matter is, the music does not motivate anyone to kill; it is their
own insecurity that leads to their downfall. There is much evidence that claims
rap makes teenagers “dumb”, but this just isn’t true. An example is the
statistic that says that, “Did you know that more teens (ages 12-17) know who
Tupac is, but the same teens have never heard of Colin Powell?” (qtd. from “The
Effects of Violent Music On Teens, Including Suicide”) This may be true, but
that doesn’t necessarily mean that rap itself can be blamed for this. One
question people should ask themselves is “Is rap
literally saying to
forget the other issues and only focus on government and politics?” It is songs
like
I Know I Can, Muhammad Walks, and Stan that make rap
music as popular as it is today; not the profanity or the reality it portrays.

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