Hip-Hop Culture on Positive or Bad Influence on Youth in Present Society

Hip-Hop Culture on Positive or Bad Influence on Youth in Present Society


Hip-hop culture and the youths have become synonymous considering how they both influence one another. Hip-hop emerged in the early 1970s as a way in which African American population could express their cultural beliefs and orientation. The foundation of hip-hop stemmed from the struggles of African American youths to survive in pathetic and dying cities in the United States. The paper will examine how hip-hop through its diverse media outlets and effects has impacted on youth in present society. The investigation will highlight on the pertinent issues surrounding hip-hop and youth in society.

  1. Since founding in the 1970s, the music genre has expanded to give power to the youths around the world while gaining more popularity compared to other genres like reggae and dancehall. Most youths tend to find cultural identity from hip-hop culture style, sound and lyrics that always revolve around daily life suffering.
  1. Since it emerged, hip-hop has transited through a number of phases to integrate new developments in politics, medicine, drug abuse and terrorism. Hip-hop as a music genre has been commercialized by many companies who have made customized products to cash in on the popularity of the genre and associated culture especially among the youths.
  2. Business entities manufacturing clothes, shoes, cars have often used hip-hop to promote their products to potential clients. Presently, there has been extensive debate on culture and commercialization of hip-hop music activities.
  3. Hip-hop has not only transformed cultural orientation of the youths and promoted a culture of materialism; but it has also helped promote an ideology of violence through its content. Hip-hop has been on the forefront in influencing not only black urban youth, but also diverse youth groups around the world. (Walsh n.pg).
  1. In every hip-hop song, there is always a message being disseminated to the audience. The genre has promoted a consumerism culture marked by flashy lifestyle. Hip-hop culture is associated with luxurious and expensive clothes, shoes and jewelry. It has been established that it received more media attention and its commercialization nature has been problematic to the youths and their ideologies (Blanchard n.pg).
  1. The core narratives in hip-hop lyrics have been troubling to the extent of glorifying violence and sexual transgression. These kinds of messages affect youth of all groups especially the seventeen-year-olds who are still searching for their identities. These teenagers are young and susceptible to being influenced by their environment. This is why hip-hop has greatly influenced them.
  2. Considerably, psychologists assert that teenagers socialize, assimilate and accept fundamental themes presented through hip-hop music (Blanchard n.pg). They find a sense of belonging, identity and style in the lyrics of the songs. It important to decode and interpret messages disseminated through hip-hop music. This is because such messages directly influence the youth in society and how they decipher the world around them.
  3. Statement and accounts from some section of the youth have revealed that Jay-Z, a hip-hop artist, influenced them to wear certain clothes and shoes. Placing products on hip-hop videos has been the order of the day because industry success is associated with the genre. Massive marketing techniques have made corporations to generate more profits as they are able to reach masses through hip-hop. It has been established that male members of the society are mostly influence because majority of rap artists are men (Blanchard n.pg).
  4. Sociologists assert that hip-hop genre of music has often faced criticism and negative accusations for instance; they allege that youth become more misogynistic towards women (Thomas n.pg). However, media is in control of whatever is broadcast to the masses, some people still view hip-hop negatively. A famous civil rights activist Al Sharpton once described hip-hop as electricity since it can influence people negatively or positively, just like electricity that can electrocute somebody and at the same time provide light.
  5. Hip-hop lyrics and messages negatively influence youths by transforming their sexual behaviors. Conversely, other people hold that hip-hop promotes healthy sexual relationships and behavior. But according to researchers at Florida International University, the more youths are exposed to hip-hop music with sexualized images, the more they are likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors (Thomas n.pg). This is because they fully endorse such acts because they can easily watch and follow such videos. According to researchers, youth groups are negatively influenced to engage in unhealthy sexual behaviors due to the presence of sexual lyrics and images that accompany hip-hop genre of music (Blanchard n.pg). These attitudes are then shared and transmitted to other peers through assimilation leading to widespread sexual content among youth in society.
  1. Moreover, hip-hop is responsible for violence exhibited by youth in society. This is because lyrics in the songs discuss violence as part of an exciting and dangerous lifestyle. Research conducted by scholars at Western Connecticut State University established that most youth who listen to hip-hop music are more likely to be violent (Thomas n.pg).
  1. This is because this kind of music originated from poor families with poor backgrounds where violence was not effectively controlled. However, currently social and economic factors have played greater role in instigating and promoting violence in society.
  2. Consequently, hip-hop has impacted negatively on women as it discriminates and views them subjectively. Historically, hip-hop has propagated a culture marked by portraying women as insignificant; it objectifies women. Many youths have aped these ideologies and lifestyle. Such music portrays them as if they not worth anything and cannot own more money. Moreover, most video degrades them through supporting a culture of prejudice and discrimination. Hip-hop does not have spread the message of love and respect for women in the society; rather, it promotes a culture of patriarchal tendencies where males dominate women and treat them as lesser beings.
  3. Lastly, hip-hop has promoted drug use and abuse. This is according to researchers at the University of California who have claimed that this kind of music glorifies drug use among the youth in society (Cundiff n.pg). Studies confirm that drug use and references has increased in most hip-hop music over the past years (Cundiff n.pg). Most artists portray drugs positively and this has influenced youth to engage in drug abuse. Since many youths look up to these artists as role models, this trend is therefore alarming. Surveys conducted across states have established that most youth abuse drugs because they watch artists and other prominent celebrity abuse drugs in hip-hop music and videos (Thomas n.pg).


Hip-hop is a popular music genre that has transformed in a global culture since its founding in the 1970s in poor U.S neighborhoods dominated by African Americans. Researchers have established that there are some songs and lyrics that educate youths to be good members of society (Love n.pg). However, to a greater percentage, hip-hop has negative influence on youths. It is a great form of music and culture though it has promoted violent activities, drug abuse, women discrimination and sexual activities.



Works Cited

Blanchard, Becky. The Social Significance of Rap & Hip-Hop Culture. The

            Social Significance of Rap & Hip-Hop Culture. N.p., 26 July 1999. Web. 31 March.


Cundiff, Gretchen. The Influence of Rap and Hip-Hop Music: An Analysis on Audience

Perceptions of Misogynistic Lyrics. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications 4.1 (2013). Web. Retrieved from: https://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=792

Love, David. Hip-hop and politics have a long history behind the mic. The Grio. 15 June 2010, Web. Retrieved 31 March, 2017 from: thegrio.com/2010/06/15/hip-hop-and-politics-have-a-long-history-behind-the-mic/

Thomas, Anthony. The spirit and philosophy of Hip Hop. New Statesman. 2007. Web. Retrieved

31, March 31, 2017 from: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-faith-column/2007/09/hip-hop-movements-thought

Walsh, Colleen. Hip-hop’s global reach. Harvard Gazette. 3 May 2010. Web. Retrieved 31

March, 2017 from: news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/05/hip-hops-global-reach/