Rap Music and Its Influence on Pop Culture Today

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Rap music is one of the most popular genres in modern music and a large part of today’s pop culture. With a variety of rappers coming from different backgrounds they cater to different audiences and younger people. Growing up rap always appealed to me and became the genre I listened to most. Listening to enough rap changes your mentality since some of the things artists rap about can be related to real life. Rap is one of the most heavily-advertised genres of music with rappers having followings in the millions. Artists such as Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane and Wiz Khalifa all have had influences on their fans and some have even seemed to cause spikes in crime from their music. This shows that rap music has some of the most influential artists, caters to a receptive audience, and has a profound influence on my life.

Lil Wayne is one of the most popular artists in today’s rap scene. He just came off the dropping of his album “Carter V” which topped the charts as an album and with many of its songs. Lil Wayne’s Carter V was in a deep freeze due to a long-lasting contractual dispute between him and Birdman who is the co-founder of Cash Money records. Wayne sued Birdman for preventing him from releasing music, and Birdman countersued. Lil Wayne was quoted “I am a prisoner and so is my creativity.” This past summer, the two finally settled their differences and after five years Tha Carter V was finally released. The album made numbers and landed at number one on the charts for several weeks. I recall listening to it myself and you could feel the time and effort he put into each and every one of his songs, it wasn’t merely rapping to a beat. The lyrics Wayne produces are truly works of art and many of his songs tell a story or have a deeper meaning behind them.

Lil Wayne is one of the most popular rap artists of the past two centuries, he has had many legal problems throughout his rap career, and the image he portrays to his younger audience is often debated. Lil Wayne is a lyrical genius whose fast-paced rapping style has been almost unmatched in the ways he is able to make complex connections between simple items and add them to his lyrics. Lil Wayne’s past with the law has been televised a lot and includes past drug charges then a felony weapon charge in 2007. In January of 2008 his tour bus was stopped by border patrol agents who seized 3.7oz. of marijuana, 29 grams of cocaine, 41 grams of ecstasy, and twenty-two thousand in cash. Lil Wayne’s explicit manner in which he raps is the source of much controversy. Parents and youth workers nowadays have grown to hate him because he has such a strong influence and goes against everything they stand for. Christians have grown to hate him because his expletive-laced and sex-filled lyrics and some have even gone to the extent of calling him the “Anti-Christ.” (Aswad, Jem)

Another one of my favorite rappers to listen to is Wiz Khalifa, who has come to have a profound impact on the rap scene and community in the past decade. Wiz’s decision to divorce with Warner Bros. in 2009 helped jumpstart his career and he quickly cultivated a large fan base through making music that advocated for smoking as much weed as possible. Rappers have had marijuana and drugs in their lyrics since gangster rap became popular in the 90’s. Few rappers have made it as central to their music as Wiz has however. Wiz has put out mixtapes with titles such as “Burn After Rolling” and “Kush and Orange Juice.” His most recent album he released this past summer was called “Rolling Papers 2.”

Many of his songs are rapped over airy, soothing beats that are meant to mimic the state of being high. He raps more about doing drugs than selling them, which makes him stand out from many other artists. The groundwork behind his songs is what helped him blow up in 2010 with his hit single “Black and Yellow.” With such a high standing in the hip-hop community many have asked Wiz the same question “Do you plan on advocating for the legalization of marijuana?” His response was “Nah. Hell nah. Politicians get shot.” Which is ironic considering many rappers get shot too. He believes his music should speak for itself on his stance regarding marijuana. He considers it a part of his daily life, and therefore does not see anything wrong with it. With such a large following, Wiz surely has an influence on large amounts of youth with his music.

In the last decade or so, Atlanta has been a main hub in the rap industry during the trap era. Atlanta rappers and producers have laid a foundation for a sound that has influence all around the world. Future, Young Thug, Migos, Metro Boomin, 808 Mafia, Sonny Digital, and Zaytoven are just some names of those who are having extreme success in rap’s trap-induced takeover. The catch is, nearly all these stars of this movement can be traced back to one man: Gucci Mane. In the industry many roads lead back to ATL, and many of those also lead to Gucci Mane, or the “trap god” as they call him. Artist such as Future, Nicki Minaj, and Young Thug all have past connections with Gucci which helped them jumpstart their careers.

What is amazing about his great influence is when you consider how much time he has spent in jail. He just got out a few years ago and the whole time he was in jail he released dozens of projects over four years. He had all the music pre-recorded and spent his time calling his managers to tell them what to release, while sitting behind bars. When Gucci was released in 2016, I recall it being a huge deal. His song “All of My Children” refers to how he has an influential hand in many of these rappers’ careers. He is blunt but honest when acknowledging his influence in the rap game. He is the blueprint for street rappers across the country and has put together an impressive resume through his career. His style doesn’t only apply to Atlanta rappers but rather reaches all across the country. His work ethic, ad-libs, persona, and larger-than-life stature have put him in a position like no other. Gucci Mane is literally walking modern pop-culture.

Rap music has had a profound impact on my life through the years. When I was about eight or nine, I first started listening to rap music. This mostly entailed popular artists on the charts like Lil Wayne, Drake, and T-Pain. As I grew older, I started listening to rap with harder lyrics. Once I was a freshman in high school, I began listening to rappers with harder lyrics like Chief Keef, Juicy J, and Wiz Khalifa. I feel rap did push me into a life of partying in a way. The way it glorifies sex, drugs, and wealth all influenced me and pushed me to that lifestyle. While I keep my priorities straight, I do see more value in having money than I did before, and it changed my perception of women too.

I feel like it made me have less respect for women in that I don’t feel they are as trustworthy. The way the music glorifies hard drug use I don’t condone, but when it comes to stuff like weed, I have no problem with them rapping about that. The rap lyrics in many of the songs I listened to definitely expanded my vocabulary with the amount of explicit words that were in them. I was able to learn street slang just from the music I listened to repeatedly. The positive aspect I found in listening to rap music is the way that it motivates me. The value that the music gave to money for me encouraged me to go get a job once I stopped playing baseball, so I could buy stuff on my own and live better.

Even when I did play baseball rap music was the only thing I could listen to before a game and actually get pumped up. Any other type of music would not put me in the mood to play. Today whenever I go to the gym and workout that is the only genre of music I listen to. Rap music also expanded my view on social issues. When it comes to police brutality and drug charges, much of that is talked about in rap music lyrics. This brought to my awareness how widespread these problems are and how these artists are trying to reach a large audience to raise awareness.

To conclude, rap and hip-hop music is the most popular genre of music in the world today. It is meant to cater to a diverse audience that can relate to the lyrics. Rap gets a bad reputation from older generations who don’t relate to the lyrics or accept the new change in society. Despite having lyrics that don’t necessarily always bring the most positive message, rap has a positive side to it. Rap brings to light various social issues and is a big source of motivation for people including me. Rap is a constantly changing genre and will continue to adapt as society develops.


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Rap Music and Its Influence on Pop Culture Today. (2021, Jul 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/rap-music-and-its-influence-on-pop-culture-today/

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