Everyone remembers the first time they heard a hip-hop song. No matter what age a person is, they’ve encoun­tered hip-hop.

     Hip-hop came into the scene on Nov. 12, 1974, as part of a cultural lifestyle that started in the late 1960’s.

     A Jamaican DJ named Clive Campbell known as Kool Herc, introduced hip-hop music in the Bronx borough of New York City. Hip-hop music is funky and is accompanied by a vocal style which is popularly known as rap along with rhythmic backing beats.

     Rap means speaking up rhythmically in rhymes with style. Rap also represents the recording aspects of hip hop. Rap and hip-hop are said by some to have negative influences on the youth of today.

     “Well, it’s a lot of stereotypical stuff,” said Tony McKinney, Tyler Junior College theater major. “What many rappers do kind of adds to the stereotype to all African Americans like guns, shooting and also takes away from those who are trying to get a message out with theirs.”

     Hip hop has a negative connotation for some be­cause of the contents of the lyrics.

     While attracting the audience, which is primar­ily the younger crowd, there is still a huge controversy about hip-hop rap music. Some believe that the music promotes violence, promiscuity and drug usage. Hip-hop has a wide range of audiences around the world, but when it becomes the influence of the younger generations there are many concerns. There has been professional re­search done about the influences of hip-hop/rap music. Most of the research was found to have more negative re­sults than positive results.

     “I like to listen to it,” said Tiarra Jordan, TJC nursing major. “But I do think it has somewhat of a negative effect on particularly the guys [African-American guys]…the way that they carry themselves. Everybody follows them and they don’t try to have their own personality. It affects the way they treat the woman.”

     Researchers have found that hip-hop/rap has influ­enced more African-American youth than any other race. Negative song lyrics sometimes portray African American men and woman in negative images.

     “The biggest thing I have to say about up­coming artists…invest in yourself. It’s going to take time and money if you want to become big. It takes a lot,” said Definition DJ Hypnotiq.

     There are positive influences of hip-hop music. Those who eat, breathe and sleep hip-hop are artists who want to make it to the top and get noticed by their lyrics. Hip-hop can in­fluence the youth by letting them express their lives and tell stories of their struggles and how they came out those struggles in life.

     “It gives them their kind of art,” said McK­inney. “I have theater. Many have maybe classi­cal music and others have art and painting and drawing and for these guys they have rap and poetry.”

     Hip-hop music is a chance for today’s younger generation to have a voice and to show their creativity through music and lyrics. Posi­tive influences through hip-hop music can be from the lyrics of the artists who talk about the struggles of their lives, how they grew up, where they came from and how they made it to the person that they are today.

     “But I don’t think people should let it in­fluence them too much,” said Jordan. “It allows them to be creative. The ones who do use it in a good way express themselves and get the mes­sage out in a positive way.”

     Whether hip-hop is seen as being negative or positive, it will continue to influence future generations.

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