Rap music: popular perceptions and its affect on the lives of adolescents attending Jackson Middle and Grimsley High Schools of Guilford County, North Carolina
Rap music and its affect on the lives of adolescents has been a controversial topic since the mid-1970s. The celebratory and inflammatory aspects of rap and the often negative media coverage of rap music and rap artists have placed the questionable art form at the forefront of popular controversy. Rappers often struggle with the tension between fame and rap's gravitational pull toward inner city narratives; generally, rappers craft stories that represent the creative fantasies, perspectives, and experiences of racial marginality in America. Effort to make meaning of this art form and its perceived affect on contemporary American youth is at best obscure. Rap music is often deemed noisy, nonsensical, and absent of sustenance by strongholds of popular culture. Rap's controversial landscape tends to be inundated with the following questions in regard to its affect on the lives of adolescents: Can violent images incite violent action; can music enhance the political mobilization of the disenfranchised; and whether or not sexually explicit lyrics contribute to the moral "decay" of contemporary American society?