Why is Rap Music Becoming More Popular?

Why is Rap Music Becoming More Popular?

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Why is Rap Music Becoming So Popular?


In the modern day setting, rap as an influential musical genre has affected the global community further breaking down the restraints of stereotypes associated with African Americans. It has raised in ranks in the music charts all over the world hence becoming a controversial topic in American media. Several components have served as a furtherance of its popularity as presented by various scholars. Firstly, the lyrical and rhythmical dexterity inculcated in its production is supported as a key influencer (Mills, 2001). Secondly, the controversial nature of its histories such as the East Coast and West Coast rivalry has significantly contributed as well amongst others.  One of the key components considered is musical engagement. Rap facilitates everyday engagement in promoting self-expression within the current generation as they function as the main consumers (Travis, 2012, p. 139). The main explanation justifying this inclusion lies in the reality that rap presents a real-life setting of the happenings within the society further engaging the youth ensuring they build a resilience (Travis, 2012, p. 143).  As reiterated, the modern generation is influenced greatly by music, as it is almost impossible to find a group of youth without headphones or earphones. With the connection between emotional reactions and emotion evoking genres such as a rap, it serves as an incidental stimulus. In determining this engagement, one is able to establish its developmental relevance to the global community particularly the youth and young adults (Blanchard, 2014).Despite the stereotypes that were associated with rap music in the past, the genre presently enjoys widespread recognition as a result of change of perception among various groups of people thus leading to its increased popularity.

Review of Existing Literature

  1. Political Correctness Associated with Bitterness Towards Historical Injustices

According to scholars, rap has become popularized given its assumed “bitter’” vocalization of political and social issues affecting the African Americans (Mills, 2001). With the inclusion of bitterness in demonstration the function in which this genre plays, it is points to the emotional attachment rappers have with their content as it portrays their feelings towards the system. it validates the emotional engagement aspect of this genre.  As reiterated by many scholars, this genre is elemental in advocacy taking on the functionality of its predecessors involving African American rhyming games, which were conducted to denote resistance during the slavery and subjugation period. Similarly, to its traditional form, rap is considered a coded genre whose message is more understandable to African Americans presenting notions of racism, police brutality and oppression, which is still present in the current society (Blanchard, 2014). Traditionally, these rhyming games were crucial in drawing inspiration and entertainment for the slaves, which are still a function met by rap music as people enjoy the metaphorical illustrations and descriptions often synonymous with most songs under this category. Therefore, rap is considered as a more modernized form of political resistance against the wrongs to which African Americans are subjected therefore artist demonstrates their prowess to entertain their audience while politically educating them of the state of affairs affecting their community. The aspect of political correctness is included, as social, political and economic issues are addresses and presented as a unified voice to the community at large.

  1. Shared Commonalities with Emotion Evoking Genres

Rap has been able to reach a wider audience due to its shared features with other favorite genres include soul, jazz, and blues which have all contributed to the overall presentation of lyrics and musicality of rapping (Mills, 2001). With this closeness in similarity, as an emotional heightening genre, it also imposes the same effect to those who listen to alternative genres with which it shares common features. A close association has also been established between rap and reggae, which is beloved globally. People feel uplifted by reggae music becase it is conscious and passionately produced including melodic lyrics which are relatable globally. Some of the features include the inclusion of the thematic connotations of European ruling, traditional African drumming, poverty due to the limited economic opportunities and the subjugation of Africans by colonizers. For instance, its reception in Jamaica is highly positive given the fact that rhythmical instruments coupled with the DJ’s expertise in rapping creating the renowned ‘dub’ introduce reggae music Some of the famous forerunners of this form of style include Kool DJ Herc, who presented high-class innovative style in mastering turntables further introducing the dub into New York(Blanchard, 2014). His contribution to rap lies in facilitating its introduction through MCing. From this explanation, it is evident that rap has been boosted in gaining worldwide recognition due to its shared features with other favorite genres as well.

With the close association and connection with other genres , scholars reiterate it has contributed to the selection of this music style as a tool for dealing with inner city youth through establishments such as the YMCA(Blanchard, 2014). Most artists originate from communities ridden with high crime. Given the prevalence of crime in such localities, through hip hop music, these organizations have been able to reach out to the affected youth to provide them with the necessary tools they require to propel themselves in the music industry business. In addition to this, they are provided with a platform to develop self-discipline, leadership, and life tool imperative in their life progression (Mills, 2001).  The emotional aspect is inculcated with association of these young youth with other well to do professionals within the ndustry who have experienced the same struggles. They are emotionally involved in the sense that they draw inspiration from these persons enabling them to become more hopeful.  Professionals such as African American producers and sound engineers who instill a strong work ethic in the young adults demonstrating a more affluent side of working hard and in hip-hop to better their lives. Therefore, rap in this regard is perceived as a legal way to earn money and improve their quality of life especially with the struggles in the inner cities, which often impede their access to education and social amenities. With the positive components presented in this regard where hip-hop is seen as a positivistic tool for empowering the youth, scholars have attributed this feature to its success and increased popularity.

Violence is an emotional state which is associated with Hip-hop has often been associated as one of the key self-expression often denoted from the lyrics (Mills, 2001). It is important to understand the emotional aspects of this presentation as it directly pinpoints to the hopelessness experienced by the American’s working class particularly the minority communities, which are adversely affected. By implicating rap as a violence promoting music genre, politicians have portioned blame instead of addressing the main issues within the affected communities (Blanchard, 2014). The consciousness with which this music is developed connotes the severity of neglect by the political demagogues therefore eliciting their defensive response by sacrificing rap as the scapegoat for the ills of the society.




Blanchard, B. (2014, April). The Social Significance of Rap & Hip-Hop Culture. Retrieved from

Mills, F. (2001, December). Music in American Popular Culture. Retrieved from

Travis, R. (2012). Rap Music and the Empowerment of Today’s Youth: Evidence in Everyday Music Listening, Music Therapy, and Commercial Rap Music. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal30(2), 139-167. doi:10.1007/s10560-012-0285-x


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