I Hated Rap Music, But Now I Appreciate It

Since I was a kid I always disliked rap music. Maybe it is the conservative culture I was raised in, or maybe I just heard the wrong people performing. I believed it had no musical quality, lacked thought, and was not true music. Now I believe that was ignorant of me. Whenever I heard rap music I would turn it off. Too much cussing, too vulgar, This sounds terrible etc! The problem is, I don’t think I was ever actually listening to it. These were probably thoughts put in my head before I had a chance to think about it for myself. Of course there were a couple rap songs that I enjoyed (namely by Tupac), but I did not let those convince me that rap itself could be good. Just like when somebody is racist, yet has one black friend who is the exception. Unwilling to make the logical conclusion. I assumed that all rap music is terrible with a few exceptions. I am now more likely to guess that there is good rap music out there and some of it is terrible. A mental shift came about 20 minutes ago, I watched the movie Straight outta Compton. Watching this movie I realized that it is not merely a type of music, its a type of storytelling. It conveys the difficult lives, and experiences of gang culture rampant in Compton. Listening to this music in context made me start to actually listen to the words in the music. Many years ago, rap started in Africa as a way of telling stories. It is an effective way of sharing compelling messages, and it was used by a group of people sick of the struggle, in a time of civil turmoil. Rappers in the NWA expressed themselves in a powerful way through music, arguably transcending the violence of their upbringing, taking a higher road by expressing their thoughts and feelings in protest of their harsh realities. As time progressed with rappers like 2pac I have noticed a change in topic as well, becoming even more positive. While this is not true of all rappers, I would like to assume its a general trend in a positive direction. In a deposition with tupac I remember the prosecutor asking about his music inciting “violence”. I highly recommend you watch it. I linked it at the bottom. I am new to the rap world, and I look forward to exploring what other songs and stories there are, but in the meantime, always remember to question your feelings and look for things that don’t line up with your true beliefs.

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