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The negative influence of the music on our youths

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Music is and will forever remain a very important part of our cultural identity and expression. Music like all other forms of cultural expressions will undergo changes over time. Today, we have witnessed a destructive cultural intrusion as some forms of hip-hop, rap, and dance hall music show a clear intent to be negative. The unfortunate result is that the minds of many of our youths are being slowly poisoned. Is this a problem that we are willing to allow to go unchecked? Will we allow such negative influences to shape the lives of our young men and women? The absence of parental discipline, the lack of even a trace of spirituality, and the insurmountable strength of the forces of peer pressure will continue to make their contribution in fathering such an ill. It is time that we do something.{{more}}

The dynamism of music should be carefully studied, since if one looks at modern trends, music influences our youth in terms of dress code, behavioral patterns to parents and school work, values, principles, ethics and even goals. Hence one does not have to look and listen too attentively to conclude that music influences deeply our way of life.

This becomes even clearer when one realizes that music has the power to change environments, manipulate emotions and disturb our conscience all seemingly without our permission. The connection is that from these negative themes in some forms of music, undesirable behaviours are formed. The social impact is profound. The language through use of profanity comes through the music that is uncensored. Some music albums actually have warnings on the covers of the explosive language that is recorded. Artists such as Eminem, David Banner, Ying Yang Twins and Lil Jon to name a few, all have recorded songs replete with profanity and vulgar lyrics. And yet we wonder why our youth speak the way they do?

Even the dress code of many of our youths reflects the music of the day. The young men with sagging pants seem to forget the use of belts. Does anybody care to inform our youths that, not only does it look improper, but as I was informed while conducting this research, that, the only reason why the rappers do wear their pants sagging, is because that has been their experience in the correction facilities across America, where the correction officers take the belts of prisoners in an effort to degrade them. We can weigh that view for its worth.

While the music gives a voice of protest to the oppressed, the majority of “class negative” music articulates rage and has a sense of intense oppression and defiant rebellion. Unfortunately, while rappers will claim that they’re simply rapping about reality, too often they use violence as a means to tell their story. This certainly does not set any good examples for the youth who listen to and sing along with the lyrics, and who then tries to create a life from someone’s pitfalls. In fact, most of the rap artists themselves have lived, and continue to live, close to the edge. So, with rap songs containing violent and insulting lyrics, and with the rap artists leading dangerous and violent lives, rap music again in this instance can be considered a negative influence on our youth.

Other negative behaviours exhibited by our youths such as experimenting with drugs including marijuana and ecstasy, through using and selling at early ages, fascination with guns and other weapons, sexual activity with multiple partners, gangster and thug attitudes, resistance to authority figures at home and school give rise to consequences that are quite evident in our youth populations today.

As a community, the responsibility falls on institutions of our society to screen the music that we allow our young minds to be exposed to. An African proverb contends that it takes a village to raise a child. Our young people cannot afford to loose their way in these last and trying times.