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Tattoos, rap and saggy pants

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By Bruce Sallan

The journey from child, to teen, to young adult to parent seems to have similar stops along the way for most everyone. When I was in college, during the “age of stupidity,” as a man I greatly respect refers to the ‘60s and early ‘70s, as a love-child and soon-to-be yuppie, I was thoroughly convinced that I would be a different parent to any children I might have than my parents were to me.

Naturally, I had all the answers. My parents’ tastes in music, fashion, and politics, my Mom’s “helmet” style hair-do which required weekly visits to the hair salon, were all stupid, old-fashioned, and ugly. It was inconceivable to me that they didn’t dig or see how groovy The Doors, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, or The Stones were. The fact that most of them died of drug overdoses escaped me at the time (e.g. Brian Jones of The Stones in case you think I’ve missed something). The fact that Mick Jagger and his remaining crew still perform when our generation famously said not to trust anyone over 30 is also a lost irony on most of my AARP-aged contemporaries now.

So, when I became a parent, I was sure I’d appreciate and respect my children’s tastes because they’d probably just be the same as mine. I’d enjoy their music, their hairstyles, their fashions, etc. Of course, my brilliance and confidence about how I’d parent turned out to only be a repeat of my own parents’ experiences with me! As with most expectations, they disappoint.

First, there was rap. Then, tattoos and piercings. And, my favorite, wearing pants that fall down to the bottom of their butts. While my teen is not allowed to have tattoos, or piercings, he makes up for it by coming home with tattoo sleeves penned at school, in class, by various of his friends. (A tattoo sleeve, as the word sleeve implies, is a tattoo that covers the entire arm, up to the shoulder). Now, as a parent, we all know that we have to pick our battles and my teen son knows that tattoos and piercings are not going to happen in our house. In spite of it being against our religion, he’d love to have a tongue piercing, a death skull tattoo or, at the very least huge pierced earrings, as many of his teen friends have at ages as young as 14.

We all watch different screens, in our respective rooms or wherever they happen to be. They can watch movies on a 2-square-inch mobile device. Homework is done while multi-tasking, between texting friends, watching YouTube, and playing guitar. Ultra-violent and horrors movies are among their favorites; anything in black & white is unacceptable.

Watching my teen son pull up his pants to cover his boxers, non-stop, truly mystifies me. Is this really an inevitable part of life’s cycle? I suspect yes. There’s no doubt that parenting today has greater challenges than for my parents’ generation. When I was in elementary school, in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, they could trust that I could walk to and from our nearby public school with total safety, that the music I’d listen to then (before the ‘60s began in earnest) would contain lyrics that wouldn’t corrupt my youthful ears, that the movies I’d go to would also have values and heroes and villains that reflected a traditional sense of right and wrong. We watched the same television shows together, as the three networks were our only option, so when The Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, I put up with the opera singer, the Broadway singer, Topo Gigio, and the guy who spun the plates on a stick, before I finally got to see The Beatles and their shockingly long hair. But, even with The Beatles, occasionally my parents would appreciate them, like when Paul would sing a song like “Yesterday.”

As for my kids’ music, most of the band’s names alone make me crazy. I’m sorry, but it’s hard for me to appreciate songs by groups or singers called Napalm Death, T-Pain, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Cannibal Corpse with song titles such as “Crack A Bottle,” “Hammer Smashed Face,” “Evisceration Plague,” “Chopped 'n' Skrewed” and “Stanky Legg.”

What happened? I was supposed to be the hip parent where all my kids’ friends would confide in me, say to my boys “wow, your dad is so cool.” I’d play for them music that they’d never heard of and think it was so terrific, discuss classic movies and television, and have deep political conversations. Not a chance. I get the same rolled eyes and glazed over looks that I gave my parents. I guess it’s karma, it’s payback time, and it’s the inevitable generation gap.

Bruce Sallan has served as an independent television producer and an ABC Television executive. He has produced over 30 television movies, pilots and series, winning several industry and community awards, and was a regular contributor to high-profile entertainment industry journals such as Daily Variety. His column, “A DAD’S POINT-OF-VIEW,” primarily focuses on a father's perspective on parenting. www.brucesallan.com.

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92 Comments
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I personally hate Hip-Hop these days and the artist. When Rap started it was more of just enjoying cool positive dance music, but when the gangsters got it, it turned into total negativity. I wish Americans would stop buying these ignorant punks music. Choke these guys out, don't buy there CDs and contribute to the growth of monstrous ignorance.

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you got old, that's what happened. happened to your dad too, and his dad who probably complained about that awful Cole Porter and his lewd songs. get over it.

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I agree with both AK619 and DenDon, too much violence, hate, drug praise in the Rap muisic of today. Has AK619 gotton too old for this loud music?? Maybe, but I think it natural, it is called maturing, right? I still like the Beasty Boys once in a while.

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Bah. Nothings changed. You thought you had all the right answers then, and you still think you have them all now. It's not so much "getting old" as you refusing to change with the times. A fairly common occurence, but not an inevitable one.

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@elbudamexicano:

When I was young I was caught up in Rap music and the dress style to, but when it turned to sending a bad message, thats when it was time to put an end to Rap music. I was smart enough to know that feeding your mind with violence music, drugs, gang banging, and crime was not positive. Gangs creating a cool beat, with lyrics taking about killing other gang members, saling drugs, and pimping girls I knew were a bunch of losers.

Everyone has a choice that grows up in the hood poor, when you turn 18 either you be a leader or a follower. Sometimes you gotta leave where your from to avoid the trouble. I had a young Mexican friend that was trying to leave the gang, they would stalk him, and knock on his back room window asking him why he wasn't hanging anymore. I was cool with his Mother she was a single mother. I told her to pack up her things and leave the neighborhood for the safety of her son and family, she took my advise and left unoticed. I'm sure they have a better positive future now. It would've been a matter of time the gang would've shot, beat, or stabbed her son for leaving the gang.

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@AK619,

I appreciate your story but that has no relationship to Hip Hop. Your family friend was in poor area. That exposed her son to gangs which are quite common in low economic areas. That same situation would have possibly occurred if they were an poor Italian, Irish, Chinese or Biker community. It ain't the music because people said the same thing about Rock&Roll. Gang problems were around way before Hip Hop. Get over it.

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hey guys...to say that violent rap/music/video games etc, leads to violence is cnn science at best...biglittleman is right about the being in a poor area...this writer is a little old fashioned...raising kids is difficult...no one system will work for everyone...tattoos and piercings are irrelevant to who a person is inside...it is his personal bias...however...i would agree with him that tats aren't proper for a 14 year old...

rap originally started as social protest...similar to how punk hit the scene...so when you have ice-T singing about killing cops because the cops are killing/abusing minorities...that's what's happening in the poor areas...i have lived in los angeles and have seen how cops treat minorities on a first hands basis...i've been there myself when hanging out with my minority friends...

saggy pants...most kids don't realize what this means...wearing pants down around your crack started in prison...it's a sign to other prisoners that you are ready for some lovin'...maybe the author should explain that to his son...

as parents...studies have shown...that the most influential group for their kids is their peer group...at best parents can hope to instill some semblance of critical thinking in their children and hope that they make good decisions...and the realization that their children will make some mistakes...

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I was supposed to be the hip parent where all my kids’ friends would confide in me

You're a bad parent, you've watched too many full house episodes thinking that is how to raise kids, you can't be a "hip parent" it doesn't exist, you have to show you children right and wrong because if they don't learn from you who will they learn from.

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To draw an analogy between Cole Porter and Snoop Dog or some other hare-brained, under-educated rapper with his name tattooed on his neck (to remember?) and a diamond encrusted dollar sign around the same mumbling something about "wanna hump you babe", is frankly, just stupid. There is just no analogy here at all. Lift your game...

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@Nutsagain,

For every Cole Porter, there is a Chuck D, Lauren Hill and Krs-one. And for every under educated rapper there are two uneducated tattooed drug using Rocker. There is no analogy for you because you would have to admit there is something to Hip Hop. The same people who invented Hip-Hop invented Rock, Jazz and most of the culture in the US. You should step your game up player......

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@Nutsagain

Here is one of the Original Queens of Hip Hop in the news recently because she just got her PHd from an Ivy league school. You care to share you educational background?

http://hiphopspy.com/roxannes-revenge-gets-warner-music-to-pay-for-phd/

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Kids Music ?? The members of Napalm Death are all over 40. As for myself at 45, with 2 graduate degrees, and a fan of classic composers such as Ifukube and Prokofiev, I don't think I qualify for the "Kids Music" demographic. ND's music has been some of the most sociologically relevant since the band was founded 30 years ago. Having given rise to offspring like Godflesh, Carcass, and Cathedral; ND is responsible for some of the most emotional and intelligent music ever made. If your children are listening to this genre, then you need to exert a much more protective parental influence, because they are looking into a mirror which is held up to the face of our "civilization" that is frightening, sorrowful, poignant, and realistic. While it could be argued that cliched bands like Cannibal Corpse are just shock entertainment, fantasy, and pandering; the musicians in ND (and other extreme outfits like Sepultura, Ministry, KMFDM, Morbid Angel, Prong, etc.) are passionately devoted to their craft, amazingly talented technically, and provide modern culture with a forum that one of the last bastions of free thought and expression. Definitely not "Kids Music."

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"In spite of it being against our religion, he’d love to have a tongue piercing, a death skull tattoo or, at the very least huge pierced earrings, as many of his teen friends have at ages as young as 14."

Against the religion this old geezer forced down his son's throat, and brainwashed him into believing is a good thing.
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@Biglittleman:

Music has a strong mental influence depending on what your listening to. Music thats negative and violent induces violence conduct. Music can really pump you up emotionally or relax you. Violent music can trigger a person to do a cold blooded crime they may not have normally done, if they had not got pumped up. Most Rap music after 1986s related to gangs, drugs, violence, and poverty, all four collaborate. I remember the "Fat Boys" & "Heavy D", thats when Rap was fun and enjoyable. They didn't talk about killing folks, drugs, F the police, and drive by shootings. The point I'm trying to make is that most Rap is trash, and dose nothing positive to build a community. When people buy this music, it just makes a bunch of ignorant wanna be preachers rich. I don't listen to none of them anymore, there stupid, uneducated punks, spreading ignorance.

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@AK619

Violent music can trigger a person to do a cold blooded crime they may not have normally done, if they had not got pumped up.

Do you have any research or evidence about the music influencing people who would otherwise not do wrong decide to commit crimes? That unusual because there is not any scientific evidence from the field of cognitive psychology. Research has shown those people would have done something anyway and simply gravitated to music that represented their emotional state. Findings overall they suggest that listening to rap or heavy metal music does not cause aggressive or deviant behaviour. The research showed that their problems started before listening to said music. So your explanation isn't based on fact.

I don't listen to none of them anymore, there stupid, uneducated punks, spreading ignorance.

You should read you own words carefully especially the last two words. There is a big gap between what you listened to and what's available now. There is a lot of variations in between. So generalization of a style of music because of one sub-genre based on your self admitting limited exposure (stopped after 1986) just proves my point about those last two words.

Once again your family friend would had a gang problem even if rap/hip-hop didn't exist. If you like a I can send you link about one of the original Queens of Hip Hop (Roxanne) she was in the media recently because she just got her Phd. Proving you and Nutsagain wrong.

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Proved wrong? Come again? Your academic paint job on what is primarily trash is pretty amusing I have to admit. It doesn't matter what adjectives you pull out of your lexicon, what we're dealing with here is garbage dressed up as music. It will be one of the darkest periods of dare I say 'music' 50 or whatever years hence. Something like DaDa gone bezerk, haywire and without doubt; a mirror of some very troubled times. No doubt that will do little else other than have you pecking out your retort but the fact is: you're dressing up garbage as art and history, not I nor other posters, will attest to the same. Have a good day now ...

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Rap/Hip-Hop is already turned down and dig it's own grave. With all this Casting Shows and One-Day-Wonders making more money (to the company), there is no place for this music. Although I don't like Rap/Hip Hop at all, at least there is a history behind it. I was always into Rock Music, but when I first heard Kurtis Blow 30 years ago, it was amazing. Anyway, I don't need these monkeys pretending to be cool, wearing trashy gold chains and making a lot of money from the kids. There is nothing that can beat bass, drum and guitars...

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@Nutsagain,

Everything you just said can apply to any music you fill in the blanks. You sound like a birther who looks down upon anyone who education logic yet tries to call others ignorant. If you are right then prove me wrong.

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Napalm Death were around when I was a lad, it's good, old fashioned thrash metal music, not this new fangled hip-hop rubbish.

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@Monoflow

Rap/Hip-Hop is already turned down and dig it's own grave. With all this Casting Shows and One-Day-Wonders making more money (to the company), there is no place for this music.

You must be joking? You think it is going out style. If anything it is becoming more main stream.

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@monoflow- Monkeys?!! Bad choice of words. Biglittleman- don't waste your intellect on these clowns. Music is music...to each his own. These folks are completly out of touch. Ingnorance is bliss and they are loving it. I grew up listening to rap/hip-hop, along with all other types of music. While I agree that there is a lot of garbage out there, for every wack MC, there is a Jay-z, Common or Mos Def.

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So, music that's negative has a strong influence on people? Maybe. What about the violent video games teens and others play? What about a Scorcese movie that shows people being splattered all over the place? Or a Tony Scott movie that has things being blown up everywhere? Or a movie which shows Sharon Stone or other "glamorous" actresses getting eaten out and sexed up in gratuitous scenes every 5 minutes? I also hate a lot of the negativity in rap but no one addresses all the other stuff I just wrote about. And no one will ever say anything about Eminem. Why? Well, could it be because they have been deemed as artists and they are "intelligent" white people? You get this on almost every web site. The Latino or black is always reviled and called uneducated but I never see that written about whites. Racism didn't die when Obama got elected. "I voted for a black man so I'm not biased or a racist" You voted for the BEST CANDIDATE NOT FOR A BLACK MAN. Some of you post your biases right here and swear you are not biased. I applaud those rappers for doing something they are good at. Go find fault with the greedy record company executives who distribute the stuff and get the lion's share of the profits. No one will take them or those directors and movie stars to task and it's primarily because of their skin color.

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^^^^ thank you. What else is there to say.

Thread over/

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To draw an analogy between Cole Porter and Snoop Dog or some other hare-brained, under-educated rapper with his name tattooed on his neck (to remember?) and a diamond encrusted dollar sign around the same mumbling something about "wanna hump you babe", is frankly, just stupid. There is just no analogy here at all. Lift your game...

wrong wrong wrong

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. Music thats negative and violent induces violence conduct. Music can really pump you up emotionally or relax you. Violent music can trigger a person to do a cold blooded crime they may not have normally done, if they had not got pumped up.

absolute nonsense

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What about the violent video games teens and others play? What about a Scorcese movie that shows people being splattered all over the place?

yeah, a lot of ignorant idiots complain about those too.

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Violent music can trigger a person to do a cold blooded crime they may not have normally done, if they had not got pumped up. Most Rap music after 1986s related to gangs, drugs, violence, and poverty, all four collaborate.

Nonsense. There is nothing true in these sentences.

Incidentally, violent crime rates in the US (where the author of this article is doing his complaining) are much LOWER than the 70s, when apparently everything was peaceful and groovy. And that's with the rise of all these supposedly anti-social influences in the past 30 years.

Hmm.

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DenDon...you may as well stop posting. It's obvious you want to wear all the "gold" chains you can find at the thrift store. No one will take you seriously.

And personally, Mocheake, I can't STAND eminem. Never could. But I do love a good sex scene! :P

Music can and does change a person's psychology. I spent most of my late teens in a depressed funk and thought I was choosing music to suit my mood. I finally realized it was largely the other way around when one day I was in a really good mood and listening to music. Then one of my favorite downer songs came on and within minutes I was back in the hole, BECAUSE of the bad memories and junk that the music made me think about. I realized then that music DOES change how you feel. Likewise I'm sure with movies and games. However...there is a difference between a game about charging through terrorists gunz-a-blazin to rescue hostages, and charging through LA gunz-a-blazin to...charge through LA gunz-a-blazin. It's the message. The difference is in the idea "Wow...imagine doing this in real life..." Would I want my kid to imagine being in the Special Forces and rescuing Olympic athletes from wackos? Maybe. Would I want my kid to imagine shooting a gun or blowing up ANYTHING for a really just cause, or to save the lives of civilians? Maybe. (I'm pretty against war these days, but not every gunshot or explosion happens in a war.) BUT...would I want my kid to imagine shooting people to get rid of drug competition? NO. Would I want my kid to imagine rampaging through LA (or B.F.Egypt) throwing people from their own cars or any of that stupid, worthless crap? Absolutely not. Setting and reasoning are important factors in the issue of violence that is largely overlooked. A game about rescuing hostages could increase patriotism and even the idea of discipline. A game about killing people because you want their car or their drug territory...that can only increase stupidity.

It's funny to me that so many people these days say, like robots, "Kids today aren't any worse than when we were kids. You just got old." Yet they're the same ones who say "Society is degenerating, and kids have it tougher." Why is society degenerating? It's because of all this crap! In "our day" parents were worried about rock music and pot. Why? Because rock music featured lyrics (that made it to the radio) with words like "Hell" and "damn," and talked about how great pot was, which was illegal then. Now, those words and worse are commonly on TV and pot is becoming legal. Why? Probably because the people who are deciding on the laws grew up hearing about it all day in their music. So...should we worry about music and movies that commonly use much worse language and promote much worse behavior? Definitely. Society is degenerating specifically because WE ARE BEING TOLD TO TOLERATE EVERYTHING!

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@Biglittleman:

I don't need to present evidence, because I personally witnessed what rap music did in polluting young minds and destroying a community. I seen what Rap music did when it transformed into violence messages, it misguided and produced a young violent generation. Ever heard of that gangster video game called "San Andreas"? I was there during the times of those gangs, and when Rap was at its most violent peek. I agree that violence will always be in a poor community, but look at all the folks locked up in there 30s and 40s from that generation? Maybe you have a different perspective of Hip-Hop because you grew up in the white suburbs. You clearly can't understand its impact on a certain culture, exspecially if you haven't lived it. I was there and seen what negative music does in pumping people up to commit a crimes. Yeah.... why does the US. military play Rock in Roll in the soldiers helmets now during a war? Because the US. military knows that certain music pumps people up to do some cold blooded killing without feeling. Do you know how many people I could kill if I was listening to the group "System of the Down" in a war? Perhaps in the white middle class area, Rock in Roll has an bad influence of drugs and suicide with young middle class whites. I had to drive a few young white boys to the Hospital because of overdosing on drugs and listening to rock in roll. Bad associations spoil useful habits point blank, that includes bad music, gangster friends, drug addicts, and violent video games. This has more of a bad influence on the youth then adults. The British government just banned a violent movie from Japan, because they felt it was distrubing and inappropriate to watch. The more you feed your mind with trash and violence, it begins to distort your thinking. Thats why many of the female killers, rapist, and butt gropers on the trains in Japan, usually have tons of porno videos in there apartment. That stuff distorts your thinking.

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@quuzendesu:

That was a great post. WE ARE BEING TOLD TO TOLERATE EVERYTING!

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@AK619

Everything you said has no bases. There is no facts or proof. You have no clue of what you are talking about.

I am African American!

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@guuzendesu,

I spent most of my late teens in a depressed funk and thought I was choosing music to suit my mood. I finally realized it was largely the other way around when one day I was in a really good mood and listening to music.

You said you finally realized it. Did you go see a psychologist to verify that? To see where these mood swings came from? Cause I am telling you information from Psychology journals they say it doesn't influence you. They actually did studies. I'm just guessing based on my recollection of situation. And your mood does influence the music you choose to listen too.

So like AK619 you basing your arguments on ideas that are not true. Like blaming rap for friends gang problem. Which makes your argument incorrect. Do the research first. AK619 just gave me this whole speech about me not understanding the "Game" because I'm a white guy from the suburbs.

Fact of the matter is I'm African American who grew up in the hood. Who has an undergraduate and graduate degree under his belt and is now living in Japan. You don't want to make the same mistakes as him.

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I'm just guessing based on my recollection of situation.

I meant to say: I'm not just guessing based on my recollection of a situation.

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biglittleman...you are a judgmental American with a big head. Believe it or not, there are people who understand themselves, and they don't need a person with a piece of paper to tell them how they feel. It was not hard for me to observe facts. Your undergraduate degree, if it exists, doesn't make you smarter or more useful, unfortunately. People who write in journals are going to do all they can to make people believe that you have to have a piece of paper to be able to tell people how they feel. And they will certainly not give you any guidelines in their journals as to how to avoid depression without helping to pay for their little pieces of paper. If they did, their papers wouldn't get paid for, and neither would their subscriptions to those journals. Same as a doctor isn't allowed to tell you that an orange is a cure for scurvy, a psychologist sure as heck will not just up and tell anyone in a magazine the best ways to get better. How many drug ads are in those journals? Answer that and you will have the answer to the next question: Who are those journals trying to help?

Also, I did NOT say that your mood doesn't influence the music you listen to. Obviously if you're depressed you're not going to get out Mini-moni's greatest hits. UNLESS...you believe, contrary to those wonderful journals, that you can change your mood if you try, by listening to upbeat music and thinking positive things, and getting out of bed.

But you know...I guess none of that matters. I'm just some screwball who used to have "mood swings," which never got properly diagnosed by someone with degrees and subscriptions to "journals," so that I could find out how I feel something and why. I must be a fool to believe I've really been living happier all these years, and I'm sure at some point my foolish resistance to all those helpful drugs will bite me in the butt and I'll commit suicide. Right next to the guy who had the prescription for Prozac from the Psychologist.

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I guess if hip hop tried to sing about love, peace and harmony one in a while, maybe the older generation could start to like it. What do the old folks here say to this opinion?

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I say...personally I could never "start to like" rap. If rap music would start to all (or mostly) become positive in nature, then I would start to disapprove of it much less. Most of my problem with rap is its bad attitude. Right now, most of the rap that isn't about illegal stuff or violence is about all about arrogance, defiance, or how the system is keeping them all down. Even most of the rap that people say isn't negative is all about how the rapper is better than any other rapper, or any other person. That's arrogance and it's also a negative emotion.

I don't think rap could survive without negativity. There are too many people who listen to rap to make a statement about how "baaad" they are. Without that message, without those consumers, I don't feel the market would be there to sustain the artists.

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why does the US. military play Rock in Roll in the soldiers helmets now during a war? Because the US. military knows that certain music pumps people up to do some cold blooded killing without feeling. Do you know how many people I could kill if I was listening to the group "System of the Down" in a war?

Any evidence of this? I find it hard to believe that the hearing sense, one of the most important senses when trying to locate where gunfire is coming from, would be supressed with rock music...

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LI say...personally I could never "start to like" rap. If rap music would start to all (or mostly) become positive in nature, then I would start to disapprove of it much less. Most of my problem with rap is its bad attitude

You're making sweeping statements about an entire genre of music there... not all hiphop is about guns, bitches and bling

Have a listen to BRAINTAX - that's about as far removed from the gangster culture as mozart - and then realise that the genre can be suprisingly thought-provoking

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@guuzendesu

You are so off base it isn't even funny. You think because I asked for proof about the relationship between Rap music and violence that makes someone judgmental. (Judgmental- tending to judge people too quickly and critically). You mean like you calling an American with a big head. Or Rap is cause for the probelms including your personal situations. That is very hypocritical. :) Let me show how you are off base thus not giving you credibility with your argument about Rap/Rock music and violence.

1) As an American working in Japan you must have a University degree to get a working visa (I also have a graduate degree) which why I believe scientific evidence about the relationship between Rap and violence is important. You didn't seem to know taht.

2) Academic Journals are used for researchers and members in the scientific community to present their results of research they have done to be reviewed by their peers. It isn't magazine you buy at the store and there is no advertising. There is no money angle which what you are trying to imply. Which is where I found the information showing no relationship between Rap and violence. You didn't seem to know that.

3)I never called you a screwball because of your experience. Those are your own words. Like AK619, I never judged your experiences but I'm questioning your understanding of those situations because your stories don't support you opinion about Rap. If anything they showed there was other explanations for those situations. You don't seem to understand that.

4) Psychologists can't subscribe drugs to patients. That is a psychiatrist. You don't seem to understand that.

You are opinions are based on ideas that just aren't true. Which means it hurts you argument about Rap/Rock music. If you want cause someone judgmental then take a look at all the other posters who didn't take the time even learn earn anything about Rap(Rhythmic American Poetry). They were the ones quick to call it rubbish, call its artists ignorant, uneducated and monkeys.

I didn't hear anything about that. Pot calling the kettle black!

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@guuzendesu

DenDon...you may as well stop posting. It's obvious you want to wear all the "gold" chains you can find at the thrift store. No one will take you seriously.

Rap is all about gold chains? Judgmental?

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@Biglittleman:

I'm African-American, and I don't have a University degree like you and quuzendesu. I've been teaching English in Japan for over six years unfortunately. Anyway, in October I will vacate Japan and start my new career as a law enforcement officer.

I went back to the states last year and completed a P.O.S.T police course in junior-college, I know my education and study habits are no way up to your level.

There's a new DVD movie out called "Thuggin it & loving it". I never thought that kind of monstrous ignorance existed in the black community. Those guys producing the Rap music are still basing its values on money, drugs, hoes, and violence. It dosen't take a University degree to understand that Rap music is polluting the minds of our youth. I was one of the very few guys to get out of the Rap culture, before it turned me into a thug which so many youths did at my time.

The subject of Rap is more then a musical problem in an isolated hood, its bad influence is world wide now. The culture of those in it, forces other youths to convert to its violent life style. Being black and young in the Hood makes you a target to convert to it, or be beaten up or shot. At least thats how I was done when I was young and growing up.

Positive music gives me a better frame of mind, negative music makes me suicidal, angry, depressed, and violent. No, I don't need a professional expert whose never been in the streets, to tell me how I'm feeling or what I witnessed in the streets. These guys are all filling there minds regularly with this ignorant crap, and the evidence of its danger, is that it did spread like cancer all around America.

Thousands of people from my generation are all locked up, how did I escape it! We need to put Hip-Hop out of business, stop buying there crap. Original black American music was not negative like today's music. And to quuzendesu, excuse me for mistaking you for a white boy. :)

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@guuzendesu

I am just typing. Errors happen. Even professional writers have to proofread before their work is published.

About 1: You doubted I had a degree. I proved to you I did. You said you didn't know I lived in Japan. Look at my fourth post before this one. I told you I did. You are not reading.

About 2: If you go to any University campus in their libraries that are open to the public. You can search Academic journals on any topic. They will even request journals for you if they are not there.

About 3: You said music caused you to feel the way you did. But you said were having those problems before the music. It doesn't support your argument.

About 4: Psychologist don't prescribe drugs. You said they do. Only Psychiatrists are qualified to prescribe drugs.

If you don't understand that then you do have some problems. You have also been talking about music, look at your earlier posts. All your name calling just makes you look really sad. It shows me that you haven't solved you problem and why professional help is important.

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@guuzendesu

I didn't make any sweeping statements. I said "rap." Rap is 90% bad attitude, maybe higher.

Do you even know the meaning of the words you use? It is like watching the Glenn Beck show!

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@guuzendesu

I gotta tell you though...your grammar and some of your word use could use some improvement. I only graduated high school but I can still spell and use grammar better than a guy with degrees. That helps me feel more positive too.

If you are going to complain about my grammar then the sentences describing my problem should be grammatically correct. And judgemental and judgmental are both correct spellings.

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I didn't make any sweeping statements. I said "rap." Rap is 90% bad attitude, maybe higher

hahahahaha this is a gem. so it's not a sweeping statement if you use a percentage? gotcha

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@AK619

First of all, Guuzendesu doesn't have any degree. Second, your previous post were at me so you assumed I was Caucasian from the suburbs. No problem, I accept the apology. The conversation has never been about the degrees so have more confidence in your abilities.

Once again, I ask you to show the proof of your statements. If you said this was my opinion that is one thing. You are stating them as absolute fact which is why evidence is necessary. Like I recommended to Guuzendesu. Go to any University library. The research is there. If you are in Japan. Tokyo has two American universities. Columbia and Temple! You can use both of their libraries. As one Brother to another,I recommend this because you definitely don't want to go into law enforcement without having the facts straight. Which is why having correct understanding of our experiences are important because they determine our views about the world. You are trying to give an explanation to a problem that was already in the African-American community before Rap was even invented. From your writing you seem to be a good person who cares. I just hope that your all your efforts are directed at the real problems instead of these diversions.

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Reading the title and skimming the first paragraph, I thought the writer was going to talk about his son being sent to prison.

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@Biglittleman:

How about just using your own life experiences to reason on this topic, there's no need to point to expert research, we claimed we lived the hood life right? If anything, the expert researcher would be interviewing people who grew up in the hood to base there facts and reasons. I don't know many cats with degrees from the hood, if even obtaining a GED.

I'm not sure what part of America you grew up in, but bro I'm lucky to have made it to the age I am now, and without a criminal record, OMG! Like I stated before, thousands of blacks from my generation are all locked up, and it was during the most violent peek of Hip-Hop music. You can't see a relationship between violent music and its actual results from it participates? Bro, did you really grow up in the hood, or perhaps your in the 1990s generation.

I was there during the time of "Tookie Williams", and when some of the most vile gangs and Rap music was out. Ever heard of the Crips & Bloods? You claim to have a degree, do you actually think violent and ignorant music has a positive impact on a community? Can you give me four reasons, how talking about hoes, drugs, money, and killing a man benefits young peoples future?

I was a prior gang member, and I don't encourage Rap crap. It produces ignorance, and at least I can go back to the hood, and make a positive statement in my police uniform, but you just promote Rap crap, which has led many astray.

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You are trying to give an explanation to a problem that was already in the African-American community before Rap was even invented.

quite correct. you think there weren't hoods and gangs before the 70s?

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@AK619

I saw Thuggin n Lovin it. The documentary was just about Thugs in Louisiana with a rap soundtrack. Nobody said or discuss how rap made me live this life. They talk about how they felt they didn't have any other choices and that thuggin' was their only way of surviving. That is a conversation for another day. They also talked about how rap is a way of expressing the realities of their everyday lives. Someone earlier gave an example of Napalm Death. See the analogy people?

One guy I believe the producer of the dvd and two other are trying to start record labels. That is because it is a feasible dream. There are numerous examples of regular folks starting their own labels and being successful. It is like sports! When you see role models accomplishing something great it gives you hope and the confidence to try. Now with our President there is one more feasible dream out there. Now there are alot of great and successful folks in the African community not just rappers. Police officers are one of them. The ones I discussed earlier just get more media attention thus the focus is always on them.

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Society is degenerating specifically because WE ARE BEING TOLD TO TOLERATE EVERYTHING!

Society is degenerating, only to those who fail to see pass the sensationalized newspaper headlines and as the old say goes let's one bad apple ruins the bunch.

We should back to the old days, where it was OK to beat your wife and children, racism was a lot less taboo, gays were forced to hide in the closet or perhaps when recreational drugs like LSD were hip (try and find a writer today that romanticized debauchery more than Hunter S. Thompson and become an iconic American figure for it.)

But that is really anecdotal, perhaps an analysis of actual facts;

Violent crimes;

1960 to 1970 - an increase of 156% 1970 to 1980 - an increase of 80% 1980 to 1990 - an increase of 26% 1990 to 2000 - a decrease of 21% 2000 to 2007 - a decrease of 1%

All other crimes follow the same pattern. http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

Tell me if rap and violent games are so bad, why did violent crimes decrease by 21% in 90's? Surely violent crimes would have increased, with all those kids being influenced by rap but the fact is there is no proof other then anecdotal inferences that rap and video have increased the level of violence in America or any where in the world and clearly if all major crime rates are falling, saying society is degenerating is nothing more then a lie.

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@AK619,

Come on player, I know you are not asking me for street credential? That is no different than verifying academic degrees. I grew up in the South not to far from Louisiana and was born in the early 70's. Neither on of my parents graduate High school. I am the first out of a family of five to graduate from University. I have had friends die from street violence as well as friends and family members go to jail. You are singing to the choir. We are going to leave it at that.

Going through experiences that we have doesn't always make us qualified to understand them. It wasn't until I learned more did I better understand this about my experiences. That seems to be what a lot earlier people on this post is suffering form...IGNORANCE. For example, Michael Jordan to me is the best to ever play the game. When he was asked how did he do the thing he did. He didn't know and couldn't explain it. They had to get some people with degrees in biomechanics to analysis his movements. He later came out with a dvd about it. That is what most of the scientific community is for.

When rappers are on a track. They have 3-5mins and 5-6 bars to get their feelings out there. There isn't anytime to give a history lesson or to even understand why those feelings are there. They may not even no why they have them. They are just examples of their lives. In fact, all forms of art do the same thing. It is just a snapshot in the life of that artist. I'm no condoning everything but I'm saying there is more to it than what you believe it. Now if you talk to some of the older rappers in the game they can explain it even better than me.

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Crimes have to be reported by police departments, and some don't bother, and others outright distort the facts in the city's favor. Check old news articles and you will be able to find things like "The city says it accidentally misrepresented crime statistics..." I know, because I heard that very story not a year ago.

littleman, for a guy with degrees, you don't read much. You ignored half of what I said. YOU HAVEN'T PROVEN ANYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF AND CAN'T. You could be a 13-year-old in Idaho for all we know. Do you understand that yet? People can post lies. Is that plain enough for you?

About my own experience, let me clarify, if you can read. I was depressed a lot in my teen years. I listened to a lot of depressing music. I figured this was not a contributing factor to my depression. I had been told that but I didn't want to believe it and argued against it because I didn't want to admit that it was stupid for me to listen to depressing music, the same way people argue about any music or anything else they love even though the arguments could obviously be wrong. (Ahem.) Years later, a depressing song completely ruined a good mood I had going, and I REALIZED it. This is what finally made me admit that music does influence and can completely change your mood. A psychologist or anyone else who could think about prescribing drugs was not and is not required in that situation. What IS required is introspection and self-honesty. I am capable of both.

IF you are capable of either, then you will have to admit two things: One, that a study can be made to show any fact that the study group wants. Ask any statistician. Two, that experience is a valid form of evidence.

My brother and a friend of his told me how, after seeing the movie "The Warriors," they walked down the center of the road and just WAITED for someone to pick a fight with them. No, it's not music, but the spirit is the same. I know that millions of people experience the same thing every day. If I listen to a song full of sexual sounds, I think of sex. If I listen to a song about fighting, I think of fighting. The idea that "thoughts make the man" is as old as...well, at least as old as philosophy. I really can't fathom why it's ever really questioned, except that, like myself in the midst of my UNDIAGNOSED depression, people don't want to admit that something THEY LIKE could be bad. Or even bad for them. Does 50 cent think his music causes violence? No. Do his fans? No.

This whole dumb argument reminds me a lot of another guy I know who has a drug problem. He will tell you time after time that he doesn't. He will also tell you he doesn't even use drugs anymore. Then you can open his drawer and find needles. This is the same crap in a different drawer.

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@Guuzendesu,

This whole dumb argument reminds me a lot of another guy I know who has a drug problem. He will tell you time after time that he doesn't. He will also tell you he doesn't even use drugs anymore. Then you can open his drawer and find needles. This is the same crap in a different drawer.

Are we talking about you and your fight against depression? That what it sounds like. This does not relate to the topic of Rap and its connection to violence.

littleman, for a guy with degrees, you don't read much. You ignored half of what I said. YOU HAVEN'T PROVEN ANYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF AND CAN'T. You could be a 13-year-old in Idaho for all we know.

This does not relate to the topic of Rap and its connection to violence. I only need to show my argument is correct by using evidence that can be verified. You haven't done that yet.

My brother and a friend of his told me how, after seeing the movie "The Warriors," they walked down the center of the road and just WAITED for someone to pick a fight with them.

This doesn't show any relationship between rap and violence. You are also admitted to suffering from depression but refused get treatment. How do we know your brother wasn't also suffering from a mental condition.

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No, it was not about depression. It's about rap music lovers who refuse to entertain the idea that rap increases violence. And I don't stop just at violence. Rap music increases egotism, disrespect, violence, drug trade, and other things. And I am stating flatly, and anyone who admits to being influenced by music will also state flatly, that it is apparent that you are defending a belief that you already have, and that you are unwilling to believe anything to the contrary. No degrees are required to see this either.

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And I do not hide behind what a study says. It would be pointless to start a "study war" since you know already that there are countless studies that show music DOES increase all those things, and so do video games, movies (which was originally my main point) and lots of other stuff. I am citing my own and others' experience.

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@Guuzendesu,

Years later, a depressing song completely ruined a good mood I had going, and I REALIZED it.

That proved you heard a song it reminded you of your earlier years when you were suffering from depression. You still never found out what the cause of the depression was. You have said several times in this thread you were suffering from depression and you started listening to music that reflected that. You also said that music didn't help my condition. You never once said I was perfectly fine in my teens then I started listening to depressing music and it caused my depression.

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Some people...

This does not have anything to do with the fact that the song is what changed my mood at that time. You are incorrect: I never said "music didn't help my condition." I'm aware of what I said and didn't say. So let's stick to that. What I said was "A song ruined my good mood." How hard is this, really???

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Hm. Also, you seem to be trying to use my statements to argue that I believe you can't have moods or mood changes without music. That's a misinterpretation on your part. Also I have never said or hinted that I didn't know the source of my depression. I just didn't care to tell you.

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@Guuzendesu,

Wow. When you want to say something off topic it's ok. But fine. I realize you have degrees so that's ok.

If that was true then my post would have been deleted by the moderators. Check your email account. There has been a lot of your posts that have been deleted here. Because they didn't make sense and had no relationship to Rap and violence.

And I am stating flatly, and anyone who admits to being influenced by music will also state flatly, that it is apparent that you are defending a belief that you already have, and that you are unwilling to believe anything to the contrary. No degrees are required to see this either.

Earlier you said it is not a good idea to vehemently force an argument. Especially about something you feel strongly about because it makes you sound fanatical. Everything I have presented about Rap music and violence has been using evidence from third parties. Real research evidence. You have only been using gut feeling about Rap and violence. Is that an example of your definition of fanatical?

IF you are capable of either, then you will have to admit two things: One, that a study can be made to show any fact that the study group wants. Ask any statistician.

First you say evidence showing no relationship between Rap and violence is useless.

Then you....

It would be pointless to start a "study war" since you know already that there are countless studies that show music DOES increase all those things, and so do video games, movies (which was originally my main point) and lots of other stuff.

You are a walking contradiction. None of this helps your argument about Rap and its direct relationship to violence.

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BOYS!! Chill out. You are going in circles. Look..anyone with a brain knows that you can choose songs to fit your mood and that music can also change your mood. To say there is no relationship between media and violence is silly. BUT BUT BUT >.....it will affect a weaker person more. Not everyone. It doesn't make me kill per se, but influence my feelings? ANYONE is influenced my music or art to SOME degree. To say otherwise is just SOOOOOOOO naive.

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So in that respect(my last post)rap DOES contribute to violence in people who are mor predisposed to it probably. ALLLLL music influences people. Trash metal and all of that noise does too. So let's just agree to disagree. I am educated with a graduate degree too and I am in Japan and i was poor yada yaday! The whole nine. Everyone who knows me knows my story. Played ball in college full ride..all that. No need to make it up. I was depressed at times and i didn't need a shrink to tell me that. Black cutains..dark rooms and............are you ready?......MUSIC. Sometimes it spirals you further or sometimes it can uplift you. So, what is this thread all about really? No matter what you think is trash another thinks is garbage......stew on that boys.......so we all know that rap and rock and violent movies etc can contribute to violence and that people predisposed to violence like to choose music that feeds them (sometimes). It goes both ways. BUT..the poster who said that violent games rescuing hostages and stuff could help promote patriotism is drinking out of the same brainwashing kool-aid the powers that be send out. THAT IS THE LAST THING WE NEED.

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@Guuzendesu,

Also, you seem to be trying to use my statements to argue that I believe you can't have moods or mood changes without music.

I never said that. I am question your belief that music is the cause of violence and conditions like depression because you keep using it as your example of proof.

Also I have never said or hinted that I didn't know the source of my depression. I just didn't care to tell you.

So if it wasn't the music that caused your depression then I was correct and you agree with me. There isn't a direct cause/effect relationship between Rap/Rock music and violence or mental illnesses like depression. Therefore there is no reason to continue this discussion. Thanks :)

Moderator: Readers, you are going around in circles and taking the discussion nowhere. From here on, posts that do not refer to the points made by the writer will be removed.

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there are countless studies that show music DOES increase all those things, and so do video games, movies (which was originally my main point) and lots of other stuff.

there are NOT. find one if you can. the writer of this 'article' himself admits he's got nothing to complain about in his final sentence. the inevitable generation gap, that's all it is.

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Crime statistics may have decreased, possibly because of the intense camera monitoring these days, but a lot of crimes seem to be on the vicious side now.

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It's amazing when ignorant people throw out crazy generalizations and then state that studies are useless.

Yeah, some songs might make you depressed b/c it can trigger a memory or feeling.

Smells do the same thing. There are certain smells that remind me of home and make me so nostalgic that sometimes I get sad b/c I'm in Japan and not at home. Shall we ban all bad smells too?

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Er, not 'bad smells' but smells that make you sad... whoops! Home doesn't smell bad!!!

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The problem with rap is the beat.Pure and simple.When the beat is good,the words don't really matter. But rap over the last 10 years or so with the exception of a few, is pure unadulterated noise,with jokers trying to act tough and talking bout the streets.We KNOW already. We heard about them when rap/hiphop was good.Move on.

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@Biglittleman:

When the Rap music got played we all got pumped up to bang and break some heads. A lot of brotha's aquired the violent I don't give a F attitude that Rap music influences on the mind. Many became fearless just like the Rap music taught, and many didn't care if they ended up in jail for committing a crime, only to regret it after a life sentence.

Rappers who preach violence are just agents of the devil misleading people bro, don't even listen to the those dumb punks. Big deal! A few Rappers become rich off exploiting the weak state of the poor. How dose Rap help a majority of people in poverty to be successful when they're all ending up in prision?

Not everyone can become a Rapper anyway, so how dose violence songs make the majority of the followers possibly succeed when it teaches destruction? If you seen the "Thuggin it & Lovein it" video, do you actually think those ignorant fools are gonna be successful? They were high on drugs in the video, criminally shooting guns in the air, and talking total non-sense. Thats the life that Rap promotes and produces, it produces ignorance losers!

People, we gotta free our minds from those false uneducated preachers and agents of Satan... don't buy Rap music, choke those punks out. I like the message Obama is promoting, everyone go back to school! The stimulus package will arrive next college semester 2010 with an extra large grant. I will be there to beneift from it part-time regarding my future plans to start a private security company.

Today, I'm still fighting the effects of Rap music that was instilled in my mind years ago. Sometimes I just snap at people and get that violent I don't give a F attitude! I'm still struggle to combat its deep negative effects. I don't need drugs from a Doctor, I just need positive influences and people who sincerely want to help a brotha. Thats what the youth need, not some uneducated, pathetic, fool on a micro phone.

In addition, a University degree dosen't teach street knowledge, because I know people with degrees still ignorant, on drugs, and in jail. They lack the common sense to stay away from the wrong people. Keep playing with fire, and you might get burnt, and you know who you are.

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@AK619

You seem to be all over the place about what you are trying to say. That is why your posts are so long. First, you were saying I was White boy from the suburbs, to being born in the 90's generation and finally not having any street credentials. You are grasping at straws. I'm not going to repeat all that stuff again.

Like, I said Rap isn't the explanation for all the problems in the Black community. These problems were here before Rap existed. If Rap disappeared today those problems would still be there. It also isn't some worldwide epidemic which is going to lead us to the apocalypse.

I'm not saying your heart isn't in the right place just your focus is misguided. Your reasoning about rap is like a car. A car that has overheated (problem-violence, destroying the youth etc...) because there is no water(explanation-rap) in it. That explanation is correct on the surface. In actuality, the real problem is there is a leak in the radiator or maybe the thermostat is broken. So no matter how much water you put in it. It will continue to overheat so the problem remains.

Think about this. I have told you we come similar backgrounds and I'm also in my mid 30's. I listened to hardcore stuff and still do sometimes. I don't know much about Virgo but has said his life was just like ours. Tell me why we turned out OK and some of your friends, my friends and his friends didn't. Same environment different outcomes. If you can determine the difference then you are on your way to finding the real problem and a solution. Like the car analogy, some of the hardcore rap is just the symptom of the problem. It is not the problem.

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as another poster pointed out "against our religion......" Yup, they brainwashed the boy his whole life to live up to the exaggerated, fabricated, example of some invisible deity and wonder why he rebels a bit later and errs towards the opposite things. No brainier.

I was also brainwashed into believing in Christ and it took me years and years to clear my head. As for my son, I have never even breathed the words God or Jesus and never will unless he asks me my opinion on it.

I don't want to give him any preconceptions for things that he will ultimately make up his own mind on.

But I have noticed that my father, myself and my son are all into music in the same way. It is linked very closely to our feelings and memories and we keep the good from the past but keep up with new music too. Between the 3 of us there is a hundred years but we all like "Street Sweeper Social Club" at the moment.

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Who here knows what happened in 1990? "...in 1990, the RIAA implemented a uniform Parental Advisory logo that continues in use today..." It seems that the decrease in violent crime might in large part be BECAUSE of the start of widespread resistance to sex and violence in the media.

you are contradicting yourself and common sense.

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Oh. Sorry. My bad. There I thought I was posting links with numbers and facts. Boy was I wrong.

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non english speaking countries and those that didnt have the tipper sticker must have been real hotbeds of violence in the 1990's eh? video games and films, another popular target of your crowd didnt get any tipper stickers. the last few years have seen people abandoning CDs and downloading most of their music, do they download parental advisory stickers too? has there been a sudden surge in music related violence? errrr, no.

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there is no substantiating evidence because there is NO evidence that 'violent' media is responsible for the ills of society, NONE. just crackpot theories and jumping to conclusions that ignores cultural history. what you are saying is nothing new, people have been blaming art and media for the evils of the world for centuries. animals are violent, infants are violent. it is not because they have a 2LiveCrew track on their ipod.

Moderator: Readers, you continue to go around in circles. We have already requested that your comments focus on what the author writes. Posts that do not will be removed.

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Tattoos, rap and saggy pants = Incredibly Stupid

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Tattoos, rap and saggy pants throw in he sheer absurdity and ugliness of body piercings; society in devolution. The great race to the bottom and whoever it was that said; 'human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe' had it right... By 'education' he or she wasn't talking about collecting pieces of paper either.

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Tattoos, rap and saggy pants throw in he sheer absurdity and ugliness of body piercings; society in devolution. The great race to the bottom and whoever it was that said; 'human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe' had it right... By 'education' he or she wasn't talking about collecting pieces of paper either.

clowns in effect, for the clown society. scary but nonetheless just childish clueless clowns

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@Biglittleman:

You can listen to the street ignorant preachers if you want, you don't seem to care about the badness it has contributed to society. Just because Rap didn't effect me and you like the flu, dosen't excuse the majority of thousands of men that are over flooding the prision system. You gotta have a crack pipe to smoke crack, just like you gotta have Rap mixed in with street gangs to create the big BOOM of crime thats still going on!

Bro, I highly doubt you been in the real streets, but you sound like a loyal follower of the "Rap cult preachers". Go ahead and keep your tattoos, saggy pants, and keep pretending to live the imaginary thug life in Japan.

At 30 you haven't dumped that man child rubbish yet? Man grow up! I'm out and moving on to do better things, and won't look back to ignorance. You gotta degree? Thats very good of you, how about doing something positive to help other poor blacks, instead of keeping them down by promoting Rap?

We do need some good Cops in the poor communities, think about it?

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Readers, you continue to go around in circles.

this whole debate has and been going round in circles for centuries. the writer knew this but still wrote it and you chose to 'publish' it. focusing on the writer then I can only say he is hackneyed and naive. a television executive, hmmmm.

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When I was a teen in skinny black jeans pointed shoes and dark eyeliner my parents were pretty worried. Gothic looked like something evil to them. To me it was rebellion against the beige conservative world I grew up in and a society that seemed to care only about money.

My niece and nephew now listen to bands that wear similar fashion but whose music I can't enjoy as much as old dark sounds. But their purpose has not really changed. They want to express their frustration and differentiate themselves like any previous generation. As long as it does not harm them, then let them enjoy it.

I have tattos that bring back good memories, piercings that remind me of long lost friends and times. I am no worst the wear for having been Goth for many years. I have a great job, good home, happy life and I managed to keep my creativity alive with music and my political and social values alive as well.

I am maybe more conservative personally. I hated rap when it started and still do today. But this is a matter of taste and not generations.

To the writer, if you don't "get" your kids behavior now, you probably won't, but you should do as my parents did. Allow them to express themselves through fashion and music. It is far better than restricting them and having them act out through more harmful means of expression.

As for your religion. If it is something true to them, they will come back to it in time. But for me and many of my generation, we saw the superstitious holdovers of ancient religions as one of the causes of the world's troubles and rejected it permanently. We did so in favor of new ideas. Ideas about peace, secular morality, responsibility to the world and people around us, compassion, empathy, love and hope. All without the instructions or threats of any dieties. In this we found hope for a future ruled by compassionate reason and not by superstitious belief.

Trust your children to learn from you, guide them, but let them be free to express as well. In the end they my surprise you in their ability to grow up into fine people.

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Trust your children to learn from you, guide them, but let them be free to express as well. In the end they my surprise you in their ability to grow up into fine people. Interesting ... this is the philosophy of A.S Neil and the Summer Hill school in the UK. A very hip educational institution in its day. An aquantaince went there and attended a school reunion some years ago. Her comments were interesting as I recall; "God, they absolutely ALL have problems. attempted suicides, multiple marriages, drug and alcohol dependancies" etc. Food for thought, I thought ...

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Nutsagain. There are many factors that could be responsible for the reunion outcome. I did not attend, but my friends who went to our Catholic school reunion found similar results. I imagine that most school reunions have collections of people with problems. And the percentage probably has more to do with where they live and the environment they make their lives in than the highschool they went to.

The ills you listed I believe come from modern urban society where people feel disconnected, selfish, isolated and under constant pressure. Society wants everyone to be "normal" when in reality few people are. What we need is a society that accepts diversity and individuality and maybe people would grow up better adjusted instead of feeling like they have to conform or that they have failed to do so.

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Gmme a break .... music and fashion are means of self expression, be it positive, negative, or nonsense. The moment we deem our opinions on such things to be more relevant than the right of people to express themselves in whatever way they wish, is the moment we are living in fear and repression.

I'd rather someone express their negativity through audio-visual means than physical. Can some of the posters not see that perhaps the people who make such music, felt that way in the first place? Would you even know about it if it wasn't for the freedom of self expression that we all enjoy today? You don't have to like it, you just have to have options. Listen to the music and have no other sources of information to make your own decisions? Weak excuse for bad behaviour. Never mind the music, where are the parents and the teachers of the youth, praising them when they do well, and teaching them better ways when they do wrong. Humans have that inate ability to do what they will. You can't stop artforms without forcing them underground and making them more fascinating, so stop whining and enjoy what you enjoy, promote what you promote, forget the rest. I don't have to like someones music to have an intelligent conversation with them. POsters here arguing about thier street cred, but trying to blame music for bad attitudes have missed the point. It just shows a stubborn refusal to accept reason, and the need to find a scapegoat, rather than look at ones own self, or the underlying reasons of any problem. Seriously, try digging a little deeper.

BTW, the poster who said something about killing people after listening to system of a down, thats hilarious. Comedy at its best. They sing songs that are anti-war, and do not promote violence at all. You are mistaking your own inability to control your emotions while hearing a certain type of sound with actual reality. I personally find thier music quite upbeat and happy. I would not consider it hardcore at all. The teens can have it.

oh and the writers writings are just the frustrated ramblings of an old guy who got left behind in the development of current music and styles. It happens, the youth will always question thier elders, and when they dont its stagnation. The human race as a whole, as well as individuals, explore thier options, and make mistakes and success where they find them. We all learn and move on.

I personally like lots of musical genres, i like baggy pants, but not down around my butt, and i have tattoos with a cultural significance that may escape some, but thats ok, I dont have piercings because they creep me out, but i dont mind people who do. And if you dont like me, thats ok too. DOnt blame the music, I think the most negative music I listened to over the years, probably saved me from acting out on some of the frustrations of growing up if anything. All my mistakes were my own, not some artists, and when I changed my life for the better, it was of my own free will, and I still listen to the same music, if not a broader range of tastes than before. gee, that darned rap and heavy metal music didnt do a good job of screwing me up now did it. YOur fired!! wheres a new invisible demon to blame?

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@AK619,

Why you getting up set? You are suppose to be above all this. Yet, instead of addressing any of the comments I have made about Rap music. Now questioning my ghetto pass and all that nonsense. You have completely ignored anything I have said. You are now resorting to name calling. That is pretty sad player. And you are now making our people look bad. Once again grasping at straws!

Despite your years on the streets and your exposure to Rap you have learned very little from your experiences. All that anger you had as teen that got you caught up in streets has now been channeled at the one thing you blame for those experiences. Maybe you should blame the problems like bad parents, fathers, communities and the individuals for allowing our generation to get these problems. It seems you haven't really gotten rid of that anger. Now you want to be a police. It sounds like a bad combination. Cops with issues taking out on the public. I have experiencd that perosnally. You seem to have traded in your street preacher for another preacher. Which has taught you only hate and intolerance. At only have faith in whatever while throwing out common sense. You were the same person earlier talking about President Obama addressing the Black community. One point he made asking for the fathers to step up. That is one solution to the problems in our communities. Once again the symptom(Rap) isn't the same as the problem.(more deep rooted things other than rap)

I thought we going to have an opportunity to sincerely discus some issues without the bulls&%t. Unfortunately, I was wrong. :(

Step your game up player!

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@Biglittleman:

You don't know me and thats getting off topic. I only tried to convince you to change your views regarding a topic on Rap music, however to no avail. Hey enjoy the tattoos, saggy pants, fake gold chain, and whatever else those ignorant fools preach to you about.

In addition, former gangsters that turn into police or security officers usually make better Cops then those that never grew up in the hood. I personally met some, they're a real positive example for the youth to look up to, because they been there.

As a grown man, I might be able to save a youth that needs a prestigous example, rather then a wanna be street punk. I'd say thats more positive then a grown ld man with tattoos, saggy pants, and a fake silver chain, who has an imagination that thug music is positive. Who do the youth have to look up to these days without parents, I guess grown men into gangster Rap with saggy pants?

I like the positive message that Obama is promoting, go back to school next year everybody! Good luck!

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@AK619

you say....

You don't know me and thats getting off topic.

Yet, you believe to know who I am. You should go back and read your posts. Everything you thought about me has been wrong. Your last several posts have been saying the same thing. Example, " You must not be from the hood." "You don't know what the thug life is like." Saggy pants, gold chains and tattoos are evil. So are sounding like a broken record a religious nut. Stop the preaching of intolerance. It closes your mind and you don't learn anything.

I only tried to convince you to change your views regarding a topic on Rap music, however to no avail.

You should actually stay on the topic. Actually address the comments I have made about Rap. Prove to me I am wrong. What was your response? AK619: I don't have to prove to you Rap music is bad. That is just silly. Another example of ignorance. How do you expect to convince youths about anything if you don't have logic and common sense to show them the right way. Kids aren't stupid and your lack of understanding in that is why folks are failing to get the message across.

You have ignored everything I have said. First, that shows your closed mindedness which leads to ignorance. Second, you have not tried to convince by using logic and common sense. You are trying to preach. Like, a religious nut. I challenge you to logically put an argument together about the dangers of rap. You are correct some of the best cops are those from the neighborhoods they patrol. That is only if they have learned from their experiences. They also know not to call the people they are trying to help ignorant fools and losers because their preferences in music are different.

I'd say thats more positive then a grown man with tattoos, saggy pants, and a fake silver chain,

Go ahead and keep your tattoos, saggy pants, and keep pretending to live the imaginary thug life in Japan.

It is getting old player! Like a broken record or lunatic. With that kind of thinking you won't help many people. It will be like the blind leading the blind.

You should know by now all Black folks don't dress that way and still listen to Rap. You should also know all rappers don't dress that way. Your generalizations about your own people shows you are out of touch. You actually sound like the Caucasian folks from the suburbs. Do I need to check your ghetto pass?

Moderator: Once again, we ask you to stay on topic please.

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biglittleman, that was your best response yet. Case closed.

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The "Tattoos, rap and saggy pants" article is fairly interesting. But I greatly admire the comments below which are very educational and professional.

I want to say that I am so fortunate to be born deaf in America (white man), which that handicap of mine made it harder for me to be enticed and exposed by America's darker culture consisting of brainwashing music which often accommodated with violence, sex, and drugs. But tattooing is a different story. In 1980s, not so many Americans had tattoos. The tattooing fad actually began in 1990s, but slowly. In that decade, I started to see a few football players who had tattoos around their arms on TV. A few wonderful athletes, like Michael Jordan, had their ears pierced. Starting in the 21st century, owing to Internet and American mass media, tattooing was greatly popularized and encouraged. By now, so many women and men already have them. Astonishing phenomona!

Despite all of negative influences, which are evolving through time for more extreme and worse, are given to the American society, I don't have much trouble leading a normal life. Virtue is very important if you want your family to stay together in one piece. Even if an individual is only one, but possessing self-control, consideration, and patience, he can play a positive role and be inspirational to many other family members and even friends. True. We can't depend on the famous actors, actresses, athletes, musicians, singers, etc. for our well being, because we don't really know some actual aspects of their real lives.

Well, this article made me wanting to use Wikipedia to find an information about Japan's hip hop culture. Wikipedia said that it was influenced by African Americans. But this is a highly controversial subject which I would not go ahead to explain. This is an unfortunate fact.

If you want to know more about Japanese hip hop, just type "Japanese hip hop" on Wikipedia's search. It will get you to the article. Very intriguing, but warn you that it contains a link which leads to more controversial article. Warning: Not for sensitive people.

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Yep, trying to be the "hip parent" is exactly why your kid is doing all this retarded rebel crap. If you can get your kid to respect you, he will want to be like you and seek your approval. When I was growing up, even though I wanted to rebel against my parents, and didn't agree with them, I could look at Vince Neil and the idiots in Motley Crue, and then look at my Dad, tri-lingual, PhD in Physics, owned his own business and I could see which one was real, and which one was a stupid act.

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Kids (young and old) have been thrashing out to Napalm Death for the best part of the last three decades - nothing generational about them whatsoever.

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Kids (young and old) have been thrashing out to Napalm Death for the best part of the last three decades - nothing generational about them whatsoever.

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