Why is the rap singer Eminem and violent rap music popular with america's youth?

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This part weekend I did a workshop for five hundred high school students called "What would you say to Eminem? Violence and Free speech in music." Eminem the rap singer won the grammy award for best album this year. His lyrics talk about raping and killing his mother and his lyrics are some of the most vile lyrics around. As a violence prevention specialist, I try to get young people to examine ALL aspects of their lives for potential influences of violence. One of the things that came out at this workshop, is that they identify with Eminem because he is "cool, good looking and defy authority. The kids say they do not llsten to the lyrics but just like the beat. It took a while but they did begin to see how desensitized they are to violence in music and movies. My question is should we discuss rap music and movies and their violent overtones in church? What are your thoughts about eminem or other rap artists?

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2001


I believe in taking advantage of the teaching moment. By that, I mean when an opportunity presents itself, teach. For example, when he won the grammy, I took that opportunity to talk with my children about the dangers of all rap so-called music and how our family values differ from those who listen to that garbage. I teach them that the sub-conscious mind will absorb those lyrics even if they do not "listen" to them. As a matter of fact, this is a technique to embed data into the sub-conscious mind without the listener being aware of it. Some talk show host keep a constant driving beat going so much so that you can't hear thge talk but you are absorbing it. The last thing is Garbage in, Garbage out.

Blessings Pastor Paris

I try to expose my children to

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2001

I agree. Jesus talk in parables using the terms of the day because he wanted everyone to be able to relate. We complain about the youth, but we need to recognize and have knowledge of what they are hearing and some could be experiencing. We are not to be ignorant of the devil's devices. That's so we will have a strategy.

I think it was intellegent on your part Rev Rogers to speak of the rapper. And even more so, that you had listened to his (music). We must not think that we are too holy to investigate what the devil is presenting to our children. Hopefully we have enough Holy Ghost in us to keep us from being swayed by their message. And use it as knowlege for dialogue.

In Christ, Carmen

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2001

Music can be a dangerous propaganda weapon. The Nazis used anti- Semitic songs to make people care less about what was happening to their Jewish neighbors. Rev. Denise, I am glad that you were able to address this issue. We can't listen to something all day long and not be affected by it, at least a tiny bit.


-- Anonymous, March 31, 2001

Because it is Satanic and satan makes it attractive to our youth so that he can corrupt them and include them in his kingdom. We must from birth, even before birth bring up the child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from that way. Today, we allow our children too many choices from birth. Consider the congregation in Georgia, Atlanta I think that is being persecuted because they choose to spank their children. There are members of my church that do not believe in spanking their children. You can identify the children of such parents also. As for me and my house, I will do what is necessary to bring my children up properly. blessings Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2001

Pastor Paris,

I'm with you when you are right. AMEN

In Christ, Carmen

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2001

I am somewhat offended by many of the comments made on this forum. I am a 16 year old teenager who happens to enjoy rap music. I am especially offended by the comment made that suggests that people who listen to rappers like Eminem have no values. I have not done anything wrong in my entire life. I maintain a 94.1% average in school, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't steal, I don't vandalize things, I just happen to like rap music. There are two sides to every story. Perhaps we shouldn't look to things like rap music and television to explain all of the bad things in the world. Maybe we should look at the way some parents raise their children, It is not everyone's responsibility to raise everyone else's children. If parent's really don't want their children exposed to this kind of thing, they should make sure that they let them know that they don't want them to listen to it. I know that my parents have raised me well enough to know right from wrong, and a stupid song is not going to change that. Just because I hear Eminem talking about killing people, I surely will not want to do the same. Thank you for listening to my opinion, I had to write because I thought that this forum was a little one-sided.

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2001

I think that we should discuss all forms in ignorance, including some of the rap artists. Rap as a freedom of expression is not a bad thiing. However, when the lyrics are degrading, I draw the line. On a personal note I like a little Tupac and Biggy. But it took listening to the music to understand and acknowledge its beauty.

The cause of violence is more than rap, it is our moraless culture. We keep looking for reasons outside of our families and communities. If we raise our children right, they might stray, but will always come back. My son is a DJ and listens to all music....he is not a murderer or a raptist. Perhaps challenging in other ways:-).

We (grown ups) act like this is first time society blames youth behavior on music. I remember the people in the AME church getting upset because we rocked when singing. Don't mess around and clap. The sisters on the sewardess board rolled their eyes. The only people who clap were the shoutin' sisters, who cut up after the preacher whooped. Can't remember having any instrutments other than the organ and paino. See how things have changed. Now some AME preachers have praise posses. Complete with the "bling bling".

I think we should give our children credit for recognizing foolishness.

In Love and Light, Brenda

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2001

Since we are discussing the influence of music...have you noticed the direction of "gospel" music? Some of it is WILD! I think it is just dangerous as "bad" rap. Giving false impressions. It is just a matter of time before we "see" some the actions of these performers. Including some the big names.

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2001

Brenda what do you mean some of the gospel music is "Wild" As you can imagine we do not get a lot of gospel music here in Montana. So please tell me what is going on thanks.

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2001

Pastor Denise, I hang my head in shame...for I watch BET gospel hour sometimes on Sunday mornings. The sisters and brothers looked like they were at the club and bouncing around. Kirk'em has taken gospel to the next level. And his videos, well watch them sometime. Now, I've seen the children do the Bankhead bounce many times in the church. Even seen the young men create a dance rountine(street dances too) while the choir was singing...they were smooth. I don't have a problem with it, just bringing up other points for discussion. Personally, I have a hard time with gospel performers doing hip hop.

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2001

Brenda I cannot get BET so I can't get the gospel hour. But I love Kirk Franklin's music. Alas I also like hip hop music too. But my favorite gospel performer is Fred Hammond.

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2001

I like Fred Hammond, but Kirk is a bit much...

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2001

There is nothing wrong with Kirk Franklin or Kirk Douglas or Captain Kirk. Why y'all picking on Kirk? Just fininished teaching a class on money demand, aggregate spending and creeping inflation so forgive me if I'm slightly incoherent :-)QED

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2001

I think Eminem is a harmless bit of fun. I'm 16 and a fan of his music but it doesn't mean I'm a wannabe murderer or anything. I think youth nowadays can relate to some of the stuff which he says in his songs but alot of it is taken with a pinch of salt

-- Anonymous, November 22, 2002

i think it is quite famous the cuss words on the tongue of every youths, so the like to follow them & listen that kind of music. it's not only on america but on here Nepal also.so i'd like to tell him &rappers that please do your songs,but on right way . if u want to comment on this then mail me.

-- Anonymous, December 16, 2002

i'm a 11 year old girl and everyone in my school loves eminem. if you don't know him you will get bullied by his fan club (within the school) now i live in the middle East not britain or america.i think eminem just gets all muddled up and does things that he wouldn't dream of doing

-- Anonymous, December 16, 2002

I stumbled across this forum, not sure how old it is, as I was looking for sources on my research paper about violent music. I am not sure what kind of board this is, but it looks like a lot of religious or ranks of the church are posting here, and I hope I do nothing wrong by backing my views on this opinion. I noticed that you all are quick to point out the violence, the hate, in Eminem's music. If you actually look at most of his lyrics, they can be very inspirational. I am 18 year old male. I listen to Eminem every day, and other rap music. I don't do drugs, Don't smoke, Don't drink, and I don't even curse. I like Eminem because he expresses himself freely, he tells it how it is, and hes NOT afraid to take a stand for what he believes in. He also has a big heart, and a very talented lyricist. His songs talk about his love for his daughter, and his friends. Being one sided is just as bad as being the "bad guy". I admit he has some crude lyrics, but theres also those that mean something.

Just some examples.

"Cause all I wanted was to give Hailie the life I never had, but instead I forced us to live alienated"

" I guess words are a motherf**ker, they can be great or they can degrate; or even worse, they can teach hate It's like these kids hang on every single statement we make like they worship us"

"They say music can alter moods and talk to you Well can it load a gun up for you and cock it too?"

"You ignoramus, but music is reflection of self We just explain it"

"That's why we, sing for these kids who don't have a thing except for a dream"

"'Til they sit and they cry at night wishin they'd die 'Til they throw on a rap record and they sit and they vibe We're nothin to you - but we're the F**kin sh*t in they eyes That's why we, seize the moment try to freeze it and own it Squeeze it and hold it, cause we consider these minutes golden"

"Sometimes you just feel tired, feel weak And when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up But you gotta search within you, try to find that inner strength and just pull that shit out of you And get that motivation to not give up, and not be a quitter No matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face, and collapse"

"But I'll suffocate for the respect 'fore I'll breathe to collect a f**kin check"

"Cause we see them dollar signs and let the cash blind us Money'll brainwash you and leave yo' a** mindless"

"I act like sh*t don't phase me; inside it drives me crazy!! My insecurities could eat me alive But then I see my baby, suddenly I'm not crazy!! It all makes sense when I look into her eyes"

"I never dreamt I'd get to the level that I'm at This is wack, this is more than I ever coulda asked Everywhere I go, a hat, a sweater hood or mask What about math, how come I wasn't ever good at that?"

"Cause everything that bothers me, I got it bottled up I think I'm bottomin out, but I'm not about to give up I gotta get up, thank God, I got a little girl And I'm a responsible father, so not a lot of good I'd be to my daughter, layin in the bottom of the mud Must be in my blood cause I don't know how I do it All I know is I don't want to follow in the footsteps of my dad"

Yah, he seems like a terrible guy don't he?

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2003

i think that who ever thinks eminem is dumb or violent has a nother thing comeing. he tells the truthe and i respect that.

-- Anonymous, March 13, 2003

I admit that at 19 I listen to Eminem a lot. I love the guy because he speaks his mind and you can find inspiration in a lot of his songs. I have a question though. Would it be so bad if Eminem were BLACK? Think about it. How many discussions like this did we have about Tupac or Biggy. DMX maybe, who raps about killing and other violence then contradicts the entire album with a prayer. I believe that there is one thing that this nation needs in order to keep the younger generation safe from the snares of Satan in the form of rap music...DISCIPLINE. If there were more discipline in the household, sprinkled with nice helping of Jesus, Satan would not be able to capture the minds of the youth. I'm not justifying the "bad lyrics" of Eminem, I'm just saying that we can not hold one man and his words responsible for the parent's lack of control of their children in the community.

-- Anonymous, March 14, 2003

becuse he is

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2003


-- Anonymous, May 29, 2003

I'd just like to say that I'm not sure what kind of a response you'll get in church discussing specific rappers. My opinion is if you want to discuss music it should be what music is in line with the message of the bible. The Holy Scriptures say at Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2003

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