“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
” This profound statement from English writer, Aldous Huxley, demonstrates the importance that music obtains in today’s society. From the beats to the lyrics, the current generation of youth is engaged in hip-hop culture, tending to idolize the artist behind the songs. African-American are the leaders of this genre and have a chance for their voice and opinions to be heard through an outlet that reaches everyone, particularly the youth. In “Code of the Streets” by Elijah Anderson, the author describes that among all the problems that poor and disadvantaged black communities face, violence is the most harmful. Black youth (specifically adolescent males) have formed an oppositional culture because of the disadvantages in their communities, labeled, “urban neglect” (Martinez 1997). This created a resistance that is reflected through lyrics of rap music. Anderson also claims that for a black youth living in an environment like this can create a violent identity. In this paper, I will argue that hip-hop no longer serves its original purpose of reflecting the struggles of the black people and it aids in shaping an adolescent’s violent social identity.
In making this argument, I will analyze the common belief that rap causes violence among youth and rap lyrics affects an adolescent’s identity formation. By showing the transformation of rap from a reflection of oppositional culture to a multi-billion industry and the focus on sex and drugs affects the youth, I will prove that today’s Hip-Hop music is detrimental for the young minds.