This is an old conversation about rap but I wanna bring it back up. The topic of rappers and do they hold any accountability for things they rap about and the influence it may or may not have on listeners.
I remember some years ago there was a tv program, or maybe it was a radio show, with Xzibit and he basically said it isn’t the fault of music for someone acting out what they heard. And he would be right. The reason? I think it’s a nuanced issue because I grew up listening to Bone Thugs, Cash Money, No Limit and a handful of similar artists, but never did it occur to me to act out what I heard. I had my father to deal with if I did.
But the nuance is this. Should rappers bear any responsibility for their rhymes, and should they if it can influence those who are easily led let’s say or vulnerable to suggestion? That puts some restraint on artists, I know. Even Hov once made it clear one time to not do what he did and that’s where I’m going with this. Obviously he felt the need to say that at the time for some reason.
Still, there’s a shift in Hip-Hop where it seems less important for an artist being true to their words. Instead, a rap artist is compared to an actor on stage or in film, and be anyone he or she wants. If this is the case, and we can admit that popular music IS influential, then what responsibility do these people bear?
We know that car manufacturers and others alike are on the hook for their products causing harm so what if musicians, particularly rap artists because a lot of the material is explicit, were held to a similar standard, at least culturally?
And I get the freedom of expression and the ability to speak freely about whatever cause we’re all adults however, but if your music were to have an effect on some (i.e. teens) then is it a stretch to ask them be more accountable?
I’m merely asking questions and not trying to argue one way or another because I find the topic interesting itself. What do you think?