When we hear about rap music, negative connotations come out of our mind: violence, sex, crime, and gang. It just become like these due to the evolution of the real essence of rap music as the times go by, as it is, it evolved into what is called gangsta style of rap music wherein the lyrics freely revolved in the issues like crime, killing, and street violence (Bailey). Due to these, must rap be hated? Does this kind of music really promote violence? Does rap music make a positive contribution to society? Must rap be banned?

These are just some of the important points that must be cleared about rap music to prove its worth in the people and the society. Some people might say that they hate rap music, but most people like it on the other hand. They hate it because its music is artificial and synthetic—machine-made, the lyrics are unusual and unethical, the style of the rapper is weird, etc. But hey, when you say rap, the music, rhythm and beat are improvised and innovative, that is where creativity works on, it is not just following the usual but setting the trend, anyone can sing but not all of them can rap.

Does rap music promote violence? Expectedly, many would answer yes, given the fact of the murder case of rap artists Tupac Shakur and Notoruis B. I. G. In these cases, rap could not be blamed alone: there are also outside media like radio, television, and movies that can be blamed as part of promoting violence in the society because, actually, there is already violence in the society happening before the birth of rap music (Yee).

If you will equate the violence into its explicit lyrics, then you are in the wrong path because violence must always be equated to behavior and the behavior is based on one’s psychological thinking and disposition in life. There are lots of violence, like bank robbery, rape, and war, happening in our surrounding and the response that we can have on those issues is based on own thinking and judgment on what we believe is right or not. It is just the same by considering: will a deaf never be violent? Rap is just an expression of someone’s feeling, not to impose violence.

Does rap music make a positive contribution to society? Of course, it does. We should be aware that rap industry is not just a money-making business but it helps the society to open up their eyes and see the real situation they are living with and what really goes on. Moreover, just like any other charitable institutions out there, rap artists, like Nelly, Z-Ro, and Lauryn Hill, who want top return back and share what they have to the community, charity, and sponsorship program, especially those programs helping the youth and to stop violence among people. Rap music promotes nationalism and cultural identity (SWC).

For instance, in the Philippines, which is known to be the oldest hip hop scene in Southeast Asia, a great way of promoting and boosting the national pride, culture, and way-of-life that truly and uniquely Filipino through music is by rap. For example, a great classical rap hit-masterpiece is the “Mga Kababayan Ko” (My Countrymen), written and sung by Francis Magalona, depicts pride of being in a brown-skinned Filipino race, uplifting of truly Filipino attitudes and values towards work and craftsmanship like patience and industriousness, and mainly the sense of Filipino typical perspectives in life, achieving dreams, success, and family.

In line with being an alternative mean of communication, hip hop music has also beneficial use in preserving the language, because mainly and typically, hip hop music are written and sung in native’s tongue, depending on its origin and the culture that influenced and shaped it. Since rap music is written in local language, most of it listeners and fans get to understand the meaning of the music easily.

Because, locally, the greatest number of listeners of rap music come from the younger generation, so it will attract more fans and listeners if the lyrics are easily understood and represent the culture the have grown with. Not only that, the factor of rap music writer-listener relation also counts since it will be easy in place of the listeners to relate to what message or exposition that the rap music wants to convey and spread to the society. Should rap music be banned? Of course, it should not, because it is not the sole cause of violence in the society.

If it is to be banned, it is just the same in saying other media like radios, televisions, movies, and internet should be banned also due to their bigger impacts in causing violence and crimes into the society. If the lyrics of the rap music is complained to be degrading and unethical, well, it is part of its free style, creativity, and innovation, unlike the usual song lyrics on ballad or pong songs. Although, there are some negative impacts of rap music, it is just normal since it is affected by all forces of the society. Besides, it has already made a lot for music industry and youth in general.