Profanity In Rap Music

Profanity In Rap Music

Because cussing does more than make you seem f****** cool.
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So, I am sitting at the dinner table with my parents tonight eating, pretty normal, when the conversation of rap music arose, as it has before. Personally I am a rap fan. Growing up, one of my older sisters favorite artists was Eminem, and my wanting to be exactly like my big sister, I listened to her music every chance I got. Their is no denying Eminem, topping the charts as the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the United States, is a talented rapper and songwriter. There is also no denying Eminem has never been one to shy away from profanity or violence in his music. Which brings up a very conflicting argument — is profanity needed in hip hop music?

As I got older, I became a rap fan not only because my sister was a rap fan, but because, for my generation, rap was, and still is, a very prominent part of pop culture. I genuinely enjoy listening and dancing to these songs. From Eminem, to Drake, to Wiz Khalifa, to G-Eazy, and plenty more, rappers are some of my favorite artists. My Dad likes to say, “I like rap, I just don’t like when they are cussing every other word,” which is to say he is probably not actually a rap fan. However if their wasn’t as much cussing in rap music, would he be? Would the genre even be the same?

I have a hard time when it comes to talking about this with my parents. Growing up in the time period I have, I feel like I have become numb to the words I was taught were “bad” as a child. I feel like most high school and college age people would agree, when I hear the F-word used in a song, I don’t bat an eye. Now when my Mom hears the F-word in a song, I get the, “Really? Turn this off I don’t want to listen to this.” For me I have always felt like this is simply an age divide, like if my parents were my age, they wouldn’t feel this way because they would see it how I see it. There is a lot more to this argument, however.

Cultural divides also makes it hard for some to understand why profanity is used so frequently throughout rap. If you actually sit down and listen to these songs and what the artists are talking about, you will often find they’re talking about where they came from and how they were raised. For those who were raised in profane environments, profanity is how they get across the message they are trying to relay.

Life isn’t always pretty.

It can be very very ugly sometimes, and I have found it is something most people don’t like to talk about. Especially if they have never had times like it in their own life. So when these rappers are talking about where they came from, and someone who wasn’t raised like that is listening, it’s common for them to become uncomfortable. However I think it’s important that before we write these songs off as “bad,” we should first listen to what they are actually saying, then we would understand a little more why they are using the language they are.

There’s also the artistic freedom side to this argument. Songwriters and rappers truly are some of the most amazing artists of our generation. When they are recording songs, good rappers and writers are putting everything they have into these songs. As artists, they have the freedom to express their message however they choose, and however they want it to come off to the listener. As a huge fan of poetry I also understand word choice is very important to good writing, and what words you choose and emphasize are also very important. Now, you may say they don’t need to be using these words, but I have to disagree. While listening to some of my favorite rap songs and imagining them with no profanity I realize, the song would change completely. The story that this artist is telling, the rawness and the reality of it would be gone. When I say these rappers are artists I say it simply because they are performers, I say it because they are genuinely talented and amazing writers. If you analyze these songs you’ll find that the words that people view as profane, are making this writing what it is, and they are used precisely when they need to be to relay a message, a feeling. Without them, that would be gone.

Now I don’t think this applies in all cases. I have heard my fair share of rappers who sound as if they are twelve years old and just learned cuss words but don’t realize that it’s very noticeable when you don’t know how to cuss and you are just cussing because you feel cool. Theirs also the argument of profanity degrading woman, but that could be its own article in itself so I won’t go there right now. What I am saying is artists shouldn’t be looked down upon simply because you hear a cuss word in their music. If you’re truly listening to the song and the lyrics that aren’t cussing, you’ll find in some cases that profanity really makes the song what it is. It’s not to say profanity is needed to make a good rap song, but simply because it is, that doesn’t make it any less.

Cover Image Credit: Seraglio

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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5 Ways You Can Stop Producing so Much Trash

We produce a lot more trash than you think, until you start paying attention to your actions.

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One of my major goals this year is to do more to save the planet as well as animals. I have already been vegetarian for three years. and I'm plan to stay vegetarian, but I want to have a more plant based diet. As well, I want to start reducing the amount of trash I produce. Not only because I realize just how drastically our trash is affecting wildlife, but also because I think having to take out your trash twice a week is way too much trash!

1. Bring recyclables to a recycling center or reuse them around the home!

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This is something I want to start doing! I always get take out food and throw away the containers, when I could be using those containers to carry my lunch everyday! Also, I want to start collecting my plastic water bottles and taking them to the recycling center on campus instead of just throwing them away

2. Invest in a reuseable water bottle

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This would actually fix my water bottle problem. I need to invest in a nice, reuseable water bottle that I can refill, rather than throwing away 3-4 water bottles a day. Amazon has a lot of varieties of these bottles ranging from inexpensive to expensive, cool designs, and even one that holds snacks.

3. Reuseable Straws

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This is a great addition to your new reuseable water bottle! Like trash, you don't realize how much you use (and throw away) straw, until you actually start to keep count. I thought i didn't use straws at all because I never bought them in my life, but then you go out to eat (straw), you go to Starbucks (straw). Having a glass straw is actually really useful to reduce your trash, in cases when you wish you had a straw but don't, and sanitary purposes. Those straw sitting out at Starbucks, are they really that clean?

4. Donate old/unwanted clothes

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This is something I already do. I go through my drawers and closet once a year, and just put all the clothes I haven't worn all year, or just don't want into a garbage bag. I'm usually able to fill at least one (gallon) garbage bag with clothes to take to Goodwill!

5. Use actual plates instead of paper plates

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This is another huge mistake of mine! I hate doing dishes, so I try to buy paper plates to make less dishes, but in the end I'm producing more and more trash! I'm convinced the reason I have to take out my trash so often is because I eat so much! It's time to be a big girl now and start washing my dishes...or start using my dish washer

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