Profanity In Rap Music

Profanity In Rap Music

Because cussing does more than make you seem f****** cool.
1877
views

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

Popular Right Now

80 Nicki Minaj Lyrics Perfect For Instagram Captions

"Yo, you seen my last pic, go double-tap that for me."
364192
views

Nicki Minaj lets the world know about her amazing Instagram skills in Beyonce's "Flawless," when she raps "Instagram another flawless pic." Do you have a #Flawless Instagram picture but need a clever caption to go with it? The Queen of Rap has plenty of Insta-worthy song lyrics.

*(Some lyrics have been edited to keep this article "PG". Feel free to look up the real Nicki Minaj lyrics if you hate the radio edit.)


When you want to diss a hater:

    1. "You couldn't get a fan if it was hangin' from the ceilin."
    2. "I'm throwing shade like it's sunny."
    3. "I'm in my own lane, you ain't in my category."
    4. "These (girls) couldn’t test me even if their name was Pop Quiz."
    5. "Yo, people will love you and support you when it's beneficial. I'ma forgive, I won't forget, but I'ma dead the issue."
    6. "Not that I don't got good vision, but I don't see competition."
    7. "I’m Angelina, you Jennifer. Come on (girl), you see where Brad at."
    8. "I look like "yes" and you look like "no"."
    9. "But if you're ugly it's a no text zone."
    10. "If you are my rival, then that means you're suicidal."
    11. "Shout out to my haters, Sorry that you couldn't faze me."
    12. "Trash talk to 'em then I put 'em in a Hefty."
    13. "Like I mean I don't even know why you girls bother at this point. Like give up, it's me, I win, you lose."
    14. "All these haters mad because I'm so established."
    15. "Competition? why yes I would love some."

















When you want to tell people how awesome you are:

    16. "If I'm fake I ain't notice, cause my money ain't."
    17. "You can hate me, but why knock my hustle? I'ma be the queen, no matter how they shuffle."
    18. "Let me make this clear, I’m not difficult, I’m just ’bout my business."
    19. "I'm feelin' myself."
    20. "Excuse me honey, but nobody's in my lane."
    21. "Put me on a dollar cause I'm who they trust in."
    22. "I don’t say “Hi”, I say “Keys to the Benz.”"
    23. "I've been hot since flip phones" "Running this game for 5 years. Guess that's why my feet hurt."
    24. "Hotter than a middle eastern climate."
    25. "My money’s so tall that my Barbies gotta climb it."
    26. "No, I'm not lucky, I'm blessed, yes."
    27."I ain't gotta compete with a single soul."
    28. "'X' in the box, cause ain't nobody checking me."
    29."Excuse me, I'm sorry, I'm really such a lady."
    30. "Honestly I gotta stay as fly as I can be."














When you're hanging with your clique:

    31. "Cherish these nights, cherish these people. Life is a movie, but there will never be a sequel."
    32. "I’m with some hood girls lookin’ back at it."
    33. "We dope girls, we flawless. We the poster girls for all this."
    34. "Pretty gang, always keep them (boys) on geek."
    35. "The night is still young, and so are we!"
    36. "If you ain’t on the team, you playin’ for team D, ’Cause we A-listers, we paid sisters."
    37. "Pretty (girls) only could get in my posse."
    38. "Cause we the mean girls, y-yes we so fetch."
    39. "We fresh to death, down to the shoes."
    40. "Ain't at no wedding but all my girls cake tops."
    41. "Got a whole bunch of pretty gang in my clique."
    42. "Clap for the heavyweight champ, me, But I couldn't do it all alone, WE."
    43. "Put your drinks up, It's a celebration every time we link up."
    44. "I'm with some flawless (girls) because they be mobbin' pretty."


















When you're hanging with your significant other:

    45. "He tryna kick it like a ninja."
    46. "He could tell that I was wifey material."
    47. "Ayo, I just wanna be your first go to."
    48. "You got spark, you, you got spunk. You, you got something all the girls want."
    49. Find me in the dark, I'll be in the stars, Find me in your heart, I'm in need of your love."
    50. "They holler at me, but it's you, you."
    51. "I'm not living right, I’m not living if you’re not by my side."
    52. "I just wanna be somebody that can add to, your wife, be a friend, be a teacher and a fan, too."
    53. "I just wanna be your favorite."
    54. "He was the realest, I was the baddest, we was the illest."
    55. "I know you can save me and make me feel alive."
    56. "Yes I'll be your girl, forever your lady, You ain't ever gotta worry, I'm down for you baby."
    57. "Baby you my everything, You all I ever wanted."

















When you're single and loving it:

    58. "You could be the king, but watch the queen conquer!"
    59. "Thats why I'm crowned queen, and I ain't looking for the prom king."
    60. "I like independent, like July 4th."
    61. "I ain't never need a man, to take care of me."
    62. "He be like, "Yo, you so legendary", But he can tell just by my face he ain't getting any."
    63. "I am not Jasmine, I am Aladdin."
    64. "I don't even brake when I'm backing up, I'll swerve on a (boy) if he acting up."
    65. "So many boys in here where do I begin?"











When you're just living life:

    66. "I never worry, life is a journey. I just wanna enjoy the ride."
    67. "Tonight is the night that I'ma get twisted."
    68. "I’mma keep it movin', be classy and graceful."
    69. "So make sure the stars is what you aim for, make mistakes though."
    70. "And we gon' hangover the next day. But we will remember this day."
    71. "My only motto in my life is don't lose."
    72. "Take me, or leave me, I'll never be perfect. Believe me, I'm worth it."
    73. "I believe that life is a prize, but to live doesn't mean you're alive."
    74. "I wish that I could have this moment for life."
    75. "If I scream, if I cry, It's only 'cause I feel alive."
    76. "I can't believe it, it's so amazing. This club is heating, this party's blazing.""
    77. "It's so amazing, I figured out this world is ours for the taking."
    78. "I am not a girl that can ever be defined."
    79. "I got next, I'm gonna shine."
    80. "This is my moment I just feel so alive."















Cover Image Credit: Nicki Minaj

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating
Facebook Comments