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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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