Profanity In Rap Music

Profanity In Rap Music

Because cussing does more than make you seem f****** cool.
3837
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

To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
7746
views

Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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

20 Amazing Songs You Need For Your Travel Music Videos

Planning to make your new travel video? Use one of these songs as your perfect background music!

277
views

Based on the mood you're currently feeling, here are 20 different songs categorized by when you should use them for a traveling music video:


1. For Those Classic Summer Feels

"Harvest Moon" by Poolside

"Gone" by JR JR

"Hold My Hand" by Jess Glynne

"Summer" by Calvin Harris

For all the lake adventures and mission trips, these are the perfect songs to put behind them to share your experience. Using these songs, your video can have a perfect summer vibe to it!

2. For A Good Winter Vacation

"The Days" by Avicii

"Something Just Like This" by The Chainsmokers

"Roses" by The Chainsmokers

"It Ain't Me" by Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

It's hard finding a perfect song for a cold winter day. These songs can work amazingly to any snowy adventurous video you've made for your winter break.

3. For Everyday Adventures

"Shut Up and Dance" by WALK THE MOON

"To Let Myself Go" by The Avener

"All That Matters" by Justin Bieber

"Youth" by Troye Sivan

We all have our daily vlogs filled with school and friends. These songs can put a touch of amusement and thrill to these videos!

4. For The Perfect Spring Break At The Beach

"Steal My Girl" by One Direction

"The Nights" by Avicii

"Runaways" by Galantis

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

Every girl has the perfect week at the beach once a year! These songs can show off how incredible your experience with your friends was.

5. For Those City Nights

"Bullet Train" by Stephen Swartz

"Love You Like A Love Song" by Selena Gomez

"G.O.M.D." by J. Cole

"The Heart Wants What It Wants" by Selena Gomez

We all take visits to the city and never have the right songs to make a video with. These upbeat songs will make your city vlog into a perfect travel video!

Related Content

Facebook Comments