Rap stereotype needs changing

Jonathan Brookshire, guest writer

Stereotypes in music are impossible to escape. With country music comes the perception of a cowboy. With rock ‘n’ roll comes the perception of long hair and tight pants. With rap, sadly comes the perception of degrading women and drugs. Many parents and adults  have the reasoning that rap is a bad influence to minds. My dad always says, “You don’t need to be listening to that.”

It’s a sad story that rap has unfortunately taken that stereotype and built upon it, while some artists want that label taken off of the genre. Many people today believe that’s what rap is. Rap started out a way to express the struggles the writer is going through, or rather the current events, which is called hip hop. Some of the struggles that people have gone through are living in a bad home with those influences, but when the artist talks about having women on their side and drugs in their system is what’s disgusting.

In the song “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” the artist Common Sense tells about a story of how he used to love a girl when he was little. Growing up he describes the girl growing up as well. Then Common describes how the girl has gone south with her decisions in verse three with the lines, “I might’ve failed to mention that this chick was creative. Once the man got to her, he altered her native, told her she got an image and a gimmick that she could make money, and she did it like a dummy.” At the end of the song Common reveals that the song isn’t actually about a girl, but about the genre hip-hop. Replacing the words “girl” with “rap”, and “she” and “her” with “it” and “its,” makes the realization obvious and gives the listener an epiphany – Common is a lyrical genius.

Rap can be an intellectual composition, a piece of literature, or an introspective poem with metaphors, current events, self examination, and personal experiences. Rap can be a good genre of music with all things considered; minus the negative and derogatory stereotypes it is given.