We are worn out daily with information about everything from all over with the flare-up of information technology. We have television delivering news at home, a radio in the family car, and at work the internet. We are being presented with new information at every side with this entire media.
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Through the media, we are able to know what the latest is, what is hottest, and even what is good or bad. As Jonathan Freedman puts in one of his articles, the truth is that the information that we get from the media greatly influences our behavior. (Freedman)
Personally, I love listening to rap music, which many people claim that it has led to the spread of violence among young people. One of my favorite rap musicians is Lupe Fiasco who uses his music to address the ills afflicting our society. By looking at some rap lyrics, one would clearly see why people are quick to blame this music for the spread of violence.
In one of his songs titled “Behind Enemy Lines”, rapper Dead Prez uses lines like “They call him triple K, cause he killed three niggaz, another ghetto child turned in to a killer.’ (Prez) Well, I agree that this can be a motivation for someone to rise up and kill “them niggaz” as Prez fondly calls ones enemies.
However, Lupe Fiasco comes in and warns people that fighting produces nothing in the end apart from misery. In his latest single titled Words I Never Said, Fiasco claims, “fighting is a bunch of bullshit, just a poor excuse for you to use up all your bullets.” (Fiasco) The contrast between these two rappers clearly shows that not all rap music is misleading.
Personally, I like listening to Lupe Fiasco not for the mere fact that he can rap but because his music is different from that of other rap musicians. Today, many young people try to live by what they see and hear from the media. This makes music a key tool of defining morality among young people.
Unlike other rap musicians, Lupe Fiasco whose real name is Wasalu Muhammad Jaco talks about real life issues in his music. This is partly because as a young person Lupe traveled to many different parts of the world where he had a chance to experience firsthand what the youth from those parts of the world go through. (Fiasco) As Tara Parker-Pope puts it in one of her articles, the influence that music has on young people will continue being questionable. (Parker-Pope)
Today, majority of the young people have turned away from religion terming it irrelevant. However, Lupe Fiasco despite being a musician holds fast to the Muslim faith thus setting a good example to majority of the youth myself included. Personally, I have had the misplaced notion that religion is a reserve for the aged but listening to Lupe has helped me to change my attitude.
By remaining committed to the Muslim faith, I have been able to avoid falling into the trap of drug abuse that has had majority of the youth ensnared. From the way I see it, the whole debate on the role of the media will remain around for a long time to come and as Parker-Pope puts it, “whether any of this matters remains an open question.” (Parker-Pope)
The influence that music has on the young people is unquestionable. On average, teenagers listen to almost 2.5 hours of music each given day. (Parker-Pope) Although some genres of music are known to contain lewd messages, others have devoted themselves to music aimed at changing the youth.
One such musician is Lupe Fiasco who tries to rally young people to remain religious and to have a positive approach toward life. Unlike other rap musicians who talk about gangster things, Fiasco talks about real life situations that the young people can identify with.
Fiasco, Lupe. Words I Never Said. Lasers. Atlantic Records, 2011.
Freedman, Jonathan. Research on the Effects of Media Violence, 2010. Web.
Parker-Pope, Tara. Under the Influence of….Music? 2008. Web.
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Prez, Dead. Behind Enemy Lines. Let’s Get Free. Loud Records, 2000.