Sunday, February 19, 2012

How do you feel about pot in hip-hop?

I disagree with a lot of the actions of many hip-hop artists today. 
But the one I disagree with the most is the use of marijuana all over the music videos. I am not saying that smoking pot is good or bad (if people want to smoke it its up to them, although illegal, it's still their choice). But if  an artist such as Drake or Kanye claims to have a mass audience appeal, how dare they include lyrics containing these drugs? I watched an interview from last year in which Drake claimed he wanted young kids to listen to his music: his hit song that year, "Up All Night" started like this: "Kush rolled, glass full, I prefer the better things". Does anyone else find something wrong with this? If he claims to want to appeal to young children, shouldn't he exclude things that are totally dangerous for young children to listen to or partake in? 

Rappers need to start being better role models. They will sell more records and gain more popularity. 
This article *, takes a different point. It says that people blame rappers to create a scapegoat for the problems in society, which is true to some extent. However, if a rapper wants to speak about drugs and sell his records to children, then there really is a problem. 


  1. I agree with you completely. Even though I respect other people's decisions on whether to smoke and do drugs, I do believe there is a problem when it is encouraged over the media. In your example with Drake, he undermines his goal of having young people listen to his music.

    The problem with our society is that the more they reference drugs and alcohol, the more popular they become and the more records they sell. There are very few rappers that speak out against drugs and alcohol in their music who are popular and successful as well. I feel like the norm the rappers set is that if you do drugs and alcohol then you will be considered cool.

    Rappers and other artists need to figure out a way to influence their audiences in a better way. The problem is that drugs and alcohol sell records and sobriety is not "cool." I wish there were a way for more socially conscious rappers to be more successful but it is a very tough industry.

  2. I disagree with your stance on this issue. Everyone has the right to be who they are, and Wiz rapping about how drugs are bad would not be genuine.

    Rappers are not, and not meant to be, role models. If one wants a role model, rap is not the place to look. Even if Wiz says he wants young children to listen to his music, that doesn't mean they should or will, it is simply his wish.

    Rappers do not need to, and will not, change; there are traditional themes in rap that will never change. It is up to the listener to decide who they want to listen to; rappers are not forcing anyone to watch their smoke filled music videos and do drugs.

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  4. The popularity of drugs and alcohol being "cool" isn't perpetuated in rap music, it's pretty common in society already. It is just another topic for rappers to rhyme about, because they can. If shown on a music video, people might take that as a promotion for illegal substances, but smoking or drinking is very common and relatable to their audience. Rappers do not sell to children, so they're audience probably has a good understanding of whats "right" and "wrong" and can make their own judgements. Rappers speak about what goes on in their lives, although sometimes elaborate and illegal, and people have the option whether or not to listen. Many Beatles songs reference drugs even 'worse' than weed, but they are celebrated as one of the most influential bands of all time.

  5. In some ways, I agree with you on a moral stance. You're right, we should keep kids off drugs. But I disagree with two of your points for supporting that. You say that Drake is trying to appeal to young children, which I don't necessarily agree with. Any song who's first line is "Kush rolled, glass full" cannot be appealing to the same audience as say Kidz Bop. I think artists who rap about smoking weed are trying to appear to other people who smoke weed. Yes, these artists sometimes gain wider popularity than that, but I wouldn't skew their intentions to say they are trying to appeal to to young children. Also, you say they would sell more records by not including these themes, which is definitely not true. If you cut out the references to weed within some of these songs, you wouldn't be left with much of an album to sell.

  6. I did not say that Drake is trying to appeal to young children. That is exactly my point, that he says he wants to appeal to young children but at the same time he's distributing these lyrics. He is contradicting himself.

    Again, did not say they are trying to appeal to young children. I said they said they are trying to appeal to young children, so if they in fact aren't, they shouldn't say they are.

  7. I don't think being a role model is what hip hop is about. But I also realize that Michael isn't trying to argue that. Instead, he brings up the contradiction that presently exists in the intentions of many hip hop artists.

    As for some of the other comments above, I think Peter makes a great point about bands such as the Beatles incorporating similar themes into their work. Although I must say that I disagree about the connection between rap and drug/alcohol use; I do think there is a perpetuation of pro-drug attitudes in today's music (and that it's far more blatant than that by the Beatles and others of the past). I also think it's important that people avoid making certain choices simply to emulate their hip hop idols.

  8. We can all provide our opinions on the issue, but the reality is that rappers have first amendment rights, meaning they have the freedom to say whatever they want in their lyrics. Whether or not people agree or disagree with this doesn't matter. It is their right.

    In my opinion rappers should include lyrics about weed and alcohol because thats HOW THEY LIVE. When I listen to music, I want to hear the reality behind the rapper's life. And in terms of children listening to the music, that's why our society throws a parental advisory sticker on the album. Then it's up to the parents to decide whether or not the music is appropriate for their children.

    Kids are going to have access to every medium of social media. The internet has far more damaging material than rap music alone. So let rappers continue to smoke and rap, and smoke in their rap videos.

  9. I'm the author of the website and article you referenced towards the end.

    Good article and nice blog too!


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