The Instigator
kalyse020908
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Rap music contributes to violent crimes

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2009 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 25,052 times Debate No: 10191
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

kalyse020908

Pro

Just some information as to why I have created this debate. I am currently enrolled in Law and we are scheduled to begin a debate about this issue in a few days. I was to be on the affirmative side, so I will be taking affirmative during this debate as well.
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Be it resolved that rap music contributes to violent crime and therefore its production should be limited.

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Definitions
Rap music- a type of rhythmic talking, often with accompanying rhythm instruments
Violent crimes-a crime in which the offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon the victim
Production- the creation or manufacturing of a man-made product
Limited- restricted or checked, by or as if by a constitution, laws, or an assembly
For the purpose of this debate, I propose it should be limited by only selling it to persons over the age of 21.
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Argument 1: Rap music has an impact on society
'The influence that rap currently has on our children all around the world is unfortunately a very strong one.'[1] People's words and people's actions are constantly criticised on a daily basis, and music is no exception. While listening to music, you can not help but notice the words and the beat associated with it. Whether for the good or bad, rap has influenced society. Whether or not it's something people idolize or music people refrain from associating from it.

Argument 2: Rap music endorses violence
Not only does rap more often than not contain vulgar language, it contains a fair amount of violent thoughts or actions. 'Eighty percent of the rap music that is currently on the top ten lists around the world contains violence. They glorify the acts of beating up another person, or even worse shooting them.'[1] Whether or not the vulgar language sometimes used influences you, the story behind the words can. A lot of rap music contains stories of domestic abuse and violence against individuals. 'Some rap song lyrics also have a dark side and most people associate rap lyrics with disrespect for women and violence because many rap lyrics talks about killing rival rappers and shooting cops. In the early 1990's the rivalry between west coast rappers and east coast rappers claimed the lives of the two biggest rappers of their era, Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.' [2]

Argument 3: Rap videos promote destructive behaviour
'After studying 522 black girls between the ages of 14 and 18 from non- urban, lower socioeconomic neighborhoods, researchers found that compared to those who never or rarely watched these videos, the girls who viewed these gangster videos for at least 14 hours per week were far more likely to practice numerous destructive behaviors. Over the course of the one-year study, they were:
Three times more likely to hit a teacher
Over 2.5 times more likely to get arrested
Twice as likely to have multiple sexual partners
1.5 times more likely to get a sexually transmitted disease, use drugs, or drink alcohol. ' [3]
These are overwhelming facts. If that is the result from 522 young woman, I could imagine the statistics would only grow if you were to study even more woman, or consult young men. As you can see, young individuals are easily impressionable, and for this reason, music should be limited, just like how alcohol is. It should be limited distribution to only certain stores where they could make certain as to whom can buy the music.

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In conclusion, rap music influences and contributes to violent crimes and therefore, should be limited in its production. Young individuals are impressionable, and should not be exposed to such harsh, disrespectful words.

[1] http://www.associatedcontent.com...
[2] http://www.articlesbase.com...
[3] http://www.webmd.com...
Danielle

Con

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Definitions
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I'd like to begin by pointing out a huge flaw in Pro's definition of rap music; if rap is to be considered rhythmic talking with background instrumentals, then songs like Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega and Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed would fit into that category. However, since I don't want to argue over semantics, I'd like to assume that my opponent, the readers and I can all agree on what type of music should be considered rap. I'd also assume that the hip-hop genre category is being represented in this debate as well.

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Argument 1
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Pro says that music influences society; however, you'll note that she completely ignored the reality that sometimes music can have POSITIVE effects. This round will illustrate some of the positive effects that listening to rap music can have on an individual.

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Argument 2
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A) Pro states that the stories behind rap lyrics negatively influence people. On the contrary, I'd like to present one study that found students actually improved their academic abilities after watching rap videos, as well as expressed more progressive attitudes regarding society (i.e. decreased racial tension). After watching politically focused rap videos, they were more inclined to support a particular political candidate [1]. This suggests that rap can positively influence people to get involved in a positive way, such as becoming interested in politics. Songs about Bush and Obama during the 2004 and 2008 campaigns demonstrate this reality, along with encouragement of rappers for people to vote.

B) Pro notes rap music promotes violence or disrespect towards women. Studies show that only rap music with misogynistic themes appears to create misogynistic attitudes and greater acceptance of violence against women. Other types of rap do not have a negative effect on the perception of women [1].

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Argument 3
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Pro posits that rap videos promote destructive behavior. To clarify, studies do show that after watching rap VIDEOS, viewers were more more accepting of violent actions. However, just because they were more accepting of it doesn't mean that they themselves would act violently. It simply correlates a desensitization. Another study revealed that after watching a rap video depicting women in sexually subordinate roles, individuals were more inclined to express acceptance of violence against women in a dating situation. However, increased acceptance of crime and violence appears to be linked with viewing violent or sexist rap VIDEOS rather than listening to rap music on its own [1]. So, it's not the music itself that is being linked to this behavior, and therefore this is a moot point.

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Con's Point 1
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Listening to rap or heavy metal has not been shown to increase suicidal ideas and anxiety, or adversely affect self-esteem among college-aged men and women. Actually, students listening to a nonviolent rap song experienced more depressive symptoms than those who listened to a violent rap song [1].

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Con's Point 2
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Rap music as been an escape from poverty for many artists, including but not limited to Tupac, Eminem Biggie, etc. In fact, most successful rap artists come from extremely impoverished backgrounds. That kind of "escape" is seen as inspirational in urban communities. Instead of feeling hopeless, many poor kids find that rap and rap battles are a creative and non-violent hobby. Involvement or aspirations to be a part of the rap scene have helped keep many kids off the streets.

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Con's Point 3
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Rap has a bad rap. Subjects who were given a violent lyrical passage were more inclined to rate it as dangerous or offensive if they believed it came from a rap song than if they were told that it originated from a country music song [1]. This proves that people are biased towards rap music; nobody seems to notice or care when negative themes are depicted in any other genre besides rap or heavy metal.

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Con's Point 4
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Behavioral problems associated with rap music usually begin before these individuals begin listening to rap. This indicates that the music itself does not cause behavioral problems or addiction. Instead, it suggests that people predisposed to these conditions prefer rap music - not that rap music influences this behavior. So, limiting it would solve nothing.

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Con's Point 5
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To limit the production of an entire genre that people enjoy would be unnecessary, useless and an infringement upon civil liberties. There are currently no laws regarding the censorship of music. Songs with strong language, racist views, or harmful references will have a label on them. All the label means is that anyone can buy the song, but they should be aware of what the song contains [2]. I propose that it is the responsibility of the individual and parents to monitor what kind of music is listened to; we should be promoting responsibility and education/awareness - not censorship.

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Conclusion
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There is no consistent evidence that rap music on its own (without videos) significantly influences behaviors or attitudes. Also, while those who are not fans of rap tend to assume that all songs in the genre focus on violent, criminal or misogynistic themes, rap is actually a very diverse genre with many artists addressing important socio-political issues and positive themes [1]. Sometimes rap even focuses on loving themes, such as the song "Mockingbird" by Eminem which is a tribute to caring for his daughter. There are various other songs about loving one's significant other as well. So, all rap music cannot be lumped together in a single category. This resolution has been negated.

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Sources
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[1] http://cognitive-psychology.suite101.com...
[2] http://www.nku.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
kalyse020908

Pro

I am sorry my definition of rap was not up to par. I found it on a website, it was not my own definition.
I would also like to say to readers that I do NOT believe that rap music should be limited. I am doing this for a school project and solely that.
I also thank my opponent for taking this debate, but I would like to point out that this is also very much so for researching aspects. If I say anything improper or has lack of evidence, I apologize. I am attempting to make this a real case scenario as much as possible for myself.
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Argument 1
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Last time I checked, I am supposed to support my arguments with evidence that supports my side, not yours. So the POSITIVE (yes I can use caps as well) effects would not exactly prove my arguments well.
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Rebuttal
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'Findings thus far are mixed, but overall they suggest that listening to rap music does not cause aggressive or deviant behaviour.' [1] I would like to bring attention to the findings are MIXED, there is grey area in this situation. Therefore, it can still cause aggressive and deviant behaviour.
'Another study found that adolescent females, after watching a rap video depicting women in sexually subordinate roles, were more inclined to express acceptance of violence against women in a dating situation. However, increased acceptance of crime and violence appears to be linked with viewing violent or sexist rap videos rather than listening to rap music on its own.' [1] Yes I agree that it is not only rap music on it's own, but the production of rap music equals the production of rap videos (in most scenarios).
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'"The thing is: the young people who are very impressionable want to make it big in a similar way. But the danger here is that the young people at the street level…they don't have the same protection [as the commercial rap starts], and they are carrying guns. And young people are losing their lives. And this has been reflected from the role models that these people follow."[2] I believe this involved and aspiration to be part of the rap scene is the exact situation we are trying to avoid for adolescents and young adults everywhere. I agree that most successful rap artists come from impoverished backgrounds, but a lot of people who can familiarize themselves with them tend to follow their prior life style and fall in to the same bad habits, without the fame. Involvement with the rap scene has also put kids on the streets, trying to live their big dreams of becoming the next rap star.
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'"Music forms an illusion and young people take it on board, because one known fact is that people connect to music lyrics, and these illusions are what young people take on and live with and try to portray in their own lifestyles, and that is such a big danger."[2] Explain how these behavioral problems before rap were not evident until rap was introduced? Frankly, on both parts, these will be biased opinions because there are scenarios for every situation possible. There are situations where people may develop the problem through the music, have had it before, or never occurred one throughout. Once again, it was never stated that rap music 100% did not influence this said behaviour. Limiting would solve the issues of children being able to walk into a store and buying vulgar and violent music. Little pictures on the bottom saying explicit content usually does not stop kids from buying it. It may be the responsibility of the parents and the individual themselves, but perhaps it is needed on a greater scale to be the responsibility of society to protect the future of tomorrow. '"If I had a choice I would say it should be completely be cut off, but the thing is they say forbidden fruit attracts, and I do believe that if there is a market you know then the negative rapping should be censored. And I'm not saying it should be 18 or 21, I do believe it should be censored to 25, because all young people, by the age of about 25, would have become fathers or they would have matured a little bit, and that's when they will be able to actually make up their minds in relation to what should be heard in the house and that shouldn't be" [2] Also, for the infringement upon civil liberties, that could go any way regarding any issue. Such as: drinking age, age of eligibility to vote. etc.
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In conclusion, there may not be consistent evidence that rap on its own significantly influences behaviour, but there is no consistent evidence that rap doesn't either. 'There are many other rappers who also feed young people the type of lyrics that can influence positive thinking. These artists are usually not in the mainstream but you can find their music online.' [3] Therefore the rap music that is in mainstream, that is violent and negative, should be limited.

[1]
http://cognitive-psychology.suite101.com...
[2] http://static.rnw.nl...
[3]http://www.goarticles.com...
Danielle

Con

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Argument 1
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Pro acknowledges that while there can be considered negative aspects to listening to rap music, that there are positive aspects as well. Because that is the extent of what this argument discusses, we can see how this is a draw: this point makes no real argument and is therefore unnecessary.

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Argument 2
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A) Point A discussed how rap music had positive influences regarding increased interest in politics and current events, as well as increased academic performance. Pro completely dropped this argument and therefore this point is awarded to the Con.

B) Point B noted how only studies with misogynistic themes promoted misogynistic attitudes. Once again, Pro completely ignored this argument and this point go to the Con.

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Argument 3
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This point illustrated how rap music only had a correlation with violence when it was accompanies by rap VIDEOS (so it's not the music itself). This is a strong argument in favor of the Con position, and yet Pro dropped this argument as well so once again this is a point for the Con.

While Pro did say, "The production of rap music equals the production of rap videos," we can't consider that a sufficient argument. It is not the content of the music in the rap videos but rather the violent images. This problem could be solved by (a) rap music existing without videos or (b) rap videos existing without violent content. However, none of this is even relevant when you look at my next point...

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Con's Point 1
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What I said was that listening to rap or heavy metal has not been shown to increase suicidal ideas and anxiety, or adversely affect self-esteem among college-aged men and women. Actually, students listening to a nonviolent rap song experienced more depressive symptoms than those who listened to a violent rap song. Once more, Pro completely dropped this important argument.

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Con's Point 2
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Pro did respond to this point, which pointed out that rap has helped impoverished people become famous and escape the hood. Pro's rebuttal was insufficient. She stated that while SOME people make it out of the hood, some people don't, and the ones that don't get sucked into a life of violence and crime. However, this is the complete opposite of what my point had established. I argued that people would become interested in music INSTEAD of adopt that life of violence and crime (and drug and other gang activity). In other words, music or ambition to succeed in that regard took precedence over the bad stuff.

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Con's Point 3
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Pro writes, "Explain how these behavioral problems before rap were not evident until rap was introduced?" I have no idea what she's talking about here. What my 3rd point was is that rap has a bad rap; I pointed out how subjects who were given a violent lyrical passage were more inclined to rate it as dangerous or offensive if they believed it came from a rap song than if they were told that it originated from a country music song. This proves that people are biased towards rap music; nobody seems to notice or care when negative themes are depicted in any other genre besides rap or heavy metal. Instead of responding to this, Pro went off on something completely incomprehensible.

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Con's Point 4
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My 4th point explained how behavioral problems associated with rap music usually begin before these individuals begin listening to rap, and this indicates that the music itself does not cause behavioral problems or addiction. Pro responds with, "There are situations where people may develop the problem through the music" which means absolutely nothing since she hasn't soured this fact or proved it. Also, she adds, "[They may] have had it before, or never occurred one throughout. Once again, it was never stated that rap music 100% did not influence this said behaviour." Bad spelling and grammar aside, this point is useless; it does nothing to combat my argument that the music itself does nothing to cause/influence bad behavior so therefore it doesn't pertain to upholding the resolution.

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Con's Point 5
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My 5th point noted how everyone was responsible for themselves and their behavior, and that censorship opposed the democratic ideals that we uphold as a nation. Pro responded with, "It may be the responsibility of the parents and the individual themselves, but perhaps it is needed on a greater scale to be the responsibility of society to protect the future of tomorrow." No, I completely disagree. It is not society's obligation to raise your children. It is the job of the parents, and the individuals to be responsible for themselves and their own actions. Further, Pro adds, "for the infringement upon civil liberties, that could go any way regarding any issue. Such as: drinking age, age of eligibility to vote. etc." This is false, as drinking and voting come with age restriction; however, in limiting the music, you're limiting the production and sales of something - not just regulating one's age of consumerism. Moreover, these limitations exist to protect society. Pro has failed to prove how rap music itself correlated to violence, so she certainly failed to explain how rap music was a danger to society and therefore her resolution does not stand.

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Conclusion
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Pro concludes with, "there may not be consistent evidence that rap on its own significantly influences behaviour, but there is no consistent evidence that rap doesn't either." This is a terrible argument. First of all, she's the instigator in this debate; she has the burden of proof to affirm the resolution and therefore must present the evidence for her side. Furthermore, this is a completely BS and straw manned argument, as I DID present evidence of studies showing that rap music itself did not instigate violent behavior. Therefore, Pro's argument just fails on so many levels.
Debate Round No. 2
kalyse020908

Pro

kalyse020908 forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Well, my opponent has been online but failed to post a final round argument. I guess that means she concedes. Oh well, thanks for the debate, welcome to the site, and good luck in school :)
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kalyse020908 7 years ago
kalyse020908
it takes more than a minute to post a debate
and i was only on for two seconds to check commets.
thank you for the luck
and i just found it lose lose cause your credentials are outstandings.
its hard to beat you.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Crap I forgot to rap for Cody. Anyway, kal, why would it be a lose-lose situation? Also, when I checked it had said you were online a day ago... Since you get 2 days to post an argument, you were obviously online at some point and chose not to post a round. It's cool. I was just wishing you luck for your school project thing. Take care.
Posted by kalyse020908 7 years ago
kalyse020908
'Well, my opponent has been online but failed to post a final round argument'
i do believe it takes more than 2 minutes to write out an arguement, so i aplogize. either way it would be a loose loose situation for myself anyway.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Hell YEAH!
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
CODY! YOU'RE RIGHT! I might do it in the last round lol... stay tuned
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
L, you should have written all of your rounds in rap form. That would have been the ultimate negation.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Hey Pro can you try to keep your 3rd round rebuttal neat in the next round (like at least with numbers correlating to each of my points?) because your last one was hard to follow. Thanks! -- L
Posted by kalyse020908 7 years ago
kalyse020908
if you had read the comment at the top of my debate, it is a school assignment.
I particularly do not agree with limiting production of rap music.
If you feel the need to comment, please read first.
Posted by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
It's not the fault of the rapper for influencing, it's the person with a weak mind so easily influenced by nonsense.

Also, that's an unfair generalization. Many of the underground rappers have better lyrics than your favorite artist.
Posted by mattrodstrom 7 years ago
mattrodstrom
I agree that it contributes to people acting ridiculously, and think people should speak out against such ridiculousness, but I don't know about a limit or ban on production.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
kalyse020908DanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
kalyse020908DanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07