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Rap Lyrics, Effects of Violent Content in

  • By: Anthony F. Lemieux
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

The evidence linking violent content in music and music videos has demonstrated a significant relationship between lyric content and subsequent aggressive thoughts. Recent analyses have shown an increase between 1979 and 1997 in the percentage of rap songs with violent lyric content, with a marked increase in the early 1990s, coinciding with the advent of the “gangsta rap” subgenre. However, increases in violent content in rap music have coincided with decreases in recorded rates of violent crime, troubling the notion that violent content in rap has a direct and measurable increase on violent behavior. Thus, the question of whether the violence in rap lyrics has resulted in heightened levels of violence merits additional critical inquiry. During the period of time between the first appearance of ...

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