Role models are a large part of what shape people into the characters they become when they reach adulthood, and even passed that. It seems as if there is a consensus among the older generations that today’s music and music artists are toxic and are corrupting the minds of children. Even as a millennial I have to say that I agree with their sentiments, but there are also arguments to be made for outliers such as myself, for people who do enjoy the music and do not condone the actions that take place within the lyrics. I feel strongly that there are many possible solutions that would help better citizens that will be the future of America, however the most effective would be to not predispose children at too young of an age.
I believe that instead of shaming a kid for their interests in music, parents should have an open dialogue with their child and help them understand the consequences that come with doing some of the things these artists talk about doing. A child is most likely going to rebel if you tell them not to do something they would not want to. It may not be possible to stop a child from listening to these influences, but it can be possible to help them become more aware of what is actually being heard. Most, if not every household does not condone the use of drugs, which many of today’s artists tend to glorify. A child would not understand the effects from the use of drugs, and with drugs being heard as a good thing, it would let them think it is fine to even try a drug. Their behavior is easily affected, but helping understand why they should not associate with this music is a start.
Almost anywhere you would hear someone saying “fuck you” or someone being called a “bitch” in songs. It is inevitable, with the spreading of technology, to keep children from hearing these things in music. What can be done is not predisposing children to this side of music till they have matured more. If exposed at a too young of an age, they can easily be swayed to liking this kind of stuff. The use of censored language is definitely something that is available, but many people prefer the use of the derogatory language in their listenings. According to the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, a questionnaire was given to 348 adolescents and rap music was the median for deviant behaviour (Miranda, Claes). Rap music is typically the genre that contains the highest use of derogatory language, and without a doubt it does tend to rub off onto younger people, thus having them begin to use it. It can all be traced back to how and when parents allow their children to be exposed to it, and it starts with parents. They are the ones who are to guide their children through the beginning steps in life.
A primary example to censorship would be the Walmart company. Walmart does not sell music that has a ‘Parental Warning’ label upon it (Consumers’ Research Magazine). If an artist wanted to have their music vended at Walmart they would have to possibly change the cover design of it, lyrics, or even omit some of the songs. It was also stated by Walmart “it is our right as a retailer to offer the type of products we want and that we feel our customers want to buy. Different forms of music, like other products, are available through other retailers, record clubs or different purchasing means.” Walmart has the right idea when it comes to the solution to the problem of today’s music, despite whatever their intentions of censorship might be. If it helps reduce the exposure of the problem to younger people who are not ready for it, then it should be seen as a role model for other music venders.
It is arguable that the listener has the mind to decide from what is a good influence and what is not, but it is not necessarily their job to differentiate from what is what; if they continue to listen to a negative form of music then it is due to them not understanding from the get-go that they should not. A five-year old child going about would not understand what someone would mean by “popping xanax” or “rolling a joint” would mean in a song. If curious enough they would ask a parent or any kind of guardian figure about it, thus starting the process of helping them understand. Not every child will be exposed to the words, but the ones that do are the ones who should be more so focused on with having parental talks.
Although much of today’s current music is not helping with raising current generations, many artists today do have strong messages that entail their work; it varies from is being listened to. Not all genres are problematic, but the problematic ones have become so common it has become harder to raise children. A friendlier environment would be made from if a consensus could be made about what should be heard, why should it be or not be heard, and especially when it should be heard. When I use the term problematic, it refers to much of the music that is being heard right now, yesterday, tomorrow etc. It is not an easy task because parents are not with their children all day of their adolescent lives, but they can set them or at least keep them from interpreting what they are hearing and applying it to their lives, the negatives that is.
PlatinumVoicePR. Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics. Digital image. Thisisplatinumhiphop.com. N.p., 24 Dec. 2016. Web. 8 May 2018
Bressi, Terri. The Worst Part of Censorship Is ——. Digital image. Freedomsphoenix.com. N.p., 26 Jan. 2009. Web. 8 May 2018.
Nahar, Jasmin. Because He Always Did What He Wanted. Digital image. Buzzfeed.com. N.p., 30 May 2016. Web. 8 May 2018.
Miranda, Dave and Michel Claes. “Rap Music Genres and Deviant Behaviors in French-Canadian Adolescents.” Journal of Youth & Adolescence, vol. 33, no. 2, Apr. 2004, pp. 113-122. EBSCOhost,
“Wal-Mart Cleans up Musicians’ Acts.” Consumers’ Research Magazine, vol. 80, no. 1, Jan. 1997, p. 40. EBSCOhost,