Navigation Links
Drug use increasingly glamorized in rap music, according to new study of 2-decade trends
Date:4/1/2008

Berkeley, CA, April 1, 2008 Rap music has gone from an art form that largely warned against the dangers of substance abuse to one that often glorifies illegal drug use, according to the first systematic social science study of the genre covering nearly two decades. The study is published in the April 2008 issue of Addiction Research & Theory, a peer reviewed scientific journal.

Positive portrayals of drug use have increased over time, and drug references increased overall, says study author Denise Herd, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Students, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. This is an alarming trend, as rap artists are role models for the nations youth, especially in urban areas. Many of these young people are already at risk and need to get positive messages from the media.

Dr. Herd and her team sampled 341 lyrics from the most popular songs in rap between 1979 and 1997. Each song was categorized in terms of its drug mentions, behaviors and contexts, as well as for its attitude towards drug use and consequences. Rap genres were also categorized, and drug-type mentions were coded and analyzed.

The researchers found that songs with references to drugs increased six-fold over this time span. Songs exhibiting positive attitudes toward drugs and the consequences of drug use also rose exponentially. Drug types mentioned changed significantly, and references of using drugs to signify glamour, wealth and sociability increased as well.

This indicates a shift from cautionary songs, such as those that emphasized the dangers of cocaine and crack, to songs that glorify the use of marijuana and other drugs as part of a desirable hip-hop lifestyle, says Dr. Herd. This is alarming because young children are exposed to these messages. I dont think this is a story we as a society want them to absorb.

The change in references and drug portrayals was dramatic. Dr. Herd found that, of the 38 most popular songs between 1979 and 1984, only four, or 11%, contained drug references. By the late eighties that number had increased to 19%. The numbers continued to increase, and 69% of rap songs after 1993 mentioned drug use.

While songs early in rap history that mentioned drugs were generally cautionary tales about the dangers of crack, base or powdered cocaine (i.e., White Lines), mentions of marijuana and blunts (marijuana-stuffed cigars) doubled between 1979 and 1997, with many songs portraying the drugs as glamorous rewards of the hip-hop lifestyle (The Chronic).

The latter time period also saw the promotion of cough-medicine abuse in lyrics from Southwestern groups performing an underground rap genre known as Screw Music. Although there is limited research on this drug trend, a recent study revealed that 25 percent of at-risk Houston teens reported having tried codeine-laced cough syrup. Those surveyed stated that they tried this musical style in relation to their cough syrup abuse.

Rap music is like CNN for black teens, says Dr. Herd. But much of what is discussed in rap is in code. The kids understand but parents dont. She urges parents to monitor their childrens listening, and to educate themselves on the terms being used in popular songs.

An earlier study by Dr. Herd using the same data set concluded that alcohol use is also increasingly glorified in rap. The current study finds that illegal drug and alcohol use are often paired in more recent rap songs. Recent songs with drug references were three times more likely to have themes related to glamour and wealth compared with earlier titles, and seven times more likely to emphasize drug use as recreation or a part of sex. There is also a trend for more recent songs to emphasize drug use as part of a criminal lifestyle.

Anecdotal media accounts suggest that positive drug references in rap music have not abated. Although her systematic evaluation covers songs up until 1997, Dr. Herd says, Based on these accounts, the glorification of drugs in rap music remains commonplace. Given the potential impact, she believes that further research is needed in this area, and prevention strategies should be developed. The focus on these two decades was to map the transition. Further research will enable us to better understand what happened to set this evolution in motion. This may help us find ways to reverse or counter the trends.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rebecca Janoff
rebeccaj@mbooth.com
212-539-3244
M Booth & Associates
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Although Remicade and Humira Are Being Increasingly Prescribed for Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, Insurers Are Subjecting Both Drugs to Multiple Cost-Control Strategies
2. Small-Diameter Dental Implants Increasingly Popular In the US
3. Generic Prescription Drugs Show Increasingly Greater Use in Southeastern Pennsylvania
4. Gamma Secretase Modulators Show Promise in Alzheimers Disease Animal Model Efficacy Studies, According to Research Conducted by TorreyPines Therapeutics
5. Part-Time Practice Trends Intensify Physician Shortage According to AMGA and Cejka Search 2007 Physician Retention Survey
6. Colonoscopy Used to Identify and Remove Flat Colon Lesions: Flat Colon Lesions More Common and More Likely to Be Cancer According to JAMA Study
7. Baby Boomers Confused About Medicare, According to Recent NAIC Survey
8. Bone complications due to cystic fibrosis have a genetic cause, according to an MUHC study
9. Baby Bottles Leach Toxic Chemical, According to New U.S. and Canadian Study
10. Bush Budget Puts Future of Health Care for All Children in Jeopardy, According to National Pediatric Groups
11. Bisexuality not a transitional phase among women, according to new research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that ... chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent ... special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to ... Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort ... quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across ... in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their ... award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ... company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that it ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said ... increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing drugs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... 2022" report to their offering. ... with kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by ... and thus the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: ... its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated ... shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first IVD ... solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: