A body of research has been contributed by studies on music and its effect on modern society and behaviour. Rap music has mixed effects, most notably in youth. It's considered both a catalyst for violence and an inspiration that unites youths from different racial backgrounds.
Popular rap, as it is today, formed in the 1980s, and has since influenced everything from folk music to heavy metal. It has ties leading back to Africa and Jamaica, where there was an emphasis on lyrical content and drumbeats.
Trends in using gunshots as rhythmical beats, graphic lyrical content depicting violent scenes and glorifying gang life and records of popular rap stars serving prison sentences make the notion that rap music spreads violence in society a plausible scenario.
Rap has greatly influenced trends in dress. The clothing in popular rap videos is often baggy, with a large focus on gold and platinum jewellery.
Though often African American, rap musicians can vary in race. Rap music's growing popularity and increasing influence on other forms of music bring youth of different social and ethnic backgrounds together.
Rap is often an outlet and coping mechanism for disadvantaged youths. The music and its lyrical affinity with the making of money often encourage young men and women to seek careers in music.
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