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Has Rap Received a Bad Rap?  The deleterious effects of linguistically lame lyrics 
By psychologist, Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT 

Rap music has taken a beating for its worship of bling, its fasination with promiscuous sex, and its emphasis on violence as the primary means of problem solving. Furthermore, critics claim that rather than lifting the listener, and elevating the mind, it caters to the lowest common denominator. Is rap morally bankrupt? What about the slang-slinging? Does playing rap music contribute to a weakening in phonological awareness, speech perception, cyntactic proficiency?  What about parents who play rap music around their children?  Are they creating a linguistic environment that will hinder normal language development in their children?  

Certainly there are exceptions. Eminen's Stan tells a story and is quite effective in delivering a moral. Certainly the same can be said for some of Tupac's material, though both artists are equally as capable of putting out songs that are morally and linguistically bankrupt.  I generally try to stay positive with my songs, and since I'm so far from perfect, I try not to judge other artists. But I picked on 50 Cent for being A Day Late and a Dollar Short. 

And in the same publication, I picked on Lil' Kim and the rhyme crime I feel she's committed against youth----a rhyme crime I refer to in a song called Assault with a Deadly Woman. 

Did I do so unfairly. Am I missing something? Am I culturally benighted, or cross-culturally challenged? If you feel I've given rap a bad rap, and you honestly believe it has redeeming value, then send me an email. I want to believe that there is redemption for rap. I believe rap can be used as a vehicle for change, as I've tried to demonstrate in this rap song of my own:

From One Brother to Another
words and music by Dr. BLT: Shrink Rap Records (c) 2006 


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