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Philanthropy In Gangsta Rap Essay

1768 words - 8 pages

Rap music has always been a sub-culture of hip-hop music that is attacked by criticism from society for the way its content and over-all themes candidly contradict what is believed to be moral and righteous. Gangsta rappers have been giving out negative images of themselves as they degrade and disrespect the women and the black people in our society through the lyrics of their songs. For all the instances where they promote these negative ideas in our society, rap music becomes a negative social force. However gangsta rappers are tired of given this negative stereotype. They have started to change for the better as they start to do philanthropic acts that help prevent poverty and inspire ...view middle of the document...

In fact, Rose further says that according to a recent study conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, African-Americans give 25 percent more of their discretionary income to charity than do others of similar income. This is quite remarkable given the images perpetuated in some mainstream conservative circles of African-Americans as takers rather than givers (205). This is very significant since from this, we can see that African-American gangsta rappers who do these philanthropic acts are not just doing it for fame but because they have a tradition of doing so.
Most gangsta rappers came from the hood, wherein they experienced poverty, depression and other societal problems associated with political disputes, drug dealings and unequal distribution of wealth (Rose 138). After leaving that kind of life, they have found their footing and are in a position to make a difference. They feel that they are responsible to help others not experience what they have been through themselves. Some may point out that this is not necessarily true for all rappers as it is a fallacy of composition to say that this is true for every gangsta rapper, because in reality only a small percentage of gangsta rappers really do put an effort into making a difference in society.
Although not all gangsta rappers are making an effort to make a difference, I believe that we can never really change something in one shot. It’s like a ripple effect—if you want to make a difference, you need to first start with yourself and eventually, you will start to inspire others to do the same. In fact, in a recent article about gangsta rappers cleaning up their act, Lola Ogunnaike states that gangsta rappers have one by one started to cultivate their philanthropic side. They are not doing this just to change their image, but instead, they are sincerely trying to disperse the blessings that God has given them (pars 6-8). This proves that, as Ogunnaike notes, gangsta rappers are tired of being viewed upon as gangstas that run around with guns. They want to show the people that they do have compassion and that they are also human beings (pars 6-8). For often people only see the bad things associated with gangsta rap and not see the positives.
There have been a number of gangsta rappers who are already starting to clean up their acts and start their own charity works into helping others in their community. “P.diddy donates $2million for the children of New York city. Missy Elliot, on her single ‘Wake Up,’ raps ‘If young don’t got a gun, it’s all right. If you’re making legal money, it’s all right.’ Murder Inc., the hip-hop label, decides to drop ‘murder’ from its name. And 50 Cent saves his raunchier, more belligerent rhymes for mixtapes – sold on street corners and in specialty stores – releasing more restrained, radio-friendly singles for mass consumption” (Ogunnaike par 1). They have started cultivating their philanthropic side and changing their image for the better. In fact,...

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