Rap and Gangs Society and O’Reilly Blames the Music

I am fairly conservative by nature, and I really enjoy the O’Reilly Factor, but I am sick and tired of passing the buck to explain why certain segments of society misbehave. It is a fairly well known fact that O’Reilly thinks that “Rap Culture” contributes to juvenile delinquency. I disagree with this thesis.

Last night on the O’Reilly Factor there was a segment linking 50 Cent to gangster violence. I will admit that the “message” in 50 Cent’s songs is not exactly wholesome. I listen to some of his music (love me some “Candy Shop” – listed to it twice this morning), but blaming gangster behavior on 50 Cent is just too much. Seriously, the very nature of gangs is based on respect (as if I am an expert after playing GTA), sex, and violence (I can read the news).

What bothers me the most is that everyone from religious zealots to the media to misguided parents is always searching for a scapegoat to explain why good kids go bad; Dungeons and Dragons, music, video games, TV violence, and even Smurfs. It is just too much. Let’s just admit that some segments of society are completely f’ed-up regardless of the music they listen to, the games they play, and the amount of time they spend watching TV.

At the end of the day the problems run much deeper; poverty, discrimination, broken marriages, out-of-wedlock babies, lack of respect, poor public education, and the list goes on. I admit that I am very blessed. I grew up in a good home (my parents did divorce when I was very young). I lived in a nice neighborhood with prosperous families, and my parents provided me with a good education. I may not know what poverty is like, and I may never know how it feels to be discriminated against based on the color of my skin, but I do know that I have values, a decent amount of morality, and a firm grasp on my religious convictions. In other words, I am fairly well grounded.

I am not saying that I am perfect, but I have not been influenced to the point of misbehavior based on various forms of media. Growing up I played Dungeons and Dragons, I scratched many a record looking for stupid messages, I have played video games most of my life, I watched violent TV and movies, and I am even ashamed to admit that I watched the Smurfs. I was listening to Prince the day my step-father told me that Prince was not allowed in the house; nice and protective of my dad, but I guess he was an ignorant bloke. Prince was “bad” so he was not allowed in our house – of course I said screw that and kept on listening to this day.

Have to blame it on something …

If you have to ask about records, then please do not because it will make me feel too damn dated.


4 thoughts on “Rap and Gangs Society and O’Reilly Blames the Music”

  1. Whom does O’Reilly blame for his lewd transgressions?! 😉

    While I agree with you in principle, I do think many of the things of the world can have a negative influence in people’s lives. I think many things have an impact on the culture of the impressionable (mostly the youth), like MTV, music, television, movies, magazines, video games, etc. The world is a different place than it was just 50 years ago, because kids identify with and embrace these influences, and implement them in their lives ("pop culture"). Now, does that mean that these influences are the sole cause of bad behavior? Absolutely not! However, to me, it makes sense that negative influences can contribute to bad behavior, depending on many other factors (like some of the ones you mentioned). You had a strong foundation in your home life, with good role models that showed you how to live your life. Many do not, and therefore turn to other influences to dictate their morals.

    Each person has to choose how to live, and many of us make mistakes. But we are ultimately responsible and accountable for our own actions. Even with "negative" influences, eventually everyone knows basic right from wrong. For me, I choose to try to limit these influences in my life much more than I used to, especially now that I’m a parent. I now understand why my parents tried to "protect" me from some of these influences when I was growing up. I also think those influences are much worse now than they were when I was a kid…

    Regardless, I appreciated your interesting commentary. :-)

  2. Kevin, 50 Cent (and others) are *very* lewd, but you do often have the option to buy the "clean" version of the songs, which I have done in some case. Would I let my kids listen to this? No. That is part of being a parent; deciding what is appropriate and not suitable for your kids. I just like the music because it is a distraction, works well when I am gaming, and is great playing on my iPod for my nightly jogs.

    My problem with what you are saying and what Mr. Bill is saying, is that there is always something that influences youth. In this case gangs were committing crimes long before 50 Cent was making records. Are gangs now copying 50 Cent? Maybe, but regardless they were, are, and will be committing crimes regardless.

    It is the spurious argument that guns kill people; no people using guns kill people. Guns are not bad, but I am that most people with common sense only want guns in the hands of law abiding citizens.

    As I said, back in the day D&D was the work of the Devil, Smurfs were somehow corrupting the youth, but God only knows how. In my house Prince was the bad guy, and we all know that Doom single-handedly caused numerous school shootings. Even the great Harry P. is the work of the Devil because we all know that witches are bad, and thus our children should not be exposed to the work of the Devil.

    Are impressionable people doing things because of certain media? I am sure they are, but that does not necessarily make the media bad. Instead it means that the impressionable either are unstable or need better influences.

    I still think the heart of the matter has more to do with the social issues than the media issues, but what do I know? I am just some punk who listens to 50 Cent. :)

    BTW – thanks for the kind words on the commentary.

  3. I dont you should blame music on how good kids go bad but alot of kids are wanting to be like 50 cent and so they try to be like him and they think the messages in his songs is how he really is so then again the music can ba the blame.

  4. you cant say that music is the blame for kids going bad kids change every day and they will do what ever they want to do . no parent knows how they really are because kids are totally different from when they are around there parents. so the music is not the blame ifyou dont like what your kids are listening to then dont let them listen to it. so if you dont like it but not doing anything then its your fault.

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