Music’s influence: Is the integrity of rap music on the decline?

Tonya Creasy, Staff Writer

Music has such a great influence on people in today’s society. It has been a way for people to connect with one another. It has also been a way to help people express their feelings. Rap music has always been a musical genre that people use to share their story. Most people look at celebrities as role models. However, are celebrities really spreading positive messages?

Alongside music, social media has been a great influence on society. It has the power to influence a wide range of our views and we often depend on it as a means to stay updated on social changes. With that being said, is it making our views on rap music better or worse?

One genre of music that is very popular today is rap. Rap artists used to write songs about their struggles. Hearing how someone has overcome hard times can inspire a lot of people when they’re struggling. A significant amount of these individuals also rely on music as an escape.

The significance of rap music is truly astounding. In fact, according to one Wilkes student,  “When I (they) decided to come out, I (they) listened to a lot of inspiration music. It helped me (them) realize that it was okay for me to be who I am (they are) and love who I love (they love), no matter what anyone thinks. Coming from a Catholic family, it wasn’t easy, but I (they) definitely believe music has made everything easier.”

Unfortunately, today’s rap music now primarily focuses on sex, drugs and violence.

Even though everyone has the ability to make a difference, musicians have a greater chance to make a difference in the world because of the platform they have. It is easier to get your voice heard when you’re already in the eye of the public.

Music affects everyone. Take the feud between Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly for example. Machine Gun Kelly released a song earlier this month called “Rap Devil”. The song was made to be a diss track towards Eminem mocking Eminem’s song “Rap God.”

After the song “Rap Devil” was released, Eminem stated in an exclusive interview with Sway about how he was contemplating on whether or not he should respond to MGK’s song. Eminem didn’t want to respond because he knew it would make MGK “bigger” in the music industry. On the other hand, he felt like he had to respond.

Many celebrities and fans joined in on the feud by recording diss tracks of their own. They also joined in by voicing their opinions on social media.

Relevance is a big part of why rap artists bash on another. When they begin to lose fame, they will do anything to stay in the limelight.

According to Dr. Rob Bruno, assisttant professor of communication studies, “This ties into public relations. These days, staying out there can affect an artist’s strategy.”

Celebrities might not have control over what is released, but they have the most influence. This has always existed. What’s new is that every fan can interact with the artists due to social media. We can become part of that mass conflict, which hasn’t existed for more than 25 years.”

Music should bring the world together, instead of tearing it apart. Social media plays a huge role in how people today communicate. Communication is done mostly behind a screen and people today spend hours on Facebook watching videos instead of getting to know those around them.

Music is big on social media. Some artists are more focused on gaining followers rather than actually spreading a positive message.

Wilkes student Kylie Dillon states that she believes “the feud between MGK and Eminem is very childish. They both have large audiences and can be very influential; instead of using that platform to stand for something or to help a good cause, they are wasting time and abusing their platform to see who can diss who better,”

Music is impressionable, especially among the younger generation. They believe the messages spread by their idols and want to be just like them. Unfortunately, social media has invoked hate instead of love.

How can we address this problem? There are artists who focus on love and peace, and yet they have millions of less followers than those rappers who spread drama and promote hate and division. It’s more about how the celebrities look and dress instead of their message.

The good thing about social media is that anyone can change this. If enough people stand up and refuse to listen to the hate, then there would be no point in doing it at all. The choice to listen to music with loving content is ours and always will be.