Trap Music

Trap Music: Drugs, Thugs, and Automobiles

Trap Music is the second section within the topic of TV Imagery. The focus of this discussion is centered on the perceptions, realities, and the impact of Hip-Hop culture in the Black Community.

The 3 Questions

1. What impact has Hip-Hop had on your life?

2. Is the current Hip-Hop culture toxic or has it always been toxic or is it the same as it ever was?

3. Does the Black community give Hip-Hop culture too much credit/blame for the current state of the Black community?


Hip-Hop has become the language of the world.  It has the ability to give voice to political freedom fighters, disenfranchised youth, and the kid just trying to express themselves.  As positive as it can be, Hip -Hop is often portrayed as music for thugs and a thuggish lifestyle.  This portrayal becomes even more problematic when you realize the genesis of this genre was created by poor Black children looking for a way to express themselves in a none destructive way.  So why does both the Fox News follower and some older generation Black people agree that this culture is destructive to the Black Community?  As tired and unfair as this argument seems on the surface, there is something to be said about the glorification of some of the ills talked about in the music.  For every Fight the Power and Fuck the Police there is a Ten Crack Commandments or G’s Up Hoes Down.  So how can We as a community rectify this dichotomy in something so pivotal to Our daily lives? Is Hip-Hop culture, specifically the music, some how contributing to the destruction of Our community?

Please write in and response to our 3 poll questions or post some questions that you would like to see asked.  These question and more were addressed on 06/03/2020 in our Roundtable which is also available on YouTube.

Trap Music [unedited]

5 thoughts on “Trap Music”

  1. For me, Hip Hop has been inspirational and influential on so many other forms of music. Is it toxic? Of course not. Its art, plain and simple. People write about what they know and has inspired change. I can’t speak for black culture giving it too much credit for the current state. I will say outside looking in it was when Hip Hop became “obscene” or “angry” that we then needed to apply labels to albums such as parental advisory stickers. They weren’t calling for these when Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath were supposedly trying to turn all kids into devil worshippers. People fear that which they can’t relate to. The majority loved Johnny B. Goode but couldn’t relate to the man singing it. They could relate to Elvis hence he received the title of “King of Rock and Roll”. So no. I don’t see black culture putting the negative connotation to Hip Hop.

  2. # 1: I would say that Hip-Hop has had a decent sized impact on my life. It has entertained, informed, and encouraged me through the years. It has definitely had an impact on my sense of fashion and music that I listen to outside of it. I wouldn’t say it was so influential I thought to do all the things in the songs, but it gave me an idea of what some people’s lives were like.

    #2: I think it is the same as it ever was, however, Hip-Hop goes through phases in terms of what it has at the forefront when it comes to styles and content. When I was younger the “mainstream” Hip Hop was much more positive towards things like Black issues and enlightening the youth with history that wasn’t focused on in school. Now the “mainstream” Hip-Hop sounds nothing like that. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I feel that the current rappers aren’t nearly as skilled as those of prior generations.

    #3: Considering how influential Hip-Hop has been in my life, I would have to say the blame is probable about right. Although as I’ve stated before that I was not influenced to do everything I heard in a song, I’m not the average person. I’m no genius but I know there are people who are gullible/ lack common sense and believe they can do the things in these songs with no repercussions. Even if that’s 15% of the people who believe that, that’s a huge problem in the Black Community.

  3. 1. What impact has Hip-Hop had on your life? I enjoy a lot of it. It helps enable meaningful conversations with my children, and nieces and nephews.

    2. Is the current Hip-Hop culture toxic or has it always been toxic or is it the same as it ever was? Some of it is and some is not. I’m not sure. I know music and the lyrics assigned it are very impactful. They can draw people to one another in love and can insight riots. I think artists need to be mindful of what they write and sing about as well as take ownership for them when thing go badly.

    3. Does the Black community give Hip-Hop culture too much credit/blame for the current lstate of the Black community? I’m not sure.

  4. 1. Hip hop has been both teacher and punching bag in my life. It has allowed me to vent when frustrated and angry, with blended instrumentation, aggressive lyrics, and that every so classic boom bap vibe. Hip hop has also been a teacher. Lessons of overcoming hardships and staying dedicated to winning the game have helped me find my way forward at times.

    The music has also created friendships and improved relationships. I’ve learned about worlds I may have never otherwise experienced and how to communicate with anyone from those worlds. Hip hop has been a window into black americas history and its future.

    2. The culture is the same as it always has been. The music has always pushed the black culture forward and challenged the establishment. The difference now is the “establishment” includes eras of hip hop. It is always the current generations expression of the world as they see it. I do feel like there is more of an effort to control the sound on the radio in efforts to control the power an artist can achieve. It can be toxic to those who don’t understand the lyrics and those who believe what they see from hip hop is the only way black people can be.

    3. The black community gives the culture too much credit for the ills of our society. The problem isn’t the music, but the systemic racism that we are still facing an entire generation later. The culture isn’t just what is seen on tv and heard on the radio. The culture is both crime and progressive artists. It’s the production and fashion. The culture is a part of all of our lives because many of us were raised in the culture and use the language, fashion, and lessons taught from the various artist through the years.

  5. 1. What impact has Hip-Hop had on your life?
    Hip hop has had as significant an impact on my life as it has the world at large. At times it has served as common ground to forge relationships that would not have otherwise been formed, and at times its legitimacy as a form of music has been the subject of long debates. In the end, no one can deny that it has become part of world culture. Hip hop songs are being made in just about every common language….you see it in commercials, sports, movies, and even cartoons to help children learn. So, hip hop has enriched my life by providing me entertainment, education, and cultural identity.

    2. Is the current Hip-Hop culture toxic or has it always been toxic or is it the same as it ever was?
    I think that there has always been a group that have viewed it as toxic, so in that way it is the same as it ever was. Hip hop is a lot more main stream than it was a couple of generations ago. I believe that this has created a situation where hip hop culture is a microcosm of the larger culture. For example, music is now streamed, therefore, the artists put out more of it. My opinion is that the pressure to put out music at such a high rate results in a reduction in quality. But, the target audience for the music like that they do not have to wait a couple of years for the next project to drop and are satisfied if there are a couple of good songs.

    3. Does the Black community give Hip-Hop culture too much credit/blame for the current state of the Black community?
    I suppose that considering Hip hop culture is very much a part of the Black community that naturally some would assign it some portion of blame for its current state. I personally have not heard anyone disproportionately pin blame on Hip hop over things like systematic oppression so I am going to say that the Black community does not place too much blame on Hip hop.

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