The Daily Gamecock

Column: Though sometimes vulgar, rap has more than meets the ear

Chance The Rapper in concert on May 2, 2017 at Red Rocks, Morrison, Colo. (Marshall/Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)
Chance The Rapper in concert on May 2, 2017 at Red Rocks, Morrison, Colo. (Marshall/Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)

All of us have come across rap in one way or another. Our seventh grade teacher tried rapping Shakespeare, we learned Luda’s part in Justin Bieber's "Baby," we’ve gone to parties where rap was blasting, or we listen to it ourselves. However, rap tends to get a bad rep, for no good reason. Sure, some of it is vulgar, but more of it is clever and thought-provoking.   

There are debates about the good and the bad of rap all the time, but I believe we can choose what we take in from the world. There are some rap songs that demean women and have too many curse words than I can handle. Recently, there have been some who have taken offense to Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” Social media was buzzing with discussions on how the piece took an offensive and objectifying stance toward black women. In my opinion, it’s a well written song, and the music video was awesome, but it might not be for everyone. 

Hip-hop as a genre holds a lot of culture underneath its music. Like all music, it is a release for those who write, perform and listen to it. Rap can get pretty offensive sometimes, but I can argue that screamo makes me uncomfortable. It’s a choice.  

I’m not going to listen to a vulgar rap song, but I also won’t listen to certain pop or rock songs for the same reason. There are other rap songs, such as “Same Drugs” by Chance the Rapper, that are solid, clean music. 

Rap seems to come with a certain lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to — the same way that just because you listen to country music, doesn't mean you own a truck and wear boots. Instead of blaming rap music for the way society acts out, we ask why society acts out. Plenty of rap songs are socially conscious, dealing with everything from race, class and relationships to police brutality, politics and religion. 

I can’t defend every rap song ever written, but I can enjoy — and appreciate — some Kendrick, Drake, Post Malone or Khalid, to name a few. These guys are talented and, although the genre isn’t that family-friendly and is lacking female artists, it shouldn’t be a genre that is automatically deemed "bad."