Hip Hop Influences on Society, Negative and Positive

Since the first day that the first hip hop artist busted a rhyme, it seems that there has been a raging debate about the harm that music has done to society. This has been the cry of the establishment throughout the history of modern history. As a new genre of music was developed that represented the young, the establishment attacked it. There are many people who feel that hip hop music has been a negative force on society, but it isn’t based in fact, simply on personal taste.

The Positives of Hip Hop

One of the most significant positive influences of hip hop music is that an entire segment of the population developed a way to relate their experience artistically to the world. Much of the style and the language used was determined by the lives and cultures of the artists. Since most hip hop artists were of African American decent, much of established white America saw the music as a threat. They heard the explicit lyrics and the violence that some of the music talked about. This gives people a voice of expression. When inner conflicts are expressed to others, often times that expression allows others to relate. Even though the lyrics are violent, they may actually give an outlet to aggression and stop actual violence. There is also the financial reward that a great hip hop artist can make.

The Negatives

One of the most significant negatives is the stereotyping that hip hop music perpetrates about black culture in America today. Because the clothing style and language are so different, those differences can cause fear in others. That fear can lead to a violent backlash, and when that backlash comes from the police and authority figures then violence is often the result. Also, there are generally negative themes against women and other groups that are generally negative and harmful. These words tend to perpetuate stereotypical behavior toward relationships and to other people, making life more painful for others. The stereotypes and rhetoric of the hip hop culture might also prevent any real dialogue from occurring between different sides.


Hip hop music has influenced the culture of the world by presenting its hard hitting lyrics with an upbeat tempo of music that provides great entertainment, yet can send inappropriate messages about violence and the treatment of women.