Hip-Hop Music Videos and the Effects on Adolescents’ Behaviors

Hip-hop music videos can be very entertaining.  They also can be very scandalous and inappropriate.  They allow the artist to interpret and put a visual to their lyrics of their hit songs.  They also allow the artists to communicate their poor values and actions to their many adolescent fans.  Adolescents are the perfect viewers for hip-hop music videos because the creators want them to look up to their favorite rappers and do whatever they see them do in the videos because it is “cool”.  While most adults would be able to distinguish most videos as morally wrong, most adolescents have a tough time doing this because all of the videos share the same common theme.  Hip-hop music videos negatively affect adolescents’ development, behavior, and values.  The following chart shows how girls behavior changed drastically with exposure to hip-hop videos for one year.  Image It shows that after a year of exposure to hip-hop videos, girls were 3 times more likely to hit a teacher, 2.6 times more likely to get arrested, 2 times more likely to have multiple sexual partners, and 1.6 times more likely to acquire a new STD and use drugs and alcohol (Wingood et al. 438).  The fact that all of this happened just because of watching some music videos is mind blowing.

Another study showed that after watching MTV music videos for less than an hour, 7th and 10th grade students were more likely to approve of pre-marital sex (Harrison, Miller, and Zhang 370).  This is very hard to believe that in such a short time of viewing the videos it already altered the opinions of adolescents.  Also, adolescents view music video channels like MTV at least once a week (Berns 322).  If they are to watch it for more than one hour, each week, that is a lot of opinions for the video to change in the teenager.

Time Magazine wrote how the themes of today’s hip-hop are completely different from when hip-hop first started.  They claimed how modern hip-hop is all about being a pimp and a dominant male (Amber 164).  This is very true since every song you hear about now is about getting girls and making money.  Although that is popular right now, some people, like @Taral0ver, like the way hip-hop use to be lighthearted and fun.Image

Here is an old school hip-hop video:

Here is a modern one:

There is a clear difference between the classic one and the modern one.  The classic one is innocent fun, while the modern one is so sexually explicit it’s almost uncomfortable.  This site’s picture pretty much sums it up: http://nerdatthecooltable.com/2013/12/30-years-of-little-girls-learning-how-to-dance-from-music-videos/

There are no signs of positive messages being sent in that modern video.  How are adolescents suppose to look up to 2 Chainz when he is presenting himself like that?  He is not a good role model, and adolescents need to be smart enough to not take after his actions.  These are certainly not the values we want young adults to be getting as they transition into adulthood and ready to take on the real world.  The music videos create too many false realities that are not a good representation of what to expect.

An interview with rapper Saigon shows that there are some rappers out there who realize the effects of hip-hop.  Although this is rare, Saigon talks about how rap teaches kids that if you don’t have money you are completely worthless (Envy).  Of course this is not the case, but rap artists sure make it seem like that with all of their cash flying everywhere in their videos.

A website to find out more about music’s influence on adolescents:




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