Racism in Music

History In The Making

Niggaz Wit Attitudes was a group of rappers that drastically transformed the rap culture when they introduced gansta rap. The group included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Easy E, MC Ren, DJ Yella and later on Snoop Dogg. NWA wrote songs about drugs, sex and violence, which was different than before. Because these topics are so controversial, some people began to see them as a racist group. In their hit song, “Fuck the Police,” the lyrics gave listeners the impression that they did not like the police because they were white. Although the title of the song says it all, NWA claims that they have been mistreated by the policemen and are given a hard time because they are African-American. So who is the real racist to blame here? In order to get a full idea of the song and how you want to interpret it, here is the song “Fuck the Police” by NWA:

Growing in Diversity

Before, most artists were predominantly African-American, which is one reason why people attribute rap music to black people opposed to white people. Now, there are many more white rappers in the music industry and the numbers continues to increase. Eminem, also known as his alter ego Slim Shady, made a huge impact on rap music and white influence. He worked with Dr. Dre after enduring many life struggles. Eminem rapped mostly about drugs, alcohol, and how hard it was to raise his daughter, Hailie, with very little money. He is known for his incredible rapping ability. That just it, his ability to rap is equivalent to, if not better than other African American rappers. Skin color shouldn’t matter in the rap industry and Eminem proves that. Today, Eminem is still growing in popularity but Mac Miller, Macklemore, and Yelawolf are upcoming white rappers. All of these men possess the ability to rap just like any African American. Here are images of the somewhat recently famous white rappers:

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The following audio clips are some of their popular hits:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis-“Can’t Hold Us”

Yelawolf-“Daddy’s Lambo”

Mac Miller-“Senior Skip Day”

Eminem-“The Real Slim Shady”

Innate Process or Observational Learning?

Another important factor to racism in rap music is how people actually view racism. Some psychologists say that it is an action done unconsciously by the brain. People continue to judge others and don’t realize it until it’s already happening. However, research has been done to show that the amygdala is a part of the brain that senses different skin tones which causes brain activity to vary. One of the drawbacks of this theory is that the amygdala doesn’t trigger a brain response until a person is almost a teenager. This leads to the belief that racism is something that society teaches. Tests have been done to see if children show signs of discrimination against whites or African Americans. The results show that even kids belief whites are the more preferred race, regardless of what the child’s race was. This leads to the conclusion that racism might be inevitable because family members, friends, and even strangers can portray racism to younger kids without even knowing it. Rap music is identified with African Americans and the stereotype is slightly gravitating away from that but society still gives off that idea to the younger generations.


Top Hits and Interview

Works Cited

Erlewine, Stephen. “Biography.” NWA World. N.p.. Web. 30 Nov 2013.

Feldman, Robert. Life Span Development: A Topical Approach. 2nd ed. Boston: Pearson, 2011. 468-471. Print.

Hsu, Christine. “Racism is Innate: The Human Brain Makes Unconscious Decisions Based on Ethnicity.” Medical Daily. Medical Daily, 26 Jun 2012. Web. 30 Nov 2013.

Matlon, Jordanna. “Creating Public Fictions: The Black Man as Producer and Consumer.” Black Scholar 40.3 (2010): 36-42. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 1 Dec 2013.

Parker, Lyndsey. “Eminem Biography.” Eminem. Interscope, n.d. Web. 2 Dec 2013.

Slaven, Eugene. “The Truth about Rap Music.” American Thinker. (2013): n. page. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.


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