- (Kind of) Classical music in public places: does it affect violence?
- Do violent video games cause violent behavior?
- Can music incite murder?
I've heard many people say that listening to rap, which may often contain messages of violence, drug use, and particular views toward women, will actually lead to the adoption of such views and behavior. I'll leave out the latter two and just focus on the first claim (violence).
As an example of this at large, take this NY Times article on a club that plays "gansta rap" in Colorado Springs, CO, USA:
After a spate of shootings, and with a rising murder rate, the police here are saying gangsta rap is contributing to the violence, luring gang members and criminal activity to nightclubs. The police publicly condemned the music in a news release after a killing in July and are warning nightclub owners that their places might not be safe if they play gangsta rap.
“We don’t want to broad-brush hip-hop music altogether,” said Lt. Skip Arms, a police spokesman, “but we’re looking at a subcomponent that typically glorifies, promotes criminal behavior and demeans women.”
One could take this two ways:
- The first paragraph seems to imply that rap attracts individuals who are already violent, and such individuals would be [as] violent even if they'd listened to some other type of music
- The second paragraph connotes that rap actually leads to an increase in violent behavior, such that without having listened to rap, such an individual would not be [as] violent
For another example, see this eHow article on rap music
The mainstream popularity of West Coast gangsta rap sent hip-hop into another realm, while at the same time pigeonholing the genre as entirely too aggressive. There is much debate to be had as to the merits of such lyricism and the effect it has on youths...
Is there available evidence to support or deny the claim that rap music leads to an increased tendency toward violent behavior?
As a bonus question, I would be interested in anything along the way that discusses the perhaps related claims about drugs and attitudes toward/treatment of women, but maybe that should be a separate question or this one should be modified to cover all three potential negative impacts of rap music.