When a kid buys a gun in Scarborough, does that mean it’s 50 Cent’s fault?
Although many people believe certain types of music have a negative influence on teens and the choices they make, this cannot be the sole cause of their bad behaviour.
Hip-hop and rap are some of the most popular genres of music in east Scarborough. The lyrics can have negative connotations, but that’s not the reason for crimes caused by youth.
We have to look at the bigger picture and the root of the problem, rather than casting the blame on music and creating a scapegoat instead of fixing the problem.
Maybe that teen who shot another person has problems at home, like abuse or alcoholic parents. Or maybe they have been influenced by a tremendous amount of peer pressure.
These are the reasons why youth act out; not because they see it in a rap music video and think it’s cool to kill other kids.
Violent acts are deeper problems that are difficult to fix.
Attacking a form of music is not the answer.
If a teen goes out and harms someone else or themselves, the negative lyrics in the music they listen to cannot be blamed. They can have certain issues that need to be dealt with through counselling and psychiatric help.
Although it can be argued that genres of music like hip-hop and rap advertise violence, they do not create the violence.
Instead of searching for a reason as to why something terrible might have happened, fix the problem first.
It seems whenever we hear of teen violence, the answer is to build recreation centres. Why not try something different, like more education about music and the positive influences it can hold?
The sense of community music brings forth is never recognized. It brings together kids who have similar interests and beliefs.
Teens will continue to listen to music their parents do not like. Music can be psychologically healthy for youth. When people look at music, they should not see it as a negative influence, but as a therapeutic release for teen angst.