Rap music isn’t trash

Everyone understands rap music in different ways, and so many people have grown to hate it. I’m here to tell you why you should think rap is just as good as any other kind of music.


by Taylor Hayes, Staff Writer

How many times have you heard “Rap music is awful. All they talk about is doing awful things to women and illicit activity. Why do you even listen to that trash?” Personally, I think I’ve heard this a million times.

I’m very passionate about rap because I believe it’s the chance to look into a different person’s culture, their life, their past — in a short amount of time with amazing flow, rhyme and beat. I want older generations to realize that rap is a cultural thing. 

When you weed through the teenage SoundCloud rappers and even more established rappers like 6ix9ine — you find amazing rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Tyler the Creator, XXXTentacion and a few others. With the right rappers, you start to learn a lot about how rap culture is often misunderstood. 

Again, these rappers aren’t strangers to the lyrics that make rap look bad, but most have amazing, inspiring backstories that explain the intention behind their vulgar lyrics. 

Lamar is highly regarded for his story-telling style of music — his lyrics depicting his arduous childhood in Compton. I watched a few interviews with Lamar about his Pulitzer Prize-winning album, “DAMN.,” but one in particular stood out to me. 

In his interview with Apple Music, Kendrick says “I couldn’t understand but as years progressed and I’m going back and listen to it again and I’ve grown and I’m matured these things blew me away you know when I found out what they was talking about in the house certain things connected to other albums and stories that they told growing up in a communities you know and their whole perspective.”   

Kendrick’s opinion on rap and hip hop has always meant so much to me. His deep-rooted connection to rap only makes his music just that much better. I’ve tried to tell so many people that there’s a deeper meaning to so many rap songs, but only some take the time to listen.

I know I’ve never lived any life like Kendrick’s, but I do start to understand it through his music. My connection with rap is different; I believe it’s more about listening to the story someone is trying to tell. 

Kendrick describes his love for hip hop as the reason for his success, the reason for his drive and passion for making music. He even says that he “loves hip hop so much he can’t even describe it.” 

I can see how a lot of people would take songs like “Real” by Lamar and not put too much thought into it. In the song “Real,” he says “If I don’t hear from you, by tomorrow…/ I hope you come back, and learn from your mistakes. / Come back a man, tell your story to these black and brown kids in Compton. / Let ’em know you was just like them, but you still rose from that dark place of violence, / becoming a positive person.” 

We normally wouldn’t make any sense of this, but it’s actually advice from his mom. This song is a progression of Kendrick learning to understand what’s real in his life or not — what he should give care to or not. In “Real” specifically, he learns that he makes music for his family and his community; he’s telling their story. 

It’s the passion in rap that makes me love it so much. It’s the backstory, the attention to detail and the love and time that goes into the music that makes it so good. Rap isn’t awful, rap is a community.