Rap Music Does Not Cause Violence

"I just think that kids are exposed to all kinds of horrible stuff nowadays, too. I look back and I think about the horrible stuff that they hear when they listen to rap music, the video games that they watch from a really early age with all of this horrible violence and stuff, and I just think that … they have this access to the internet on a regular basis, which is just not good for kids, I don’t think," said Texas congressman Ronny Jackson in response to the horrific shooting in Uvalde, Texas last week.

Congressman Ronny Jackson - Official U.S. Government Headshot

While some rap and hip-hop music does contain violent or unsavory lyrics, the same can be said of almost any genre of music. Death metal, rock music, even modern day indie-alt, can all be filled with graphic lyrics and imagery. However, when it comes to senseless violence like the shooting in Uvalde, congresspeople and senators are always quick to blame rap music. These ideas are almost always rooted in racism, whether the speaker knows it or not.

Rap and hip-hop are genres of music predominantly fronted by the black community. Blaming gun violence on any specific genre of music, especially one that has an association to a racial or ethnic group, is incredibly damaging to that community. All kinds of violence and violent behavior exists on the internet, and yet, Congressman Jackson is quick to single out rap music.

There are absolutely no studies that show any correlation between rap music and gun violence, and the constant perpetuation of this idea by people, and government officials no less, contributes to a culture of hatred and discrimination that continues to rise in the United States. We need to make it clear that music is art, not encouragement of violence–and while violence may be tied to Internet forums and chats, is not tied to music.

What do you think of Congressman Jackson’s statement about rap music? Let us know below.