Drug Slang in Rap and the Sociological Implications

by Rachel Baker on May 14, 2014

For years, people have been blaming rap for all the drug and alcohol problems kids have. Over at the Local news, there’s an article that shows some graphs that show the marijuana, cocaine and alcohol reference made in 19,000 rap songs. The charts were commissioned by ProjectKnow, for whatever purpose is not completely clear. Hopefully, they aren’t being used to correlate the use of drugs and the advent of drug addict in teens lives so the parents can feel confident its not there fault their kid is unhappy and turned to drugs and alcohol.

Up until recently, it was too hard to look at how prominent the references were in rap music, but thank’s to the website RapGenius, this is easier. They have a rapstat tool which makes tracking drug references easier.

If you look at these charts out of pure sociological interest about a culture and how it ‘became’, the charts are really interesting when you look at the rise and fall of each of the different substances popularity. It would be further interesting to do a comparitive study on the demographics of consumers of rap albums that came out during each of the haydays for the different substances, and then further compare that to the demographics of arrests, rehab admissions, and probably even welfare recipients. It would probably be a decent bet that all the negative things people infer about Rap and those that listen to it are not as ironclad as they like to claim.

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