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Rap and Rappers

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
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Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: November 5, 2002
Latest Update: November 25, 2002

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Site Teaching Modules Comments on Eminem

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, November 2002.
"Fair use" encouraged.

On Tuesday, November 12, 2002, Caren Davis wrote:

Subject: lived experiences

Hi Jeanne, This is Caren Davis.

I was reading the questions on Eminem. Being that I'm not in your other classes where I think you discussed this in detail, but being a mother of two young boys and a auntie of many, this topic caught my attention. Actually, Caren, we didn't discuss Eminem in great detail in any of the classes, but I suspected that some of you would share just the interest you express here. This is a good example of taking advantage of the choice the site allows you. This style of rap has been a controversy for a long time now and I'm not sure what is true about the effects that it has on society expecially children which is my main concern. The ruling on that is still out, Caren. No one knows for sure. We know the negative effects of censorship, but we don't know nearly enough about the effects of simply passively or actively immersing oneself in the music. My oldest son is only eight years old and I don't allow him to listen to that type of music not because of the violence but in my opinion there are things that he just should not hear because I don't feel that he is mature enough to fully understand what he's hearing. A lot of it is a "fantasy". I don't think he can truly imagine people actually doing what they say or even feeling the things they claim to feel about certain people in their lives. This is just the way I look at it. I could be wrong but I'm not willing to jeopardize my children's future that way. I think your point on maturity is well taken. But I have to remind you of a popular song when I was young: They tried to tell us we were too young, too young to really be in love . . . " On the other hand I have a sister with children around the same age and she allows her children to listen to that style of music. She doesn't see any harm. Her children usually tease my son for listening to the teenage rappers who mostly talk about how good it feels to be rich and how the girls love them so much. He is not much of a follower but, I try to reassure my son that it is o.k. to like those rappers so he is not so much caught up in peer pressure and doing wrong just because everyone else is. I think that we are responsible for what our children do, hear and see when they are young and with that we can rest assured that our children will make the right decisions in life when they are out of our sight. Sheltering my children from certain things at a young age gives me the comfort and peace within that if they don't make the right choices and decisions in life that I won't have to live with the guilt that I allowed my children to be exposed to certain things that had a negative impact on them and contributed to the fact that they could not distinguish fantasy from real life. I'm not saying that I am the perfect parent because I know that I am far away from that but again I feel that monitoring what our children hear, see, and do will make a big difference in a child's life.

Good points, Caren. Consider that all this concern leads you to talk with your son, to explain your reasons, and to encourage him to ehlp you protect him from things you are afraid might be harmful. That's pretty elaborate language coding. And recall that children brought up in an environment of elaborate language codes evidence greater achievement. I woud suspect that the child rearing techniques you use and the ways in which you handle transactions with your son, may one day prove to be more important than the music itself.

By the way, conceptual linking to restricted and elaborated language codes could turn this into an A message. jeanne