Boozing it up Hip Hop Style
Is hip hop music turning a generation into alcoholics?
Hip Hop music has long been criticized for glamorizing violence, objectifying women and promoting drugs. Basically, every hip hop music video is the same- in the club, big gold chains, sunglasses in the dark, piles of cash, and half naked women shaking their giant backsides. And don’t forget the alcohol! Aren’t these tracks just becoming giant commercials for booze?
According to a new study, “For every hour that American teens listen to music, they hear more than three references to brand-name alcohol-about 34 in the course of a day”. This heavy exposure could contribute to youth addiction, according to a University of Pittsburgh and Dartmouth University study published online in the international journal, Addiction.
Researchers point the finger clearly at rap, R&B and hip-hop artists, who they say promote a “luxury lifestyle characterized by degrading sexual activity, wealth, partying, violence and the use of drugs.”
Many singers have also increasingly promoted their own line of liquors in their songs and even launched their own unique brands
- Lil’ Jon (Little Jonathan Wineries, 2008)
- Ludacris (Conjure Vodka, 2009)
- Jay-Z (Armadale Vodka, 2002)
- Snoop Dogg (Landy Cognac, 2008)
- TI (Remy Martin Cognac, 2010)
- Sean “P. Diddy” Combs (Ciroc Vodka, 2001)
Then there is Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It (On the Alcohol)” which was a long-running No. 1 song on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart, as he sang about Patron tequila and Grey Goose vodka.
“Blame it on the goose. Got you feeling loose. Blame it on Patron. Got you in the zone”
“The ‘gangsta’ mystique is really about aggressive self-indulgence,” said Mark Crispin Miller, a professor of media, culture and communications at New York University.
“It’s highly consumeristic and not in any way socially conscious or beneficial to anyone’s health,” Miller said. “It builds on an old mystique that’s more infantile than that. It’s really about going to the crib and buying really ostentatious goods and drinking yourself into a stupor and using drugs and stashing huge guns.”
But we can’t just blame hip hop, after all, Amy Winehouse sang about beer and her attachment to the bottle, Sublime’s 40 OZ to Freedom, Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping, and The Eagle’s Tequila Sunrise to name a few. Then of course there is freedom of choice, are we as a society mindless zombies, that easily convinced by a few lyrics in a song, or a cleverly stashed bottle in a music video?…PROBABLY!Tweet