How does rap music encourage violent behavior?

Does listening to rap music increase violent behavior?


I have heard many people say that listening to rap, which often contains messages of violence, drug use, and certain attitudes toward women, will actually lead to the adoption of such attitudes and behaviors. I will leave out the latter two and focus only on the first claim (violence).

For example, take this NY Times article about a club that plays "gansta rap" in Colorado Springs, CO, USA:

After a spate of shootings and a rising murder rate, police here say gangsta rap contributes to violence, attracting gang members and criminal activity to nightclubs. Police publicly condemned the music in a press release following a July murder, warning nightclub owners that their seats may not be safe playing gangsta rap.

"We don't want to spread hip-hop music all the way," said Lt. Skip Arms, a police spokesman, "but we're looking at a sub-component that typically glorifies, encourages criminal behavior, and demeans women."

There are two ways to go:

  • The first paragraph seems to imply that rap attracts people who are already violent, and such people would be violent even if they had heard a different type of music
  • The second paragraph says that rap actually leads to an increase in violent behavior so that without hearing rap, such a person would not be [considered] violent

For another example, see this eHow article on rap music

The mainstream popularity of gangsta rap on the west coast took hip-hop to another realm, while at the same time the genre was classified as completely too aggressive. There is much debate about the merits of such poetry and its impact on young people ...

The question is being debated and debated on forums like this and this, which is another reason I think the question is relevant.

Is there evidence to support or deny the claim that rap music creates an increased tendency to violent behavior?

As a bonus question would me everything Interested in what the possibly related claims about drugs and attitudes towards / treatment of women discussed, but perhaps this should be a separate question or this should be amended to cover all three possible negative effects of rap music.


@ Paul: Wow! Thanks for that. I didn't see this in my search for related or related topics. I've added that to the appropriate section.


Since I can't stand rap music, it does me aggressive. But then I hear some weird metal genres that other Make people aggressive

Maximus Minimus

This way of thinking is nothing new; Wikipedia quotes "a destructive dissonance," "reconciling sin," and "an unqualified cacophony, a type of music invented by demons for the torture of fools" on jazz in the 1920s.


I question the basic assumption of this question: it assumes that "rap" is a type of music.


We can find a definitive link between violence and media violence.

Longitudinal relationships between children's exposure to television violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood: 1977–1992

Violent television watching ages 6-10 and adult aggressive behavior about 15 years later for a sample that grew up in the 1970s and 1980s. Archive follow-up data (N 450) and interview data (N 329) show that exposure of children to media violence predicts the aggressive behavior of young adults in both men and women. The identification with aggressive TV characters and the perceived realism of TV violence also predict later aggression. These relationships persist even when the effects of socio-economic status, intellectual abilities, and a variety of parental factors are controlled.

Media violence and aggression among German adolescents: Associations and ways of change in a three-wave longitudinal study

Longitudinal studies from the United States have found significant paths from the use of media violence to aggression over time in a range of media including films, television, video games, music, and comics (see meta-analyzes by Anderson et al., 2010). for video games and by Bushman & Huesmann, 2006

Strange thinking ♦

At first glance, the "ultimate link" appears to be correlation. Are there any indications of causation here?