New Study Shows 77% of Rap Songs Reference Alcohol & Drugs
Submitted by Str8hiphop.com on February 8, 2008 - 4:49am.
The study, published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, did not draw conclusions about the music's effect on young listeners. But the researchers said there is evidence that exposure to certain media messages can increase substance use among adolescents.
Primack's team used charts in Billboard magazine, a trade publication covering the music business, to identify the most popular songs of 2005 based on sales and airplay.
They selected the 279 most popular songs from genres like country, pop, R&B, rap and rock, then sifted through their lyrics, counting references to drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Of those songs, 33 percent contained explicit references and 42 percent had some kind of substance abuse reference.
RAP FIRST, COUNTRY SECOND
Seventy-seven percent of rap songs tracked in the study contained such references, along with 36 percent of country songs, 20 percent of songs classified as "R&B/hip-hop," 14 percent of rock songs and 9 percent of pop songs. Alcohol and marijuana were the most common references found, with tobacco more rarely mentioned.
In "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off", country singer Joe Nichols sings: "She can handle any champagne brunch/A bridal shower with Bacardi punch/Jello shooters full of Smirnoff/But tequila makes her clothes fall off."
In "Stay Fly," rappers Three 6 Mafia say: "Breakin down the good weed, rollin' the blunt/Ghetto pimp tight girls say I'm the man ... Let's get high ... smoke us one."
"While we have not had the opportunity to thoroughly assess the study, it's important to note that music is generally a reflection of society," said Jonathan Lamy, a spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America, the trade group for the U.S. recording business.
Lamy said recording companies place parental advisory logos on albums stating an album contains explicit content.
"Parents play an essential role as well -- the music that children listen to is an importance choice, and parents are the first and most important teacher," Lamy said by e-mail.