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Hip hop music and violence

Is there a connection?

Joanna Bottaro’s 7th grade students at Andrew Jackson Elementary School chose an interesting slant on violence. Their premise is that negative messages in hip-hop music contribute to the violent behavior of some young people.

The students formed their project objective after interviewing their peers and analyzing the lyrics of popular hip-hop songs. During the course of their project, they met with a community activist and co-founder of Men United for a Better Philadelphia and two ex-offenders who are now successful producers of films, commercials and music videos. The two film producers videotaped a mock debate the students conducted in which they examined the consequences of this form of free expression.