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Music has changed a lot throughout the course of about a decade. Everything from the sounds of the music, to the styles of the members in the bands has gone through many different fads. Lyricists have found new and unusual ways of making music their own style, and some of those ways have been labeled as controversial. One kind of music that has gotten unfairly labeled as controversial is rap/hip-hop music. The artists who write the music are often labeled as bad people, and also as being detrimental to young listeners. Lately, debate over the content and impact of entertainment has bubbled over into the mainstream as journalists and politicians state what many families have believed for a while: music effects children (Smithouser, 2000, p.3). Music alone however, is not responsible for the negative impacts that it is blamed for today.
Environmental factors, in addition to the controversial lyrics, may have a slight effect on how a child acts. In doing research, many critics of rap and hip-hop are of certain ethnic backgrounds. One group that is very involved in the fight against rappers, specifically Eminem, is gay and lesbian clubs. Eminem's use of the word "faggot" is criticized the most. In a recent interview by MTV (2001), Kurt Loder of MTV news asked Eminem, also known by his real name of Marshall Mathers, about his use of the word "faggot". He responded to Kurt's question by stating, "the lowest degrading thing that you can say to a man is to call him a faggot and try to take away his manhood. Faggot to me doesn't mean gay people. Faggot to me just means taking away your manhood."(Kim, 2001, pg.5). Eminem went on to say that his lyrics don't necessarily reflect his beliefs; all they reflect is the fun he has in making records. Eminem also state that his records are not for everybody to liste!
n to. He talked about how he doesn't want his daughter to listen to his songs anymore, because she is old enough now to understand what her daddy was saying. He says that his next solo album will be less "angry", and every song will have meaning. Especially since he is at risk of going to jail for pistol-whipping a man that he caught kissing his wife (Eminem 2000.com).
On January 10, 2001, MTV launched an anti-
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Marshall Mathers, Kim, Bob Herbert, Smithouser,
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