Rap music has often been blamed as music that represents violence, sexual exploitation as well as drug and alcohol abuse. Another concept prevalent in society associated with rap music is the frequent, strong profanities used in the lyrics. Although there are some facets of hip-hop that can be construed as negative, blanketing the entire rap music is unfair to artists as well as people who enjoy the music.
Some sections of society identify rap music as a catalyst for problems such as teen pregnancies, crime or some other negative social issues that existed long before rap music became prevalent.
The truth of the matter is that there is positive rap music that can improve social consciousness by increasing awareness of some societal issues.
Flood Ministries and Timveni Child and Youth Media Organisation realised the appeal of rap music among the youth and in 2017 used the music to preach the gospel and reach out to the youth with positive messages while they got entertained.
In May Timveni Child and Youth Media Organisation brought in US gospel rapper Da T.R.U.T.H who, apart from performing in Lilongwe and Nkhotakota, gave motivational talks to the youth. He spoke about the importance of living a Christian life, HIV and Aids issues and also abuse of drugs and alcohol.
Timveni Child and Youth Media Organisation communications officer Ernest Makanda said through Da T.RU.T.H they managed to amplify the truth about dangers of early marriages, the importance of education for girls, economic empowerment, and many other social ills besetting communities.
“Da T.R.U.T.H’s music is not only for Christians but also for non-Christians, his sound and message is relatable to people from various walks of life and going through different life situations where there is need for hope, salvation and love to strengthen their spirit and journey. Rap, because it appeals greatly to the youth, is a vital platform for promoting social and political awareness among the youth of today,” said Makanda.
Addressing the youth when he visited Nkhotakota, DA T.R.U.T.H said his music is about hope.
He said: “My music is about hope. No matter what disappointment you face in life, the promises of God will always be true. God’s words never fail and his promises will come to pass. My life is a witness of what God can achieve in a person.”
Rap music has spurred social awareness in communities around the country. It has served as a tool to speak out against negative aspects of life such as violence and guns. Many artists use their talent to promote peace. By communicating messages about violence and discrimination, and relating to youths it provides an opportunity for them to make positive changes in their own life.
A few of the issues that hip hop has created awareness in are racial discrimination, individuality and the importance of education and believing in your dreams. Hip hop also is a reflection of the soul and mind, and is a solace for both the artists and listeners who may be struggling with the same issues.