Listeners of rap are
more likely to encounter problems with alcohol, drugs and violence than listeners
of other genres, according to a new study by the Pacific Institute for Research
and Evaluation’s (PIRE) Prevention Research Center.
More than 1,000
community college students, age 15-25, participated in the study, titled "Music,
Substance Use and Aggression." The students were questioned on their music
listening habits, alcohol use, illicit drug use and aggressive behaviors, such
as getting into fights and attacking or threatening others.
The results found
that rap was consistently associated with alcohol use, potential alcohol use
disorder, illicit drug use and aggressive behavior.
The study, published
in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol, also found that
young people who listen to reggae and techno use more alcohol and illicit drugs
than listeners of other music, with the exception of rap.
Rap topped all
other genres in association to alcohol and drug use and aggression.
The results, which
were not affected by the respondents’ gender or ethnicity, should raise eyebrows,
said lead author Meng-Jinn Chen, Ph.D., a research scientist at the Center.
be concerned about rap and Hip-Hop being used to market alcoholic beverages,
given the alcohol, drug and aggression problems among listeners," Meng-Jinn
said. "That’s particularly true considering the popularity of rap and Hip-Hop
among young people."
have been featured in advertisements for malt liquor and other alcohol products,
while urban radio is regularly used for alcohol advertising.
"While we don’t fully understand the relationship between music preferences
and behavioral outcomes, our study shows that young people may be influenced
by frequent exposure to music lyrics that make positive references to substance
abuse and violence."
that the survey’s results can’t determine whether listening to certain genres
leads to alcohol or illicit drug use or aggressive behavior.
people with tendencies to use alcohol or illicit drugs or to be aggressive may
be drawn to particular music styles.
of popular music revealed that nearly half of rap/Hip-Hop songs mentioned alcohol,
compared to 10 percent or less of other popular genres.
of rap songs mentioned illicit drugs, compared with one-tenth of songs from
other genres. Rap and rock music videos depict violence twice as often as other
a web site that tracks the number of times products are mentioned in music,
reported that Hennessy was the highest ranking alcohol brand in 2005, ranking
sixth overall in a list of products mentioned by artists.
The brand was mentioned
44 times, nine more than Cristal, which ranked eighth.
The study was funded
by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which sponsors
the PIRE Prevention Research Center, a national nonprofit public health research