Kids Want Hip-Hop Education ON AIDS/HIV

Kids are calling for hip-hop artists to offer more educational, informative and balanced messages according to a study by Children’s PressLine, a New York-based social organization.

At a recent seminar for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s RAINBOW/PUSH Wall Street Project Conference, kids sounded off.

“A lot of [rappers] talk about sex. They open it like it’s no big deal, like it’s a candy. They don’t tell kids that sex isn’t something that you just do. It comes with consequences,” said Takia, a 16-year-old. “It’s not something you just have.”

Continuing, Takia stated, “Instead of talking about all this stuff in their music – for example, Lil’ Kim talking about I did this or I did that – they should teach the kids that you don’t do that. There needs to be more responsibility. There needs to be more organization. People need to get more involved.”

Others kids felt that rappers are doing what they should do – generate dialogue among their listeners.

“I think they do address it how they should. My fellow students always talk about how AIDS is a bad disease, which it is, so everyone should just have protected sex to protect themselves,” Ighorn, 13, from The Bronx.

Mark, a 14-year-old hailing from Long Island, said, “By writing songs about what happens when you do it and what happens after you do it, rather than just what happens before you do it.”

Children’s PressLine uses an oral journalism or spoken word instead of the written word, which they feel encourages kids of all ages to participate in literacy. They charge children become empowered and learn faster with this method. The subjects discussed generally deal with a topic that is current and relevant to children.

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