“Boy shoots friend after listening to Eminem” - This is now a common newspaper headline throughout the world, as more and more youths and children listen to explicit music. Music plays a substantial role in the socialization of children and adolescents. Popular music is present everywhere and is freely accessed through radio, various recordings, the Internet and new technologies, allowing adolescents to listen to it in different settings and situations, alone or shared with friend.
More often than not, parents are ignorant of the lyrics to which their children are listening. This is the result of the constant downloading and changing of songs. Research on popular music has explored its effects on school work, social interactions, mood and affect and particularly behaviour. The effect that popular music has on children’s and adolescents’ behaviour and emotions is of paramount concern.
Lyrics have become more explicit in their references to drugs, sex and violence over the years, particularly in certain genres. For example a song like ‘On My Level’ sung by Wiz Khalifa featuring Too Short says that it’s fine to drink and not care about anything. A teenager’s preference could be correlated or associated with certain behaviours. As with popular music, the perception and the effect of music video messages are important, because research has reported that exposure to violence, sexual messages, sexual stereotypes, and substance abuse -- alcohol, illegal drugs and the like - in music videos might produce significant changes in behaviours and attitudes of young viewers; caretakers and parents should be aware of this. Furthermore, with the evidence revealed in these studies, it is essential for us to take a stand regarding music lyrics. Parents should monitor the type of music their children are listening to and song lyrics as this knowledge can benefit them in the future. I thank you for spending a few moments to take the time and reading about the possible harm of explicit music.
By Justin Robinson