How rap can tell the future

The London riots are yet more proof that urban music should be looked to as a reflection, not a cause, of inner city discontent


The idea that hip hop and its descendent subgenres are to blame for all the world’s violence and antisocial difficulties is, of course, an argument which is almost as old as the music itself. On the whole, it is a stuffy and archaic claim, but one that was levelled with force against London’s urban music scene by some high profile commentators following the London riots earlier this summer. Desperate to reach some kind of understanding of the causes of the debacle, one article in The Mirror sought to blame “the pernicious culture of hatred around rap music, which glorifies violence and loathing of authority [and] exalts trashy materialism and raves about drugs”. The article’s solution was to “ban the broadcasting of poisonous rap”. Continue reading