Rap music has been popular since the 1970s, and successful rap artists and scenes flourish in many countries of the world. At times, the violent or otherwise distasteful lyrics of some rap songs have led parents and authorities to believe that rap is bad for teenagers. However, there are also many benefits associated with rap.
"Rap" is an acronym for "rhythmically accentuated poetry," according to Abbreviations.com, and the words and language structure of rap tracks are often highly poetic. They use techniques such as simile and metaphor, rhyming, onomatopoeia, puns and other forms of wordplay. Listening to such rap songs can help teenagers understand language, its use and the power of language craft.
Rap lyrics can also help teenagers to develop their critical thinking skills. Some rap lyrics are misogynistic, racist or cartoonish. Engaging with these lyrics, pinpointing the rapper's viewpoint or lyrical pose, and articulating whether and why the listener disagrees with the lyrics are all beneficial to a teenager's critical thinking.
Rap is typically accompanied by programmed, metronomic musical beats which maintain a perfectly steady rhythm without speeding up or slowing down. This aspect of rap is beneficial to teenage musicians who want to improve their rhythmic abilities and adherence to a regular beat or click track. In particular, rap music makes an excellent backing track for drummers to practice with.
Rap music and dancing go hand in hand. Dancing to rap music is a high-energy way for teenagers to blow off steam and get cardiovascular exercise.
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.