What Stereotypes Are Associated With Hip Hop?

By William McCoy
Rap music is often associated with numerous negative stereotypes.

While many genres of music have stereotypes associated with them, hip hop may have the most. Not to be confused with prejudices, a stereotype is simply the consensus belief about a topic based on what people commonly assume. Whether correct or incorrect, the stereotypes associated with hip hop include violence, drugs, money and misogyny. The lyrics of many hip hop songs perpetuate some of these stereotypes.

Violence

Many hip hop artists reference violence in their songs, which leads to violence being a stereotype commonly associated with this genre of music. Over time, hip hop artists such as Ice-T, Tupac Shakur and Eminem have come under fire from community groups and government agencies for the use of violence lyrics in their music.

Drugs

There's no proof that hip hop artists use more drugs than those in any other music genre, but drugs are likely mentioned more in hip hop music. Many lyrics in this style of music refer to selling drugs as a way to make a living and using drugs such as marijuana. Dr. Dre's notable hip hop album "The Chronic" referenced marijuana in its title, and 50 Cent's semi-autobiographical movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" talked about his rise from a drug dealer to a rapper.

Money

While musicians in virtually every genre can achieve enormous commercial success and enjoy the wealth that comes with it, hip hop performers are known for vigorously celebrating their money and even exaggerating how much they have. Rap videos frequently show rappers holding stacks of money, wearing expensive jewelry and driving fancy cars. Additionally, many hip hop lyrics reference being rich and spending large quantities of money.

Misogyny

Women's groups have often criticized hip hop music for the use of misogynistic lyrics and images. Women are commonly referred to in derogatory terms in some rap music, while scantily clad women are also common fixtures in hip hop videos.

About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.