How Is Rap Changing Today’s Society?

USA Today music writer Ken Barnes took part in an online chat on Tuesday (August 2) with readers, and was asked how he believes that the rap genre is changing today’s society. “Complex question to tackle. I’m not crazy about the perpetuation of swaggering gangster stereotypes–it’s, like, more than 15 years since NWA now–but I guess new mini-generations of suburban kids keep coming along to get all impressed about the number of bullet holes somebody can boast,” Barnes responded. “But for production and other musical innovations and making verbal facility and cleverness of paramount importance, I think rap has had a great effect on music. As for society in general, that’s a slippery slope; it’s very difficult to gauge the actual effect of any sort of art form on society, and certainly not in the scope of a casual chat.”

The transcript at has since been removed.

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